A lovely collection for the reader who loves arranged marriage tales.
From the Bayou to the wilds of the prairie nine couples find love in a marriage that isn't exactly what they dreamed of.
Can God bring these couples together under unusual circumstances?
A delightful collection of stories, by a variety of authors, with great characters, and believeable storylines. I really liked how some of the stories were connected and others weren't, I really enjoyed the variety in time and setting, as well!
The one thing that I think I should probably note is that many of the stories were previously published in other collections, which is something to be aware of just in case you might have read some of the stories already. I was a bit disappointed to find that they weren't all new stories, even though I enjoyed each of them both times through.
Overall, a wonderfull collection that is sure to be enjoyable!
I recieved this ebook from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thanks!
Edouard LeBlanc had lost much in the war. A scarred face, a bad leg and the loss of his one true love. He lived in a cabin on the Bayou and stayed away from people as much as he could. And then his father went and betrothed him to the lovely Josee.
Josee Broussard was taken into the LeBlanc family when she was orphaned at age six. Now she was eighteen and if she had to marry she hoped it would be her fun loving friend, Jacques LeBlanc. Instead it was his older brother Edouard who was always dark and brooding. Josee resigned herself to a loveless marriage. Or did God have bigger plans?
Widower Ethan Cole is traveling to Oregon with his two children. His sister started out with him but when she had the chance to turn tail and run, she did. When the opportunity comes to help a young woman who lost both parents on the trail and in return she can help him Ethan takes on Charity Davis. As feelings for the young woman grow he realizes that she's a wealthy lady and he's a simple carpenter. Worlds apart. Can God cross that divide?
Dr. Joshua Rogers quickly fell for Bethany Handley after she spent a Christmas with them. He was pleased that she agreed to marry and go on the Oregon Trail with him. Joshua was quickly falling in love with her but did the beautiful orphan marry him only because of her close friendship with his sister Penny? And was it because with Papa and Penny she had a family? And would the secret Bethany kept from her husband, for fear that he wouldn't want to marry her, damage their relationship as well?
The next four stories are all connected. Originally part of the Barbour Novella, Bride for a Bit
Ellis Stack had four sister-in-laws to get off his hands. When he reads a notice for a man wanting a bridle order he misunderstands it as bridal and sends Matilda, Corrine, Bess and Bertie Craig off to James Collingswood in Lickwind. When Jim meets the train to get his bridles he instead has four women. What is he to do with them now?
This is the continued story from Halter to Altar. Luke Collingswood was pulled towards Corrie Craig from the start. The young widow who was already in the family way seemed so fragile and something in him felt the need to protect her. He'd like that responsibility for good but would the young widow ever learn to love a second time or forever mourn her late husband?
This is the third story in the continuing sage with the four brides instead of bridles that arrived in Lickwind, Wyoming. Bess Craig is considered bossy and very independent. Gideon Riker is the local saloon owner but is there more to him than meets the eye? This unusual team join forces when he offers to rent his brand new house to Bess and Bertie to start a business out of.
The fourth and final book of the Craig sisters and Lickwind, Wyoming. Thomas Hardin is returning to Lickwind after seven long years. At age fifteen his father and him were chased out of town. His dad was labeled a cattle rustler. He knew returning wouldn't be easy. And it wasn't.
Bertie Craig found that for the first time in her life she wanted to be noticed as a female. She didn't understand why she felt different around Thomas but she did know his ranch was the first time she felt like she was home in many a year. If only he didn't think of her as nothing more than a squirt.
James Parrish was so excited, his future wife was to arrive on the train. God had answered his prayers and he would have a wife to love and share his life with. When Abby Cantrell arrived James thought her to be absolutely beautiful. And then his world shattered. She was not the same woman he expected and this one carried several burdens. Would God bring her into his life to torture him or was there hope for a real marriage?
Captain Gregory Royce was looking forward to wedding the love of his life_.until she ran off with another and he was left with her spinster sister, Libby Collier. The happiest day of his life became the worse day. Unlike Libby who had a secret longing to be loved by the handsome Captain but knew he loved her sister. How can anything good come from this
There are 9 different short stories in the collection. Overall the collection was good, but I think that the 7 in the middle absolutely went together in a collection and the first and last were a little out of place.
The last story, Finishing Touches, was good, but didn't fit the wagon train/frontier genre. The first story, Joie de Vivre, was not only out of place, but just wasn't an enjoyable read for me. There was too much french without translation and I understand a little bit of french from the years I took classes. The setting of the first story didn't appeal to me and therefore made the story just ok.
THe 2nd story, Button Strong Bride, was wagon train marriage that was right up my alley. I liked the button strand that was a major part of the sweet story. I had never heard of it before. I don't know if is was a real tradition to start a button collection for young girls, but if it wasn't it should have been.
The 3rd story, The Wedding Wagon, was once again a wagon train marriage that I really enjoyed. It was a sweet story of a young lady marrying her best friends brother that she has only met just a few times. I think I would have liked to have read more about this family.
Stories 4-7 were all connected. In Halter to Alter four sisters are sent off to be mail order brides, but arrive to meet a man who wanted four bridles and not four brides. All four books are the stories of the four sisters and the men that win their hearts. The other stories are From Carriage to Marriage, From Bride to Pride, From Alarming to Charming. I enjoyed reading about the sisters and how they found love.
The 8th story was A Vow Unbroken. It was a sweet mail order bride story that I enjoyed reading. It probably had the most spiritual content of any of the stories and made for a nice afternoon read.
The last story, Finishing Touches, was a good story although a little misplaced. It was an arranged marriage were the sister took the place of the bride. The setting was different than the majority of the book, but still a good read.
This book was given to me free of charge from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Follow nine adventurous young women as they journey to Oregon, Dakota Territory, Colorado, Missouri, and Louisiana in this romantic collection from your favorite authors! Includes Joie de Vivre, Button Strong Bride, The Wedding Wagon, From Halter to Altar, From Carriage to Marriage, From Pride to Bride, From Alarming to Charming, A Vow Unbroken, and Finishing Touches. 448 pages, softcover from Barbour.
If you enjoy very simple, easy, short stories with a little romance, you will love this book. I was excited to read it because the very thought of mail-order-brides or arranged marriages is just intriguing to me.
I did enjoy this book and the short stories. I liked some of them better than others. There were a few that I skimmed to get the general idea so I could move on to the next book. Some of them go together in a short series, others are stand alone titles.
Because of the book's brevity, the characters are not too deep. The relationships seem to move along much faster than they would have in a longer book. But, the authors did a great job with the space they had to create a collection of heart-warming romantic stories.
The books weave history, romance and faith together to create a wonderful book that readers will enjoy!