Willow Peterson has finally recovered from the death of her husband, and finds a job as a portrait painter in the studio of Trenton Van Der Veer in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Trenton is still single, his previous relationship with Susanna not having ended well and leaving him distrustful where women are concerned. Well, having an employee who he thinks is married turn out to be single is really going to help that. Meanwhile, Susanna is on her way to Cripple Creek to reunite with Trenton, then move to New York with him (not that he is privy to this plan).
Some of the vocabulary seems out of place for the 1898 setting (e.g. â€˜mental health' and â€˜businesswoman').
As the fourth book in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series, Twice a Bride obviously expands on the characters in the previous books. This makes it a little hard to get in to, and I suspect it would be best read as part of the series rather than on its own. As well as Willow, Trenton and Susanna, there are four Sinclair sisters: Nell, Kat, Vivian and Ida, along with their respective husbands and children as well as assorted friends and neighbours. It's a lot of names and relationships to keep straight.
The author does a good job of adding enough backstory to make the plot understandable, but not so much that it gets bogged down. What does slow the book down is the sub-plots around the minor characters, which distract from the main plot. They are all fully-developed characters (which is excellent), but the effect is like having walked into a party or a church where you don't know anyone, yet everyone else does know every other person and has done for years. It's confusing and uncomfortable. An enjoyable story, but best read as part of the series.
Thanks to WaterBrook Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Twice a Bride, by Mona Hodgson, is a charming book. It is the fourth and last book in her series, The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek. This book tells Willow's story, a young widow who was so in love with the husband that she had to be institutionalized for a time after he died.
Willow comes to Cripple Creek to live near her brother, Tucker, who just happens to have married Ida, one of the Sinclair sisters. She is looking for a fresh start and hoping to be able to use her skill as an artist. When she lands a job working with photographer Trenton Van Der Veer painting portraits from his photos, she is thrilled. Trenton is recovering from a broken engagement, and neither of them is expecting to find love again.
The beloved Miss Hattie, who has taken care of all of the Sinclair Sisters when they first arrived in town, does not like their father at all when he finally comes for a visit, but she finds herself attracted to him nonetheless.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The author's note at the end reveals an upcoming prequel series that includes some of the characters from this one, and I will look forward to reading it in the future.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
When I think of Christian romance, I think of Janette Oke writing about those early pioneers crossing seas of grass in canvas covered wagons, of finding love in unexpected places (isn't it always unexpected?), of a handsome Canadian Mountie riding off with his bride. And I loved it, right from the age of twelve, when my best friend loaned me "Love Comes Softly," right up until I went to college and became too busy to read for pleasure.
Plus, I had a real-life romance with the skinny, shaggy-haired guy who would one day be my husband. So, it's been a fun diversion to delve back into a genre that isn't on my regular reading list. Ah, romance! After eighteen years of marriage, I'll take it in whatever form it comes!
This month, it came in the form of Mona Hodgson's novel "Twice a Bride," the fourth in a series just released by Waterbrook Press. Having not read the preceding books, it was a bit like stepping into the middle of a family reunion and trying to remember who was who. How many sisters? Who is married to whom? Who's pregnant? Who just had a baby? And who is the cute photographer standing in the corner?
Whether or not you've read her previous books, Hodgson does a good job orienting the reader to the small town of Cripple Creek, somewhere outside of Denver, during the gold-digging days of 1898. The novel centers around the life of Willow Peterson, a young widow, who takes a job as a portrait painter for photographer Trenton Van Der Veer. And yes, romance blossoms despite past wounds and ongoing misunderstandings. A rival swoops in to compete for Trenton's affections while the lively Sinclair sisters seek to mend a relationship with their father, who pursues a relationship of his own.
Hodgson, who also writes for children, weaves multiple story lines together as she deals with themes of love, loss, and faith in this well-paced novel exploring the lives of working Turn-of-the-Century women. If you can, start with book one. A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher.
Mona Hodgson in her new book, "Twice A Bride" Book Four in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series published by WaterBrook Press brings us into the life of Willow Peterson, Ida Sinclair's sister-in-law.
From the back cover: Love lost doesn't mean love lost forever.
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?
Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek. When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.
With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters' beloved Miss Hattie, new developments promise more uncertainty as some unexpected visitors make their way to Cripple Creek. Will the arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?
Filled with resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life's unexpected turns, revealing the ways a loving God turns brokenness into beauty.
I like Cripple Creek. I like what the name implies, that this place is a haven for wounded people to go to be refreshed and healed. Reminds me of the Gospel story where Jesus went to the pool where the ill were for healing and, of course, He healed a man who needed Him. When Willow Peterson comes to Cripple Creek to settle down she is carrying a lot of emotional wounds and trauma. Ms. Hodgson does a wonderful job of showing us how Willow's unresolved issues affect her relationship with her family, Trenton Van Der Veer and her choices. "Twice A Bride" is more than just a great romance it is a story about love and loss, mental illness, miscarriage and how God can make something good out of all trauma. Not only that Ms. Hodgson gives us some excitement and adventure in this story as well. Ms. Hodgson gets us caught up in the story and the characters to the point that we actually hate to say goodbye to them when the book ends. While it is sad that this series is actually ending with this book, the good news is that a series is coming soon with some of the Cripple Creek characters.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Press for this review. 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."
Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson is the 4th installment in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. I say the 4th not the last as I hope that the series can continue on. The Sinclair sisters are still in Cripple Creek, Colorado and are joined by their honorary sister Willow Peterson. She has recently been dismissed from a long stay the sanatorium where her father sent her for recovery from the melancholy after the death of her husband, Sam. The only member of her family to visit her in the sanatorium had been her brother Tucker. Her father, who had been sick, suddenly died and this installment opens at his funeral. Everyone was afraid that this would send Willow back into a melancholy state. Willow though grieving the loss of her father decides to stay in Cripple Creek with her brother, Tucker and not return home with her mother to Colorado Springs. Willow has decided it is time to get on with her life and pursue her dream of painting portraits. Life is looking up for Willow when she lands a job with Trenton Van Der Veer the owner of the Photography Studio painting portraits and colorizing photographs. The Sinclair sisters are also surprised by a visit from their widowed father who arrives by way of train wreck bringing along an 8 year old orphaned girl from Paris.
I like this series so of course I liked this installment from the Sinclair Sister series. Topics move along in a steady pace and easily hold the interest. It is a quick read containing 291 pages. Any age can read the book but probably the subject would interest at least middle school age girls and older for topic.