The Courageous Brides Collection from Barbour Publishing (review)

courageousbrides_barbourThe Healing Promise by Johnnie Alexander

The Doctor’s Woman by Michelle Griep

An Everlasting Promise by Eileen Key

Love on the Run by Debby Lee

Hidden Courage by Rose Allen McCauley

The Unencumbered Bride by Donita Kathleen Paul

Mountain Echoes by Jennifer Uhlarik

Letters from Lucy by Jenness Walker

The Battlefield Bride by Renee Yancy

This is yet another great themed collection of novellas from Barbour Books.  That said, I was a bit leery about this particular collection for no identifiable reason.  It included an author I’ve greatly enjoyed (Johnnie Alexander, though only a contemporary novel before this), an author I’ve been wanting to try (Michelle Griep – especially her novel The Captive Heart), authors I’ve read in other collections (Renee Yancy and Jennifer Uhlarik from The Convenient Bride Collection and Debby Lee from Mountain Christmas Brides – review to come soon), and four new-to-me authors that just might be surprise favorites (this is always part of my hope for these collections).  Once I dove into this collection, however, it was hard to limit myself to one story a night.

How could I resist stories of grief, courage, and (gasp) riding astride?  Stories of farmers, Indians, cattle drives, rustlers, frontier doctors, Pony Express riders, Pinkerton agents, criminals, and greedy land-grabbers. Add to that a romance between former slaves (interesting premise, but would rank among my least favorites of this collection), a cute kid here and there, and dime store novels to boot.

If you enjoy historical fiction set in the American West, this is a great collection.  If you enjoy stories that include characters’ spiritual journeys, you will enjoy this even more.  Highly recommended. And those new-to-me authors?  I’ll be looking forward to more from Jenness Walker and Donita Kathleen Paul in particular.

I’d love to find some actual dime store novels to read one of these days… or maybe I should just reread Karen Witemeyer’s novella The Husband Maneuver.

The Courageous Brides Collection: Compassionate Heroism Attracts Male Suitors to Nine Spirited Women (various authors) | Barbour Books, July 2016 | paperback, 448 pgs

This review refers to a review e-book copy read, courtesy of the publisher, through NetGalley.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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