Title: A JANUARY BRIDE
Author: Deb Raney
Genre: Contemporary romance
A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
What will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser's 'pen pal' friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn?
Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie's never met the innkeeper---but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie's alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn's owner---a man who's likely many years her senior---and who she's never even met.
Arthur Tyler is a college professor who lost his young wife to cancer. Together they ran the bed and breakfast where Art lives, but without his wife, the house is missing warmth and cheer. He jumps at the chance to have author Madeleine Houser use the space that was once filled with guests. He, too, begins to enjoy the daily exchanges with Maddie, but a series of misunderstandings lead him to believe she's far from being a prospective date---even if he were ready to date again, which he's not.
When Maddie and Art finally meet and discover one another's identity, sparks fly. Even so, they each have obstacles to overcome in order for this winter romance to blossom.
A JANUARY BRIDE was previously published as a Barbour Books novella, Playing by Heart. I remembered reading all those many years ago, but it was just as enjoyable the second time around.
As a published author on a deadline I totally relate to Maddie’s dilemma. I love that her neighbor found her a place to write, and that she found a romance in the deal. I appreciate the learning to trust God for all her needs that Maddie had to come to understand, and how Art had to learn to let go of his grief.
A short read that is easily devoured in a matter of hours, A JANUARY BRIDE has a message that will ultimately stay with the reader for a long time. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $3.63. 99 pages.