I enjoyed each story in this collection, whether from tried and true writers Margaret Brownley, Darlene Franklin, and Vickie McDonough, or those that are new or newer to me, Rosey Dow, Marcia Gruver, and Debra Ullrick.
These are stories of faith, perseverance, survival, and ultimately of love. Whenever the mood strikes for historical fiction set in the old west, with a Christmas theme, this is a great choice. Though a story or two may seem to drag slightly from time to time, this is a collection full of determined heroines, eligible heroes, and wonderful secondary characters who help them see the light, if they don’t on their own.
A good, solid 3 out of 5 stars. A great addition to your to-read shelf if clean Christian romance in an Old West setting appeals to you. Holiday season optional.
Old West Christmas Brides: 6 Historical Romances Celebrate Christmas on the Frontier by Margaret Brownley, Rosey Dow, Darlene Franklin, Marcia Gruver, Vickie McDonough, Debra Ullrick | Barbour Books, September 2018 | 400 pages, ebook
This review refers to a digital galley read through NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
From the publisher:
It is hard for a woman to make a decent living in the Wild West of the late 1800s, and as the Christmas season approaches, prospects for a happy celebration seem dim.
A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley
Stranded alone in Nebraska Territory in 1882 with a broken wagon and two stubborn mules, Ellie-Mae Myers has no way to continue searching for her twin brother along the deserted Pony Express route or of returning home to Kentucky. Could a man on the verge of being hanged be the answer to her prayers?
A Wife in Name Only by Rosey Dow
Katherine Priestly seeks a job to help support her mother and brother. A local ranch seeks a cook, but by 1884 standards, the owner, Brett Masten, will only hire a married woman to work among his men. Desperate, Catherine claims she is a married woman at the tender age of eighteen. Will her charade become a barrier to true love and send her home without enough money to buy Christmas presents?
Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter by Darlene Franklin
Lucy Ames’ dreams come true when her sharp shooting makes her the star act of Major Paulson’s Wild West Show in 1891. Gordon Paulson is traveling with his parents for one last season before accepting a teaching position at West Texas Christian College. As Lucy’s and Gordon’s love for each other grows, will God weave their gifts and dreams into a single calling?
A Badlands Christmas by Marcia Gruver
Noela Nancarrow and her pampered sister have been dragged into the Badlands by their adventurous father to live penniless in a sod house in 1885. When a local rancher invites Noela to a lavish Christmas party, will her holiday spirit return or will she learn a lesson far greater from the experience?
Unexpected Blessings by Vickie McDonough
Anna Campbell sets out to deliver two small orphans to their uncle in Texas during December of 1880. Erik Olson knows it’s impossible for those cute little pests to be his brother’s and refuses to accept them—regardless of Anna’s persistence. Little do they know that behind the scenes, Erik’s Uncle Lars and his buddies are doing a little matchmaking, hoping to give the children a father and a mother.
A Grand County Christmas by Debra Ullrick
In 1883, Awnya O’Crean is on the brink of starvation and homeless in the Colorado Mountains. When she goes hunting for food, God places her in the path of Amadeus Josef. Will Christmas with the Josef family teach Awnya how God works in mysterious ways?