Friday, January 4, 2019

"Old West Christmas Brides: 6 Historical Romances Celebrate Christmas on the Frontier"

This was a fun collection!  My own personal Cowboy said that he thought this was the most Hamlette-ish book he'd ever heard of, since Christmas and the Old West are two of my very most favorite things :-)

Here's a bit about each novella,  and how I liked it:

+ A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley featured a stubborn young woman trying to find her brother, who used to be a Pony Express rider.  She rescues a man from lynching and gets him to help her on her quest.  This was a nice way to ease into the collection, but didn't strike me as particularly wonderful.

+ A Wife in Name Only by Rosey Dow was definitely my favorite story.   I thought it was going to involve a marriage of convenience, but it completely surprised me by not going that direction at all.  Also, it had lots of cooking and homemaking stuff going on that just delighted me.  In it, a young woman must find a job to help support her parents and siblings, but the rancher who needs a new housekeeper insists on hiring only a married woman, so she lies and says she IS married.  I usually hate stories where all the complications are based on a lie, but this one didn't bug me at all, and I'm still trying to figure out why.

+ Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter by Darlene Franklin was about a female sharpshooter who joins a wild west show, basically becoming the Texas version of Annie Oakley.  While this collection as a whole is overtly Christian, this story preached and preached and preached at me in a very wearisome way, and I didn't care for it much at all.

+ A Badlands Christmas by Marcia Gruver was another favorite for me.  An Australian gentleman and his two daughters move to the Dakotas to begin again after he loses his fortune in New York City.  I've got a fondness for Aussies, and I just visited the Badlands this summer, so I really enjoyed those angles as well as the overall story here.

+ Unexpected Blessings by Vickie McDonough was my third favorite in this collection.  A governess tries to find the uncle of her two recently orphaned pupils.  I loved the supporting cast in this one, as a small town opens its arms to help these two bereaved children and their determined chaperone.

+ A Grand County Christmas by Debra Ullrick was rollicking fun, and I did enjoy all the German words and culture in it, but the whole story hinged very strongly on coincidences, so I didn't like it quite as well as other stories here.  In it, a starving woman stumbles into contact with a widower, who takes her home to his three children and his mother, and she falls in love with all of them and never wants to leave, basically.

(From my Instagram account)

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for some kissing and some dangerous situations.  Otherwise quite clean.

I didn't manage to finish it before the end of the year, so it doesn't count toward my Literary Christmas Challenge, but since I read more than half of it after January 1, I can count it toward Mount TBR 2019 instead!  One down, twenty-three to go.

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