This is a very sweet collection of many different types of love stories. My very favorite was Serena's Strength. There were a couple of stories that I just didn't get as connected to the characters as I would have liked. However, overall, I do recommend this book as a good choice for readers who like bride stories (as I do).
The strength that many of these characters in the various stories exhibited and the growth of many of the characters in their walks with God was refreshing. I enjoyed the many different stories set out in the old west of Texas as these men and women found love through their struggles.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Here we have a collection of short stories that are set in Texas during the mid-1800s. Some of the stories have the uniqueness of Texas Rangers added to the spice of romance. Serena's Strength by DiAnn Mills weaves the story of a girl coming into womanhood. She is a daughter of a ranger, who wants more for his daughter than marriage to a ranger. When Serena finds herself falling in love with Chet, what will it take to change her father's heart so he will let her go to discover what God has in store for her?
The Reluctant Fugitive by Darlene Mindrup is a new author to me. The story includes characteristics of frontier danger, romance and bank robbery. April has been a dressmaker since her parents passing. Her brother, Ted, has not been around in a while and when he shows up, she finds herself entangled in a dangerous situation. On top of that, the Ranger who comes to track the robbers and April is the best and begins to battle his heart as to April's innocence. There is a mystery involved here plus whether the past will determine the path of faith in the lives of the main characters.
Saving Grace shows how much love a woman has for her ranger husband and the children they had together. Suddenly, finding herself a widow with a third child on the way, the business her husband had started may not survive because the boat captains don't want to interact with a woman. Then, right after a time of prayer, a ranger rides into her yard, but he has no idea what is to come and neither does Grace. Kathleen Y'Barbo writes a wonderful story that shows the way God answers prayer may not exactly be the way we expect.
An Inconvenient Gamble by Michelle Ule follows a man named Charles Moss, who, after the Civil War, travels the state of Texas surveying with a former colonel. A young widow, Jenny, is caring for her mother-in-law and two remaining brothers on what was once a thriving horse farm. With surprising twists and turns in the story, the reader will love the way the author ends this story by showing the hope that can come from leaving behind reminders of the past.
Angel in Disguise tells the tale about a poor young woman named Rosie, who loves the Lord. Rosie has a criminal record that causes some women in society not to trust her. Owen is a Ranger who is longing to return to duty, but can't until the doctor releases him. Written by Darlene Franklin this story of hope, forgiveness and truth is very enjoyable. It also gives readers a message to contemplate.
Rueben's Atonement by Lynette Sowell explores the theme of believing in the grace of God and His complete forgiveness versus trying to work for one's own atonement. Here is a story of brothers who made a choice that changed the lives of many folks in the town of Raider's Crossing. A young lady is heartbroken and wants to believe in a future filled with family fun. Will Rueben learn to receive God's grace as he seeks forgiveness? Will the brothers come together to work the family land as their Pa had hoped and find forgiveness in the Lord as their Ma prayed they would?
DiAnn Mills second story in the book is titled, The Peacemaker. This tells of how a young widow learns to take over her husband's ranch after his death. It also is about Colt, who is released from prison and bent on seeking revenge on the man who put him there. When he rides to his destination ready for carrying out revenge, he ends up finding way more than he ever bargained for including a future he thought would never be fulfilled.
Outlaw Sherriff written by Kathleen Y'Barbo shares an entertaining western romance about an outlaw who the Lord saved and an adventuresome woman named Lydia. Both Caleb and Lydia arrive in town with different hopes and vastly differing pasts. So, how do these two people discover what the Lord has in mind and what His will is for both of them?
To conclude this collection is story written by Tamela Hancock Murray titled, A Gamble on Love. Left with a saloon girl for longer than expected, Benjamin has retained a lot of his virtues. Pearl is leaving the saloon to go and take care of ma on the ranch where she grew up. Now they have realized feelings for each other never before recognized and not spoken of plus Pearl's ma is quite a character. What happens here is sure to be a surprise!
These stories are very enjoyable and entertaining when sitting outside with a soft drink, some shade with some time on readers' hands. They each are faith-filled as well as unique in some ways, but there is something else that ties them together. To know what that is you need to read the book. Don't feel you have to read the book in one sitting. I enjoyed pulling out the novel and reading a whole story or just a couple chapters at night to ease the mind before bed. Each story reminded me of different aspects of God's character and His ways being something of a mystery to mankind. I hope you enjoy reading each story and finding the tie that binds them all together.
Very enjoyable chain of 9 novellas! I was impressed with all of them.
1) Serena and Chet's, in Serena' Strength by DiAnn Mills, story was fun. It described this tiny woman who look no more then 13 and who was in love with a ranger -Chet. Chet always thought she was a little girl so he never paid much mind to her angelic person. But once he find out her age intelligent Texas Ranger starts to loose his ability to speak and his heart. Sparks fly! But Chet is afraid that she is too fragile to be a ranger's wife. Starting with wild hog and finishing with Spanish rustlers Serena proves her strength to Chet and her father.. Great fun novella which proves that true strength isnt in muscles and body built but in spirit, wit, and clear head.
2) The Reluctant fugitive was very personal! And my favorite. April is taken by her bitter at God twin-brother and his outlaw gang only to be abandoned in a cave and stuck there with one of the best TX-Rangers - Jacson who is just as bitter at God for letting his parents die. Even though its just a love story the insight really touched me. God isnt a killer- He doesnt make your loved once die. Satan does all that and there are 2 verses from the Bible featured in this story as proof. ( It is personal because i have struggled with the same bitterness since my daughter passed away. Now i know I shouldnt blame God for it.)
3) Saving Grace is a novella about a widow with 2 children that needs help at her landing and after lond journey of grief and accusations thrown Gods way she decides to take her servant's advise and pray, interestingly God answers. This was a little embarrassing at first- their bold prayers at any moment at any place and on the knees. I am so self conscious that i have never prayed like that and it made me realize what a mistake i am making. Fun, enlightening and inspirational short story.
4) An Inconvinient Gamble
Jenny was alreay married for convenience and was already married to a gambler once. She doesnt want to do that mistake again. Charles was a gambler before and one particular gamble cause Jenny's brother's death. But Jenny doesnt know it and she needs Charles help at the farm. Touching and inspirational - it teaches how to deal with temptation.Flee.
5) Angel in disguise
Rosie is a new christian and is very passionate for God and for poor. After unsuccessfully trying to convince rich that if they will help poor there will be less crime she decides to take the matter into her own hands and becomes Angel in disguise. While fascinated by Rosie, Ranger Cooper is suppose to catch the thief who has been steeling from rich and giving to poor. Lovely funny and captivating story.
6) Rueben's Atonement
After separating from his brothers to live as outlaws 13 years ago Rueben meet the Lord and comes back home to make up for his sins. He vows to win Charlotte back, buy his family farm back and to find all his brothers. Charlotte didnt realize that Rueben still holds her heart until her father offers him a job at their ranch. An enjoyable story of redemption.
7) The Peacemaker
Colt ( Rueben's brother)
just released from prison goes to find the very man who put him there. After finding out he is already dead he tries to find his widow to help her or to claim his share of the money. Little did he know that Annie's girls will welcome him with a rifle. And God will meet him with a bullet.Awesome funny suspense and mystery.
8) Outlaw Sheriff
Caleb Wilson(Rueben's second brother) has done his time for his thieving and met Jesus in prison. After arriving in Dime Box he hopes to start anew, but is mistaken for long-awaited Sheriff Wilson. Which also had ordered a bride all the way from New Orleans. Fighting, love, second chances and Lord guidance and one big miracle!
9)A Gamble on Love
Benjamin and Perl are great at cheating together at gamble but when Perls mom calls her home Benjamin doesnt see any other way but to follow her there. At the farm he doesnt just meet an outrageously rude ma but also absolutely forgiving Lord. Great love story and an awesome reunion of all brothers.
Lively, interesting, funny, teaching, inspiring and so much more.. This book is a great read!