5 Stars Out Of 5
February 24, 2016
Madison Heights VA
The Substitute Bride by Angela Bell: London, England, June, 1865, Gwen's mother convinces her to be the substitute bride for her sister, Cynthia, in her marriage to Lord Elliott Carlyle. Elliott is not happy about the arrangement that he was tricked into, but their love for books and art may just save the day and make their marriage work.
My REVIEW of The Substitute Bride: This is a very well written and touching novella. I felt great empathy for Gwen and Elliott who were both placed in an awkward situation which is now permanent. I was just disappointed that the story ended and I wanted to know more about Gwen and Elliott's relationship. I rate this novella 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.
Bridal Whispers by Angela Breidenbach: Saint Paul, MN, March 5, 1900, Maila and Burton work to help their family rebuild itself when Burton's wife and many other family members due of influenza. Maila has been away studying to be a nurse and finally practising as one. But now it is her duty to help her family. Burton needs her help too. But the townswomen spread rumors that Burton and Maila are behaving shamefully. Maila's mother insists they marry when she hears this. Will Burton ever be able to forget his beautiful first wife, Rose? Will Maila be stuck forever in a loveless marriage?
MY REVIEW of Bridal Whispers: This is such a fun novella to read. It must have been very sad and frightening for so many people to die of influenza. I felt so sorry for Maila as it seemed she had to give up her nursing position and the man she loved as well. I rated this novella 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.
Mule Dazed by Lisa Carter: Montana Territory, 1885, Hattie runs away from her home when her brothers promise her in marriage to a man she doesn't love, and meets up with the sheriff of Hitching Post, Montana. He promptly arrests her for releasing the mules ready to race in the town's annual Mule Days' race. Sheriff Braxton Cashel recognizes her as the girl from his childhood, known as "Crazy Hair". Her brothers ride into town and force them to marry when they say he has compromised her virtue by sleeping in the cell with her all night. Their marriage gets off to a rough start, but Braxton begins to enjoy her cooking, her lovely curls, and her constant chatter. Will their marriage last? or will he have it annuled when the judge returns to town as promised?
MY REVIEW of Mule Dazed: What a cute novella ! I love the annual tradition of Mule Days when the men and women have all sorts of activities planned to hook up as couples and a minister is there to marry all the lucky couples at the end of the festivities. This novella had me laughing and hoping for things to work out for Braxton and Hattie.
I rated this novella 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.
The Sweetwater Bride by Mary Connealy: Montana, July, 1897, Tanner Harden rides out on his land to find a creek to water his cattle and animals, and finds a hidden cover behind a huge rock formation. In that cove, he finds an even bigger surprise....a woman who has lived alone for 4 or 5 years (she is not sure of the exact time) and has not even traveled out to a town in all this time! He kidnaps her and takes her to his home to meet his mother, and in the process, he falls in love with Debba. Will Debba marry him or will she insist on going back to live in her own cabin alone?
MY REVIEW: This is a delightful novella. Debba and Tanner are precious characters. He truly cares about her and fears for her loneliness in living alone. I loved this novella and rated it 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.
A Highbrow Hoodwink by Rebecca Jepson: Aspen, Colorado, February 1883, Katie has an illegimate son, Georgie, who is ten months old and Henry comes to find her and tell her the father of her baby is dead and he wants to take her son as Georgie is now the heir to a huge family fortune. She refuses to let her son go and Henry then asks her to marry him. She agrees, but life is not good between Henry and Katie. He resents her and her son. Will he ever look at her and her son with love in his eyes?
MY REVIEW: This was a surprising novella to read as many events popped up that I wasn't expecting. This made the book very excited. It is a light, quick read and well worth the time. I rated this novella 5 stars and highly recommend it.
Not So Pretty Penny by Amy Lillard:Kansas, 1867, Penny's brother and father have not returned from fighting in the Civil War and she needs a man to help her plant the crops and keep the farm going for when her loved ones return. So she does the only thing she can think of in desperation, she goes to the jail to buy a prisoner to be her husband. She marries Wash in this way and he agrees, but plans to leave after the crops are in to exact revenge on the man who murdered his sister and framed him for the murder. What will happen with Penny and Wash living on the farm and not loving each other?
MY REVIEW: This novella made me imagine the agony that many experienced from the Civil War. Women had little choice in many cases but to marry men out of necissity. I found the characters believable and likable. I was drawn into the story and hopeful for the future for Wash and Penny. I rated this novella 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.
All's Fair by Gina Welborn: Wathens, Kansas, July 4, 1900, Coral Davies and Hiram Kent were secretly seeing each other but the Davies and Kent families had a long feud running and the Kent and Davies' boys saw them together one day. They fought Hiram and Jack Kent threw Coral into the icy waters of the river and caused her to be deaf in one ear. They fight again years later and all end up thrown in jail. The judge orders a Kent and Davies to marry or he will charge them all. Jack Kent and Coral Davies volunteer to marry. How will their marriage ever work though? Will this end the families' feud?
MY REVIEW: This is a very touching novella focusing on forgiveness and stopping generational sins. Forgiveness is certainly not easy but Coral and Jack both work hard to make it happen, and this book inspires others to do the same. I rated this novella 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.
The Colorado Coincidence by Kathleen Y'Barbo: May 1878, Callyville, Colorado, Gloree Lowe's husband and children have died after they moved from Texas to Colorado, and a man from the town and his two sons come to buy her farm and home from her....ordering her to accept their offer. Mack McCoy happens to ride up on the scene and helps Gloree and ends up marrying her and paying the debt on the farm to the bank. It is a marriage of convenience and both Gloree and Mack have secrets they are keeping. Will love come to them and will they share their secrets and resolve their differences?
MY REVIEW: Again, I felt so bad for women in this time period as they had no rights to ownership of land. The land went to a man as in the case here. The will stipulated it could belong to a man who would become her husband. It must have felt very lonely for women in many ways, especially being physically far from other families. I fell in love with this couple and just wanted the best for them, as if they were true friends of mine. I rated this novella 5 stars and definitely recommend it to readers.
Railroaded into Love by Rose Ross Zediker: Montana, 1895, Molly was picked up by the deputy where she was living in a saloon after her brother dropped her there and left. The deputy takes her to his brother, Noah, who is a new minister serving the Railroad and living and preaching from a railroad car. He wants Noah to let her stay with him but the minister in charge of Noah says it would be improper unless they were married, so they get married so that Molly can stay there. She plays the organ and sings for the services and helps Noah. But her outlaw brother, Cass, is trouble and means to harm them all. Will they find love in their marriage or have it annulled? Will Cass be found and straighten up?
MY REVIEW: This was very interesting as I had never heard of preachers working out of the railroad cars in this manner. I was married to a minister and it actually sounds very exciting. This novella addresses prejudice and tolerance for others in a lovely way. I rated this novella 5 stars and would be glad to recommend it to readers.
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.