Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Heartland Christmas Brides

Heartland Christmas Brides 

The 12 Brides of Christmas #1


by MAUREEN LANG (Author), AMY LILLARD (Author), Vickie McDonough and Margaret Brownley

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour (2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1630589349
When Texas ranger, Chad Prescott, wakes up from a gunshot injury in Kansas, he finds himself surrounded by German nutcrackers and nursed by the feisty Lucy Langdon.  Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship or just a bad dream?

My thoughts:  Margaret Brownley is another of my favorite historical authors. I absolutely loved THE NUTCRACKER BRIDE.  I thought Lucy’s character was beautifully done and I couldn't help but fall in love with Chad. I wanted to see these two get together. Great Christmas novella. 5 stars.

THE GIFT-WRAPPED BRIDE by Maureen Lang: Sophie Stewart’s family has just moved to Chicago to join her brother and help start a church. Sophie is an artist with big dreams, but she feels her parents are pushing her to marry someone like Noah Jackson, a young man from their Ohio hometown. But forgiving the past and recognizing Noah’s maturity and changes may take a miracle.

My thoughts:  THE GIFT-WRAPPED BRIDE is a typical hatred to love romance. Sophie was not happy with her parents for moving to Chicago and parading her around as a horse gone to auction to eligible bachelors. She's also less than thrilled that her enemy Noah Jackson seems to be relentlessly pursing her. Noah made some mistakes, but now he has a heart for God and for troubled youth. Not only that, but he knows how to reach them. I really liked Noah and his wisdom and persistence in pursing Sophie. Sophie I wanted to sit down and  have a good talking to about her rudeness. The ending was very rushed. 4 stars. 

THE GINGERBREAD BRIDE by Amy Lillard: Maddie Sinclair loves Harlan Calhoun, but feels like she can’t get his attention, so she visits an eccentric woman in the Ozark Mountains for an herbal mixture—a love potion—that she bakes into a batch of gingerbread cookies. When Harlan suddenly proposes, Maddie is torn by guilt and confusion. Is this true love or just the herbs talking?

My thoughts: THE GINGERBREAD BRIDE is such an adorable story! I have never read any of Ms. Lillard’s books – not even her Amish which is what she’s most known for – so when I was offered a chance to review her Christmas novella I jumped at it—for several reasons. I absolutely love Christmas stories and if they are laced with fun, snow, cookies, and mistletoe all the better. Ms. Lillard includes all of the above in this fast paced novella. 

If you are looking for a good Christmas story to read, you’ll want to read Ms. Lillard’s THE GINGERBREAD BRIDE.  Highly recommended. 5 stars:  

THE FRUITCAKE BRIDE by Vickie McDonough:  Pastor Clayton Parsons waited a year to bring his fiancée, Karen Briggs, to his new church post. They plan a Christmas wedding, but in the meantime Karen helps the church ladies with various projects, including a bake sale. But revealing her fruitcake recipe could spell disaster for her future in Bakerstown, Missouri.

My thoughts:  THE FRUITCAKE BRIDE is cute. A pastor, appropriately named Parsons, is marrying his long time friend, Karen. Karen thinks of Clay as more of a big brother than a groom, and is sure it's just a marriage of convenience. Plus, she's not at all sure she'll be a good pastor's wife. Her welcome to Bakerstown sign broke in half upon her arrival for pity's sake. I wasn't at all sure how this book would go. At first, with Karen's thoughts I figured that Clay would marry another woman and she'd marry someone else. But things changed, almost two quick. Some of the misunderstandings and accusations seemed contrived, but it did keep the tension high. This wasn't my favorite story in this collection, but it was okay. 3 stars. 

Recipes are included after each story. Over all 4.25 for the collection. 

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