Wednesday, January 20, 2016

With This Ring?

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer's "The Husband Maneuver," Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers "Her Dearly Unintended," where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives.

Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride" finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears' "Engaging the Competition" finds a young woman forced to assist the man she's often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry 
Published January 5th 2016 
 by Bethany House  
4 Stars

My Thoughts:

Bethany House has released a collection of 4 historical novellas by some of my favorite authors.  Each story is a stand alone and in no way connected to the others. Each story is well written and pulled me in immediately.  Each were laced with both humor, romance and a small amount of suspense.  The settings are late 1800's and take you from Texas to the Ozarks and ending in the Kansas plains.  
The Husband Maneuver is the first novella which is set in Texas during the spring of 1892 where Miranda Hawkins finds herself in a crossroads.  She lives with her father on the Double H Ranch and his ranch hands.  One in particular caught her attention years ago, Daniel Barrett.  Daniel is her father's foreman, but previous to his employment he was a well known, bounty hunter.  In fact much to his disgust he was the lead characters in a dime store novel, Dead-Eyed Dan, in which Miranda was a fan of.  When she over hears a Dan telling her father he had bought himself a ranch and would be quitting, Miranda knew she needed to do some quick maneuvering if she was to end up with the man of her dreams.  
The second story, Her Dearly Unintended, takes you to the Ozarks during a raging thunderstorm where Katie Ellen is alone tending the farm.  Josiah Huckabee was either a blessing or a nuisance.  A few years ago she had thought they had more than a friendship, but after a comment her made she finally knew her place as nothing more than an inconvenience.  Josiah knew Katie Ellen had been a little bit prickly the last few years, but when the storm came up and knowing she was alone he went to check on her.  Unfortunately with the bridge washed away and trapped Josiah feels this is the opportunity for them to settle their differences. 
The Runaway Bride, brings us Carrie Halsey and John Conroy and story filled with supsense.  Carrie's father has essentially sold her to the highest bidder and she refuses to see the wedding through.  She flees her home in the dead of night and runs into none other than Big John Conroy Texas Ranger.  John was hired to help her escape her father's clutches and get her to Colorado to her sister.  As the two set on their every step is dogged by would be kidnappers hired by the intended groom. Will they reach her sister in time?
Engaging the Competition, is the fourth and last novella in this collection.  We meet Harrison Gray and Charlotte Andrews who had grown up together in their small town.  Harrison is a school teacher and Charlotte has taken over the running of the family ranch after the death of her father.  In their younger days Harrison and Charlotte had been rivals after she bested him in a shooting match, of course her take on the events were quiet different from his.  Events have thrown them together one more time during a tornado and sparks began to fly. 
Fourth unique and different situations, but full of love, humor and some suspense.  
Collectively the characters are complex and very real issues, but very lovable. The plots flew effortlessly and kept my attention.  Each story held a certain amount of romantic tension and humor that kept me entertained until the last page was closed.  These are clean, feel good romances. 
If you love history, romance and humor then this is definitely a good book for you.  I would recommend it to anyone. 
*I received this book from the publisher for a honest review free of bias or outside influence.  
 Available for Purchase:
Meet the Authors:
Karen Witemeyer 
 CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. In 2011, her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, was a finalist in the Best First Book categories for both the prestigious RITA® award and the National Reader's Choice Award. Karen holds a master's degree in Psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and her local writers' guild. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.
Regina Jennings 
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children.
Mary Connealy 
 Mary Connealy is the bestselling author of romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner and a Rita and Christy and IRCC Award Finalist.
  Mary says her writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence, oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness.
Melissa Jagears 
Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance after everyone is asleep. She’s the author of the Unexpected Brides Series with Bethany House. The prequel ebook novella, Love by the Letter is free to try. 

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