Thou wilt show me the path of life
When authors come together to compile a collection of stories based upon a mutual theme into one book you have in my belief a wonderful afternoon entertainment at your fingertips. I love certain themes, such as mail order brides, so when I have in my hands a book that has not one but multiple stories to read I plan ahead. I will find somewhere to send my kids, grab my throw for these cold days and a cup of hot chocolate and cuddle into my favorite chair while escape into bliss page after page.
I have several of these collections just waiting for me to pick them up. The first one I read brought back thoughts of that wonderful warm summer we had not too long ago. The collection is titled, “12 Brides of Summer” Novella #4. There are three stories within each book by various authors. Novella #4 contains stories by authors Vickie McDonough, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, and Davalynn Spencer.
The first story in the novella is, “The County Fair Bride” by Vickie McDonough. This is a short, sweet romance that begins with two characters that seem an unlikely match. But that old saying says that opposites attract, right?
Prudence Willard is a woman who is of a strong, forceful personality. A year ago in the story, Prudence with her overwhelming attitude caused problems for the church pastor and his fiancée and had to leave town to live with her aunt. In that year, Prudence, under the tutelage of her Aunt Louise realized what kind of person she had become and how much trouble she had caused. Deciding that she had been more like her Mother than she cared for, Prudence vowed to change her ways.
Prudence’s father, who is the town mayor, falls ill and Prudence travels home to be with him and to help where she can. She is nervous of course of facing the town, especially the pastor and his wife, after her behavior. Soon after arriving home, Prudence decides that the best way to help her father is to make sure that the man who has taken over the position is fully aware that he will not be keeping her father’s job. She is determined to dog his every step to make sure her father’s interests are secure.
Adam Merrick has heard about Prudence Willard and her headstrong behavior, but he isn’t at all prepared for the whirlwind she creates in her wake. He finds her beautiful but rather difficult to deal with. No matter how much he tries to tell her he doesn’t need her help, she keeps showing up. Then to have her accuse him of ill managing the town funds is just ridiculous. When Prudence demands to know what his plans are for the town and building up the funds, he explains his idea of holding a county fair.
Adam and Prudence are both excited over the county fair and they decide to work together to make it happen. By spending time together and slowly growing to admire each other, Adam and Prudence find they do feel more than friendship for the other. It isn’t until an accident occurs on the day of the fair that those feelings are admitted by Prudence. But is it too late to say what she feels to Adam?
The County Fair Bride is a where to very opposite people are brought together through redemption and learning to overlook faults in favor of strengths. Vickie McDonough is a wonderful author of sweet western romances to enjoy.
The second story is “The Honey Bride” by author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. This is a story that has the underlining lesson that if our lives go up in flames, God will make something beautiful of the ashes.
Katie Tucker loses her father in a fire leaving her to look after the farm, her brother and her grandmother. But she has a problem….her father called her delicate and said she will never marry for it. But Pete Dent sees her courage and her shyness and knows she is far from delicate and wants to marry her. When Katie finds that her father took a loan out on the farm she tries to find a job to pay the loan that is coming due soon. To add to her sorrow she will also feel guilty as she discovers that the loan was for the Queen bees she begged her father for in order to sell honey and the wax. Determined to save the farm as her brother’s legacy she prays for help from God knowing she can’t do it alone.
Pete Dent has had a rough life. He lost his parents and then his younger brother was adopted separating them. Pete spent several years drifting trying to find his brother and never settling down which lead to be branded with suspicion. When Pete meets Katie he falls for her and decides he wants to stay. When Katie’s father dies in the fire, Pete wants to step in to help and enlists the aid of his friends to convince Katie to hire him to work the farm.
When a drifter shows up at the farm saying that he was hired by Katie’s father she isn’t sure what to do but knows she isn’t comfortable with him. Pete shows up to help with the drunken, foul mouth drifter but still feels lead to help the man. W.D. as the drifter calls himself proves himself to be less than ideal to be around with his drinking and attitude. When God leads Pete to confront W.D. a discovery is made that may force Pete to leave Katie. Will Katie accept the news or is just too much after all that has happened?
A very good and easy read to enjoy the afternoon with. Learn the lesson with Pete and Katie that God has planned for them and watch HIS work unfold.
The third book is by author, Davalynn Spencer and is titled, “The Columbine Bride”; A beautiful story of personal strength and determination with God’s love leading the way.
Buck Reiter gave up his life plans to help his widowed sister raise her so and care for the ranch. Now years later he feels it is his time to leave and find his own place. He wasn’t expecting God to place him in the mercantile at the same time widow Lucy Powell and her children would be. Believing his offer to help comes from the Lord’s command to help widows and orphans; Buck doesn’t expect to lose his heart to this family and wish to become a part of it. Over time, Buck comes to admire Lucy and must choose between her and his life dream.
Lucy Powell cannot accept any more charity. She has had enough and is determined to support herself and her children. Her neighbor, Buck Reiter, comes to her aid but she is stubborn. His persistence soon wears her down and she finds she has come to depend on and care for Buck. Her children love Buck and ask her if he will be their Pa. Asking God daily for Him to show her the path to follow and placing her trust in His guidance, Lucy finally admits that she loves Buck and wants to marry him. Lucy informs her daughter that a lady must wait for the man to ask her for marriage… so she waits for Buck to do so.
When Buck is late coming back from the range, Lucy is scared that she has lost him just as she had lost her husband. Placing her faith in God, Lucy waits and trusts that Buck will come home.
This collection of summer brides was inspiring in that it shows we don’t know what God has planned for us, but if we allow him to take charge and follow the path he sets for us, then we may find ourselves surprised in ways we never imagined. I love collection such as these for their easy reading and loving messages. Each story had characters you will love. Inner strength shines in the women and the men show they admire, respect, support and love them just as they are.
If you are like me and love to settle down for a relaxing afternoon of stress free reading. I believe you would love these novellas with soul touching inspiration. I do have more collections waiting for me to read. Keep watch for the post….medieval times, cowboys, and pioneers. Sounds like a few great days ahead for me!
Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1YPU9Kk