This novella collection brings together, once again, four of my go-to authors for Historical Christian Romance. Like their previous collection, With This Ring?, these are stories that combine faith, romance, and adventure with a dash of humor.
The Love Knot by Karen Witemeyer is the final installment in the Ladies of Harper’s Station series, and I love that it is the story of the colony’s resident runaway mail-order bride. When Claire Nevin meets the train to take delivery of a package from her flighty younger sister, she has no idea that it will end up being the new love of her life delivered by the man whose heartbreaking actions had led to her living in Harper’s Station. This story of Pieter van Duren’s devotion and determination in the face of Claire’s mistrust is so sweetly satisfying that it makes up for it being the end of a favorite series.
Mary Connealy returns to her Kincaid Brides series in The Tangled Ties That Bind, as Seth and Callie’s son Connor Kincaid finally returns to Rawhide, Colorado, ready to pursue Ethan and Audra’s daughter Maggie. Having left when he started to feel more for his Uncle Ethan’s stepdaughter than he should, he’s returned to find that she’s stopped waiting for him and if he wants her to even consider marriage, he’ll have to follow her to the city and support her in her medical studies. But nothing is ever simple, and no matter how serious they each are in their pursuits, the going is far from smooth.
I was quite excited to return so soon to the Fort Reno series by Regina Jennings, especially as Bound & Determined has the impulsive Private Bradley Willis as a somewhat unlikely hero. For his actions during an ambush by the violent Gunther gang, his punishment comes in the form of escorting a retired Cavalry Captain, his daughter, and their peculiar mounts through Indian Territory. The Captain’s livestock is quite the surprise, as is his daughter Ambrosia. When she isn’t sabotaging her father’s mission, she’s defying expectations and Bradley’s assumptions. And wouldn’t you know it, the Gunther gang shows up on their trail. The most adventurous of these four stories, this is also the one that made me laugh out loud.
Melissa Jagears’ Tied & True flips a few romantic conventions on their heads while bring us into a new century and showing a glimpse of the plight of many factory workers in 1908. Marianne Lister is a tender-hearted heiress in love with the secretary of the man her parents want her to marry. Calvin Hochstetler is of a charitable mind as well, but knows that Marianne is out of his league and is afraid that marriage to her would end in the same heartache as his parents. But Marianne is determined to win him, despite his refusing her proposal, and will go to great lengths to prove his fears wrong while her parents are out of town. As the ending novella in this quartet, this Teaville Moral Society novella struck just the right note.
While each novella is part of or related to a series, and is sure to delight those who have read them, no previous reading experience is required. If you love Historical Christian Romance with adventure, humor, and a bit of push and pull between the protagonists, then this is a novella collection I would highly recommend. 4.5 stars.
Hearts Entwined by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears | Bethany House, January 2018 | paperback, 352 pages
This review refers to a finished copy I voluntarily received through the publisher’s Blogger program. All opinions expressed are my own. A positive review was not required, but really, with these authors was there ever a doubt?