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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book Review: 12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection 2 by Mary Connealy, Amanda Cabot, and Maureen Lang

A Bride Rides Herd by Mary Connealy
The Fourth of July Bride by Amanda Cabot
The Summer Harvest Bride by Maureen Lang
In Novella Collection 2 of the 12 Brides of Summer series

ARC, E-Book, 149 pages
Shiloh Run Studios
July 1, 2015
★★★★ ½☆

Heat Rating:

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Western, Short Stories

Source: Received for review via Netgalley request
Love Is Buzzing in the Good Old Summertime!  Spend the sunny days of summer relaxing with an ice cold glass of lemonade and revel in the dreams of twelve brides who are a bit surprised by how the men of their dreams come into their lives.  Journey to the Old West, stay on the prairie, and visit quaint small towns. . .without leaving the comfort of your own front porch! 
Fireworks start to fly as love finds its way into open hearts in Novella Collection #2:
A Bride Rides Herd by Mary Connealy
Matt Reeves arrives at his brother’s ranch to find Betsy Harden alone with the little girls during a cattle drive. Will the ladies be too much to handle when Matt steps in for the missing ranch hand?
The Fourth of July Bride by Amanda Cabot
Cattle baron Gideon Carlisle offers to pay for surgery that Naomi Towson’s mother needs, if Naomi will enter a faux courtship with him while his mother is visiting over the fourth of July. It’s a business arrangement, nothing more.
The Summer Harvest Bride by Maureen Lang
Sally Hobson is practically engaged to the mayor’s son when Lukas Daughton and his family come to town to build a gristmill. She can’t deny an unusual feeling growing for Lukas, but is he trustworthy?
These novella/short story collections are prefect for me when I’m not ready for a long-term commitment with a new book. We all have those days, for me, it especially after finishing a lengthy book. Here you get three complete little romances, about a 3 hour commitment of your time for the whole book, and they are complete with great characters, simple love, and some fun plot twists.

A Bride Rides Herd by Mary Connealy was the perfect way to kick off this collection. From the first lines there is non-stop action until the very end. It grabs you and sucks you in. The male lead, Matt, stumbles upon Betsey who is caring for his brother’s children. Neither of them know too much about taking care of kids and quite the adventure unfolds. The way it is written it would be the perfect western rom-com movie! Mary Connealy is known for her incorporation of humor in her works and that is on display here to great effect. I loved all the characters and it was well paced – I didn’t want this one to end!

The Fourth of July Bride by Amanda Cabot is your classic tale of two people who need each other to solve a problem that they have; their relationship is a business deal and nothing more. Until they start to fall for each other. It felt something like an old school She’s All That, which I loved (minus the bet). Something always gets in the way and in this novel that is religion. It is a tried and true trope but I found the religious angle to be believable for the time period. It was fun to read that a few of the secondary characters in this story were featured in their own works, The Christmas Star Bride (from the 12 Brides of Christmas novella series) and Waiting for Spring.

The Summer Harvest Bride by Maureen Lang is a tale of unexpected love. Sally is comfortable with her life and there is an expectation from everyone in town that she will be marrying the mayor’s son, it’s just a matter of when. When these new visitors show up with a startling plan to build a mill in the town, which throws a wall up between Sally and her intended as they end up on opposite sides of this debate. And that leave some room for Lukas to try to wiggle his way into Sally’s heart. But what does she want, the life that is expected or something that she can’t see yet what the future will bring? I thought all of the characters were very full for a short story and I appreciated that they received the same treatment as those in a novel. The choices the characters made felt true to their core. I also enjoyed the details included about the building and operations of a grist mill. I have had some experience with these during my MANY trips to Old Sturbridge Village so I can attest to it simulating the real experience. This novella included the least of the inspirational/Christian elements.

Overall, this was another wonderful collection; none of the stories were a letdown at all. I have one collection left in this series and I can’t wait to have the chance to read it!

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Also Part of the 12 Brides of Summer Series:

12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #1
[My Review]
12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #3

12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #4
[My Review]


Find the 12 Brides Series (Including the Christmas Series): Website | Facebook

Find Mary Connealy: Website | Blog

Find Amanda Cabot: Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter

Find Maureen Lang: Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Blog


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