I was disappointed with this book. The stories are clean, Christian, and easily read, but there is not much depth to any of them. I have read others in this series of books which were much better. I would recommend this book only if you are just looking for light reading.
I enjoyed each story in this book published by Barbour Publishing. Each story is enjoyable on its own but I love that they are all connected and in one easy to read book. Barbour Publishing is known for publishing these kinds of books with three or four stories that intertwine but are written by different authors.
I gave this book 4/5 stars. You can read the summary on the detail page to see what each story is about. For me each story was worth reading. I thought each author did very well. I did find parts of the stories dragged which is unusual when they are so short. That said if you are looking for a Christian romance book that will be a quick read this one will do!
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
I love it when you can find a really great value and still get something special!!! In the short story collection, A Cascades Christmas, authors Mildred Colvin, Mary Davis, Lee Debby and Gina Welborn each take a turn with a series of characters that we meet in four different stories. These are perfect for nightly reading and you'll find yourself learning more about each of them as each story continues. This is truly four books in one setting.
In the first, Home for the Holidays by Mildred Colvin, the reader is taken back to 1888 to the deep Pacific Northwest, where we are introduced to Anna Wilkin, turning 18 in just three short months. She is a girl of unconventional ways and is considered a tomboy by most who know her. Her mother and older sister, Kathleen, try to steer Anna into spending her time learning how to become more of a woman, but Anna would love nothing more than to spend time with her father in the woods, fishing and climbing trees among the logging camp. When she runs quite literally into Jeremiah Tucker, she soon learns that you don't have to change who you are to truly fall in love. Jeremiah finds Anna similar to his younger sister, Rebekah that died too soon. He desires to build a home and a family but can he do it with someone as unrefined as Anna?
In the second story, One Evergreen Night by Debby Lee, we pick up with two characters that are briefly introduced in the first one, Emma Pearson and Frederick Corrigan. Frederick Corrigan is responsible for getting loads of logs to the mill by train on time, even if at times it means taking some risks for the Kenicky Logging Company. Yet he knows how far he can push it and would never put anyone at risk. Yet that is not what Emma Pearson has heard. She works cleaning the bunkhouses and lives in a loft at the Wilkins. She's had an issue trusting men who said they were sorry for their mistakes like her mother. She has vowed not to wind up the same way. Now that its only her and her brother Jake, she feels like it's her responsibility to ensure nothing happens to him. When she learns Jake going to train to be an engineer and that Frederick will be the one to train him, she isn't so sure that Jake will remain safe. Will she learn to trust again or will Jake become her greatest liability?
In the third addition, All Ye Faithful by Gina Welborn, we are introduced to E.V. Renier, owner of Renier Lumber Company, and Larkin Whitworth, who is Anna's dearest friend and isn't highly looked upon by the other girls in town because she is wealthy and most consider her to be a bit of a snob except for Anna Wilkin. Her father's the richest man in town. However after waiting for two years since E.V. has confessed his love for her and still no proposal or offer to court her, Larkin is about to take matters into her own hands. When she sees Abigail Leonard occupying E.V.'s attention at the party and filling her dance card, Larkin wonders if perhaps his feelings have changed for her after all. Since turning 21, she is the only female in Tumwater of courting age who had never had a suitor. Either non one had the courage to approach her father, or worse, none wanted a nicer than nice wife.
Finally A Carpenter Christmas by Mary Davis wraps the collection up with Natalie Bollen and Willum Tate. Willum Tate has been the towns carpenter and often times finds himself called upon to build houses or renovate rooms as needed. He's been a recluse since moving to Tumwater and has hoped that during all this time, his heart has healed. Natalie Bollen, is the daughter of the town's pastor and has hopes of wooing Willum. In the three years since she has known him, she has only grown to love him more. When he finally does ask her father for permission to court her, Natalie makes a fatal mistake that will cause Willum to realize that perhaps his heart will never heal from the pain that women seem to inflict on him. It is too late for them to find love or will their pasts keep them from forever finding the future that awaits them both?
I received A Cascades Christmas compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley for my honest review. Each of these stories takes you back to a much simpler times when women dreamed of falling in love and being romanced by some charming man. What I enjoyed the most about this collection is that even though they are four separate stories they are joined together but the same characters and setting throughout each of them. It's like you get a chance to know each of them a little bit more and see how their individual interactions bring them the romance each of them desires in different ways all set during Christmas in the late 1800's. For those of you that love a bit of something special and unique in your historical romances, then I would highly recommend this collection to you. I personally rate this a 5 out of 5 stars!!!
Logging Backdrop for Historical Christmas Novellas
October 12, 2012
Too early to think about Christmas? Not according to Barbour Publishing! They've released two holiday collections on September first, and I've just finished reading A Cascade Christmas, a group of four novellas set in Washington state around the time it became a state.
Tumwater was a small logging town at the very southern tip of Puget Sound that boasted some very interesting residents and history. I learned a bit more about it from Wikipedia.
Western Washington state is certainly not known for deep snowy winters and cold weather. It doesn't seem like the type of setting one would first think of when putting together a Christmas collection of stories. Precipitation in the region is mostly unrelenting rain, and in that era (1889-1892), that meant a lot of mud. Still, the authors managed to imbue seasonal charm into their tales.
The first novella, "Home for the Holidays," was written by Mildred Colvin. Anna Wilkin is a tomboy and doesn't even wish to be perfect and pleasant and polite like her sister Katherine. Sure she's old enough to be interested in men, but not a man who wants her to be a perfect lady. So her first move upon meeting a new eligible bachelor is to challenge him to a fishing contest on Sunday afternoon. She's smart enough not to go unchaperoned-her best friend, Larkin, will accompany them. No wonder her mother wants to send her to finishing school in Chicago right after Christmas-and Anna's father agrees to the plan-the worst thing Anna can imagine!
Jeremiah Tucker sees in Anna the little sister he'd once had and lost. Her sister is a much better deal as wifely material. Less risky, for one thing. But why can't he get the younger sister out of his heart and mind?
"One Evergreen Night" is the second novella in the collection, by Debby Lee. Emma Pearson's only remaining relative is her brother, but when he begins training to do the most dangerous job in the logging industry, firing the engines to bring the train between the camp and the town, she's terrified, in part because of the current fireman's reputation. Frederick Corrigan blames himself for a terrible accident on the train in which a friend and fellow worker died on a tight curve now known as the Widow Maker. How can he prove to Emma that he's not the reckless man he once was when her brother insists on running the train at full tilt as though he knows what he's doing?
Gina Welborn wrote the third novella in the collection, "All Ye Faithful." Every week for two years, E.V. Ranier has met with the local brewery magnate and asked for the man's permission to court his daughter, Larkin. Every week the man told him no. Larkin Whitworth believes E.V. loves her, but if he does, why does he never declare himself to her? Why does he not court her and marry her? E.V. continues trying to secure enough sawmill contracts to make Mr. Whitworth believe he can provide for Larkin, but this puts him in the path of another man who holds the key to his increased business-and offers HIS daughter. When E.V. asks her to trust him, she has to agree, but will E.V. declare his love for her before her mama's secret threatens to dislodge the Whitworth family from its position at the top of Tumwater society?
The final novella in this collection is "A Carpenter Christmas" by Mary Davis. Natalie Bollen, the Tumwater minister's daughter, has finally reached her eighteenth birthday, the age in which she can begin courting. Only one man holds her interest, and she's sure carpenter Willum Tate feels the same about her. But now that Natalie is of age, Willum is getting cold feet. Left behind at the altar nearly four years earlier, a chance reaction of Natalie's causes him to fear she doesn't love him for better or for worse. He's been building a mansion in the middle of town for over a year and no one knows who ordered it. Suddenly Willum is willing to walk away from his project and his hopes. How can Natalie prove to him that she's the woman for him, and that she'll always be there for him?
One of the things I enjoyed about this collection is that we get to know the supporting cast throughout all the novellas. Various townspeople drift in and out of the tales, and the previous couples continue to grace later stories with cameo appearances. I've also lived in or near logging communities for much of my adult life, so seeing some of the history of this resource in nearby Washington state was interesting to me.
If you're in the mood for a little early Christmas (and by early I mean both early in the season and early in the history of the American west) check out A Cascade Christmas.