ACROSS THE SHORES by Carolyn Miller, Kelly J. Goshorn, Angela K. Couch & Cara Putman
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance Collection
PUBLISHER: Barbour Fiction
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2023
Sometimes love finds you where you are, and other times it meets you across distant shores
as four women discover in these four historical stories linked by a shared gold pendant.
More Than Gold (New South Wales, 1851) by Carolyn Miller
Josephine Wilkins is headstrong and heartbroken—why else would she have left all she knew to follow her brother’s dreams of finding gold across the seas? Daniel Jardine is simply seeking adventure, in a land far away from family responsibilities and duty, two burdens he’s happy to disregard in his quest to be known for himself. When these two finally meet sparks are set to fly, as they discover that digging deeper than first impressions reveals the true value of one’s character, and real love and faith is worth far more than gold.
The Veil (Baltimore, 1877) by Kelly Goshorn
After Caroline Wilkins is burned during a suitor’s attack, she retreats behind a lace veil and vows only to remove it for a man who will profess his love without seeing what lies beneath. Franz Kohler is a mountain of a man with a gentle heart and a hidden dream of carving intricate Bavarian clocks. When a mutual attraction grows between them, neither is willing to reveal their secrets, jeopardizing any hope of a future together unless two hearts can find the courage to trust again.
Running from Love (Canada, 1905) by Angela K. Couch
Anna Kohler has left her home, and even her country, for the sake of her wayward brother. But when the local Mounted Police takes an interest in them, her hopes for the future collide. Constable Benjamin Cole has a duty to perform, no matter what his heart desires.
Lauren’s Song (Outer Banks, NC, 1942) by Cara Putman
Lauren Randolph’s world has fractured with the death of her father five years earlier in a boating accident. John Weary defied his father’s wishes when he followed his grandfather’s footsteps and joined the Coast Guard. When Lauren’s brother goes missing at sea, John is determined to do what he can for Lauren, while continuing his work scouring the shoreline for U-Boats. Lauren focuses on her duties with the Civil Defense as they seek to uncover the real reason her brother disappeared. To do so, they have to unravel the truth about the woman who claims to carry John’s child and whether fishermen are really seeing U-boats or something else entirely.
On the pages of Across the Shores, four talented authors take us on a journey from a mining camp in 1851 Australia to a troubled 1877 Baltimore, the Canadian frontier at the turn of the century, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina during WW2. All without us having to leave our comfy reading spaces or find a time machine! Each of these stories is connected to the others by a gold cross necklace – the first three more strongly than the fourth but the connection is there nonetheless – and I found myself always eager at the onset of a new story to see how it had been passed through the generations. Each novella also features a brother-sister team in some capacity, and being part of one of those myself I enjoyed seeing the sibling interaction.
More Than Gold by Carolyn Miller kicks off the collection with a brother-sister team who’ve crossed the ocean in search of gold at a mining camp in New South Wales, Australia, and wins the designation of ‘most unique setting’ from the collection. This sweet story tugged at my heartstrings with moments of profound loss but also wit, friendship, and romance. We don’t see historical fiction set during a Australian gold rush very often, sadly, and the setting really became a tertiary character of its own. I really enjoyed being immersed in that era during this story, I loved Daniel and Josephine and their friendship turned romance, and I was touched by the message of faith.
The Veil by Kelly Goshorn gets the award for ‘most characters I fell in love with’ in this collection. I adored every single member of the Kohler family (and I want Franz’s brother’s story now please! and one for their sister, too.), but especially Franz and his Opa (grandfather). These two men completely captured my heart, particularly as it relates to their interactions with our heroine, Caroline. I swooned and grinned and brushed a few tears from my eyes, fully engrossed in this story from beginning to end. I could have happily spent several more hours with these characters as a full-length novel and would love to do so in the future! (ahem. I’m so demanding.) And I haven’t even talked about the clock (swoon!) or the Gugelhupf (yum!) or the exquisitely tender romance between Franz & Caroline.
Running From Love by Angela K. Couch is the story that filled me with all the nostalgia and gets the ‘most times I swooned over a Mountie since When Calls the Heart’ distinction. I loved this trip to the Canadian frontier, with another brother-sister duo chasing their dreams away from family. Again, as in More Than Gold, the sister (our heroine) is mainly along for the ride to keep an eye on her brother, and our intrepid hero steps in to watch out for the heroine when the brother is unable to do so. We get to watch him fix a roof, among other delightfully swoony handyman tasks, and I really loved watching Ben & Anna fall in love. I wanted to purse whomp Anna’s brother on more than one occasion, though, and I would very much like to read his story next, especially with the connections to him in Putman’s story to close out the book.
Lauren’s Song by Cara Putman may not have spent much time on the gold cross necklace that has tied all the stories together in this collection but it does earn the award for “connection I want to know most about”. I really really want to know what happened between the events of Running from Love in 1905 and those of this story set in 1942, and I would be ever so delighted if either Couch or Putman – or both! – wrote a full-length novel that filled in those blanks. This novella also had the history that intrigued me the most in Across the Shores. I didn’t learn much in school about the part of WW2 being fought along our own US coastlines, so the fact that John & Lauren’s romance is set on an island in North Carolina where U-boats were frequently seen and our own ships were being blown up by the enemy is fascinating to me as a history buff. Spies and lighthouses and having to house Civil Defense workers … all of it kept me turning the pages to see how it would all play out.
Bottom Line: Across the Shores teams up four exceedingly talented authors to give us four sweet historical romances with fascinating bits of history, dynamic settings, and compelling characters, tied together by a single gold cross. Each story allows that particular author to shine in her preferred setting & time period, with her own voice and style, while keeping the flow and theme cohesive from one novella to the next. The messages of faith across the collection are gently done and organic to the characters without feeling forced or preachy, and the romances are the perfect blend of tender & swoony. A definite must-read!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Connect with Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com.
Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into inspiring stories of love, faith, and family set in America’s vibrant past. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys, binge-watching BBC period dramas, board-gaming with her family and friends, exploring historical sights, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi. Connect with Kelly at kellygoshorn.com
To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after four munchkins. Connect with Angela at www.angelakcouch.com
Since the time Cara Putman could read Nancy Drew, she wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at a local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, is history. There she met Colleen Coble, and since this she’s been writing award-winning books with the count currently at 36 published and more in the works. In addition to writing, she is a mom of four, attorney, Clinical Professor at a Big Ten university, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband, and her kids. Cara graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s MBA program. Connect with Cara at caraputman.com
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