In true Janice Hanna Thompson style, romantic comedy and warm faith abounds in this fish-out-of-water tale. The author tackles a time and place infrequently visited - the wilds of Montana in the days leading up to WWI, during the suffrage movement that was growing in popularity in the Western states when it was still frowned upon in the more refined areas of the East Coast.
Can a rancher from Montana and a Southern Belle find common ground in the snowy west? Will Alanna's traditional beliefs about the roles of women and the suffrage movement survive the winter? Can Tanner measure up to Alanna's expectations of gentlemanly behavior - and can Alanna measure up to the expectations of a true woman of the frontier?
And do they want to measure up to the ideals of someone else, when they are each convinced that their way is the "right" way?
Hinging on all this is the question of the hour: Will Alanna succeed in convincing her sister and brother-in-law that the only place to raise their newborn child is the South, where things will be easier . . . or at least more genteel?
Read Sleigh Belles. If you want to read about a white Christmas that you probably won't have, Montana is more than likely going to fit the bill. If you want to laugh, cry, and swoon, all in the same chapter sometimes, Sleigh Belles will definitely fit the bill.
There's just something about Janice's storytelling that always makes me smile. She has a way of creating endearing characters and yummy-as-hot cocoa-on-a-cold-night types of romances that end up being quite addicting. At first I thought a story about woman's suffrage in 1916 sounded... meh, at best. But I decided to give it a try since I always attempt to read books that I am doing a promo on my blog for the week the giveaway is posted. So I started reading and before I knew it I had finished the book in less than two days.
The heroine grew on me quickly. Her southern charm and manipulative ways were cute and endearing. The hero was absolutely adorable and the scenes where they communicated about southern etiquette was downright hilarious at times. I read a few phrases out loud to my husband, and he smiled, too. Anyway, I enjoy a story that has sound humor mixed it with real-life issues. Post-partum depression was a brilliant way to get the family together. It was also realistically shown. The way the story came together toward the end was heartwarming as well. Janice has crafted another winner with this book. I loved it!
Janice Thompson in her new book, "Sleigh Belles" Book Two in the Belles and Whistles series published by Summerside Press takes us into the life of Alanna Lessing.
From the back cover: From Savannah to Montana_
The year is 1916, and Southern belle Alanna Lessing is headed to Montana on a mission-to rescue her older sister from the influence of suffragettes and bring her back home to Savannah where she belongs. Alanna is opposed to the women's suffrage movement, which is at its heyday in Montana. She fears that her sister, Margaret, has allowed herself to be swept away by these newfangled beliefs.
The Christmas season is drawing near, and sleigh bells are ringing among the snow-covered peaks. The charming town of Missoula begins to grow on Alanna, and so do a few of its inhabitants-particularly neighboring rancher Tanner Jacobs. Alanna takes it upon herself to turn Tanner into a true Southern gentleman. He plays along, in part because he likes being near her, and in part because he's intrigued by her very different way of life. Will their differences bind their hearts, or forever tear them apart?
The Suffragette Movement, a Southern lady trying to influence a Montana rancher in the ways of the South and Christmas time. All of these elements are present in "Sleigh Belles" and, on top of everything, there is romance. Ms. Hanna is a fine writer and she puts clever little things in the book to keep us smiling like every chapter begins with an excerpt from Ellie Cannady editor of The Modern Suffragette and how it plays out in the chapter. "Sleigh Belles" is a fun read, all the characters are likable and Ms. Hanna has a way of bringing you into the story and making the lives of the characters very real. I liked this book and am looking forward to more in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Summerside Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."