Tag Archives: Novella Collection

Ladies of Intrigue

Ladies of Intrigue:

3 Tales of 19th-Century Romance with a Dash of Mystery

By Michelle Griep

The Story

3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!

Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady

Cornish Coast, 1815

When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)

Dakota Territory, 1862

Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets

St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890

Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

(Back cover summary from Barbour Publishing)


I only recently became aware of the compelling stories Michelle Griep writes, so I love that this novella collection gives a snapshot of her abilities to write engrossing stories—no matter the backdrop.

After reading Laura Frantz’s A Bound Heart, I loved getting to dive back into a similar world with the first novella. It was a fun read, with enough twists in it to keep it interesting.

The middle novella was my favorite. I can see why this was a Carol award winner. Emmy and James clash immediately, and it was fun to see that in such a vivid way right from the start. These two characters have such great chemistry, and the issues they each face, both without and within themselves, are so believable. Those are the kind of stories that I love because they challenge me to change as well.

The last novella has a different flair to it. Amanda finds herself pitted against an unknown person (at least for a time) as she tries to do good in her community and gain her father’s approval. Secrets are the main problem for these two, but there are legitimate reasons behind them, rather than the sometimes cliché ‘misunderstanding’.

I enjoyed all three of these novellas because they gave me a glimpse into the talents of Griep. Each story felt fresh and compelling, and ensured once again, that Michelle Griep will be one of my go-to authors.

About the Author

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write–except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager. To connect with Michelle Griep, you can find her online at https://michellegriep.com/ .

(Biography from Amazon)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.


The Cost of Betrayal

The Cost of Betrayal

By Dee Henderson; Dani Pettrey; & Lynette Eason

The Story




Dee Henderson – “Betrayed”

After serving six years of a twenty-year sentence for a murder she didn’t commit, Janelle Roberts is finally freed. But the truth is still waiting to be discovered, and a murderer is still at large. Janelle needs to be somewhere safe with someone she can trust. She may not survive another act of treachery.

Dani Pettrey – “Deadly Isle”

Tennyson Kent is trapped on the isolated island of her childhood by a storm surge, and she is shocked when the typically idyllic community turns into the hunting grounds of a murderer. Cut off from any help from the mainland, will she and first love Callen Frost be able to identify and stop a killer before they become the next victims?

Lynette Eason – “Code of Ethics”

When Detective Isaac Martinez lands in the ER with a gunshot wound, he pulls through thanks to trauma surgeon Ruthie St. John. But as the witness to a crime and possible corruption, Martinez is at risk from someone intent on silencing him–and those around him–forever. When he barely survives another attack while recovering, both he and Ruthie must flee, trying to outrun deadly killers while locating the evidence they need to end the danger.

(Back cover summary from Bethany House)


I’m afraid I just couldn’t get into the first novella. I think not having read the books connected to it was a disadvantage. I didn’t know the characters, and never really became invested in them. I think it was definitely a unique idea, and a good premise, but for me, there was just too much information about the whole process of investigating, pardons, and recovering after being falsely accused.

Dani Pettrey’s novella was thrilling. So much so that I couldn’t read it at night. Too creepy. I loved the idea of being cut off from help, and couldn’t help shuddering as the tale progressed. Callen is sweet and protective, and the perfect match for Tenni. And the twist at the end—so good! Despite stealing some of my sleep, I really liked Deadly Isle.

I’m not very familiar with Lynette Eason’s novels, but I’m about to change that! I really enjoyed that Ruthie’s job was a bit different than many of the suspense novel heroines out there. Her family was a super fun addition to the story, which definitely made me want to find out more about those characters.

Though I knew the theme of betrayal was going to weave throughout all of these novellas, it didn’t make it easy to guess who-dun-it! If you’re looking to lose some sleep, discover maybe a new-to-you suspense author, or be transported on a heart-stopping adventure, The Cost of Betrayal would be a great start.

About the Author

Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, including Taken, Undetected, Unspoken, Full Disclosure, and the acclaimed O’Malley and Uncommon Heroes series. Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Learn more at www.deehenderson.com.

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than 400,000 copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart.  She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit danipettrey.com.


Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Oath of Honor and Called to Protect, as well as the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

(Biography from Bethany House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection

Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection

By Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, & Melissa Jagears

The Story

The ways of love can be complex. Sometimes a relationship full of unexpected twists and unlikely turns leads to a bond that’s strong and secure. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that follow the winding path of romance in stories that celebrate a love that lasts forever.

The Love Knot

When Claire Nevin’s troubled younger sibling sends her an unexpected package by rail, the gift and the man who delivers it–an unexpected face from the past–threaten to upend Claire’s life forever. Fighting to hold on to all she has built, will she lose what matters most?

The Tangled Ties That Bind

Connor Kincaid returns home determined to win the hand of the woman he was too young for when he left. But Maggie is training to be a doctor in a distant town, while Connor’s about to settle on a ranch. Will either be willing to give up their dream? Or will they both have to give up the love of a lifetime?

Bound and Determined

As punishment for his recklessness, Private Bradley Willis is sent on an errand to help a retired cavalry officer move a herd across Indian Territory. No one told him the herd would be camels instead of cattle, nor that the officer’s headstrong daughter, Ambrosia Herald, would seem to be trying to undermine the whole enterprise. He’s definitely been saddled with more than he’s bargained for.

Tied and True

Wealthy Marianne Lister is in love with business assistant Calvin Hochstetler, but he can’t see past the difference in their social status. When Marianne takes a job to prove that she is prepared for a life of hard work alongside the man of her dreams, will it be enough to convince Calvin to risk it all for love?

(Back cover summary from Bethany House)


I have long enjoyed novella collections, especially those put out by Bethany House. Once again, they’ve released a stellar collection with a great bunch of authors.

The Love Knot

I really enjoyed this one because of how different the two characters were. While Claire is spit and fire, her alternate is sweet, quiet, and strong. Both have made mistakes in the past, and it is those mistakes that they must overcome. The situations that the characters encountered only proved the gold that was inside. This is a sweet story, and fans of Witemeyer’s previous Ladies of Harper Station novels will enjoy learning more about Claire.

The Tangled Ties that Bind

This story is a sweet novella that explores the sacrifices we’ll make for those we love. The characters are young, so as they explore their relationship and what it takes to make love work, they have a few adventures along the way. I love the hilarity that Mary Connealy always brings into her books, which was present in this novella, but also the serious, sweet elements.

Bound and Determined

This was probably my favorite out of all these great stories. Mainly because it was so unexpected. I mean, camels? I had no idea that the cavalry used them for a while. So not only was that funny, but the sabotage that Ambrosia tries to create was also hilarious. Add into that mix the adventurous and sweet Private Bradley Willis, and you have a story that will be over much too soon. Regina Jennings explores the various facets of courage, and how it’s not always what you might expect.

Tied and True

I liked the different take on this story, with Marianne taking an extremely difficult job of that time. I appreciate that Melissa Jagears had her fully commit to it. It lent authenticity to the story where it could have easily felt like she really didn’t put forth the effort. The way that twists and ties are brought into this story is truly sweet (cue the swoon). Melissa Jagears takes a deep, hard look at how our pasts can define us, and skew our view of reality for the future.

About the Authors

Learn more about Karen Witemeyer and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com .

Learn more about Mary Connealy and her books at www.maryconnealy.com .

Learn more about Regina Jennings and her books at www.reginajennings.com .

Learn more about Melissa Jagears and her books at www.melissajagears.com .

(Biography from Bethany House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

With This Ring?

25822013Book Review: With This Ring?

Authors: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, & Melissa Jagears

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website description of With This Ring?:

The Husband Maneuver

When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

Her Dearly Unintended

Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they’ll save their reputations–but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

Runaway Bride

Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he’s promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

Engaging the Competition

Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they’ll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison’s glasses–without which he’s nearly blind–she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.


            This latest novella collection put out by Bethany House has a stellar cast of authors known for their stunning, hilarious, sweet, and touching novels. I love reading romances ‘gone awry’, and that is just what this collection is all about. It was funny and poignant by turns, and I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed how Karen Witemeyer wrote about Daniel’s story, because I had been curious when I finished A Worthy Pursuit on whether his story would get to be told. Mary Connealy also brought in a familiar character in Big John Conroy, which was fun to read about. I don’t know if the two other couples were mentioned in previous books or not, since I’m not as up to date on those authors. But both Melissa Jagears’ and Regina Jennings’ stories were so much fun to read. I have to say, though, that I enjoyed Regina’s the most, which was a very tough decision to come to. But Josiah’s cocky tenacity and Katie Ellen’s OCD perfection were such a great combo. Add into that a mysterious stranger, who was a hilarious character himself, and a natural disaster and this novella is a winner.

I thoroughly enjoyed this whole collection, and it was very hard picking which one was my favorite. Novella collections are perfect for those who don’t have the time or maybe attention span to read a full length novel, and this particular one is a five-star read. I highly recommend it.

About the Author

Biographies from Bethany House’s website: Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has over half a million books sold. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina 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, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store, and A Bride at Last, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com

I was given a review copy of With This Ring? from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Among the Fair Magnolias

51mx7tavsmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Book Review: Among the Fair Magnolias

Authors: Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, Elizabeth Musser

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Book Look Bloggers’ website description of Among the Fair Magnolias:

Four Southern women are at a turning point in history . . . and in their own hearts.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander

The Civil War cost Savannah Darby everything-her family and her home. When Aidan Bedford, an attorney from Boston, buys the Darby estate, he hires Savannah to redecorate. Can she find a mysterious treasure before her job is finished?

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray

When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers that she is very ill and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love

Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser

Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.


Of all four of these authors, I’d previously read novels by a grand total of…one. But reading about the Old South before, after, and during the Civil War has always been fascinating for me. I think it’s because of how transitional the time was, how it took great courage to stand true to what you believed in, and the complex paradoxes people faced. Not everything was black and white. Gray abounded during this time. These four authors did a superb job of providing four intriguing, unique stories that didn’t feel rushed, despite the shorter wordcounts. Yet they all still provided what I love about this time period.

I enjoyed To Mend a Dream more than I did the novel where Savannah Darby first made an appearance, To Win Her Favor (you can read my thoughts on that book here). I liked Savannah as a character. She was hardworking, courageous, and struggled with her prejudice and the difficulties of working in a house in which she was previously mistress. A great wrap up to her story.

An Outlaw’s Heart is actually placed last in the collection, not second, just so there’s no confusion. This was a great ending to this collection, a true Western with a noble, yet flawed hero and an utterly villainous bad guy. 😉 It didn’t take me nearly as long as Nora to fall (again?) for Russell. A truly fun story.

Shudder, Charles. That’s partly what I remember from A Heart So True. Poor Abigail had to face whether to live up to her family’s heavy expectations, or follow the longing of her heart that clearly was leading in the right direction.

I honestly wasn’t sure which way the story, Love Beyond Limits, would go. Elizabeth Musser kept me—and Emily!—guessing. The Ku Klux Klan, that infamous group of the reconstruction period (and somewhat beyond) has a part in this book. I really enjoyed reading about Emily and how she tried to follow her convictions, yet at times found herself judging others unfairly.

Among the Fair Magnolias fufilled all it promised to be: Four sweet love stories, set during turbulent times, with choices demanded of the heros and heroines. I would definitely recommend this collection, especially to those who enjoy this historical time period. Or if you’re simply wanting to read something from your favorite author as well as discover someone new, this is a great collection in which to do so.

About the Authors

Biographies from Book Look Bloggers’ website:

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including A Lasting Impression and The Inheritance. Her richly-drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide. Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. Tamera and her husband recently returned to her Southern roots and now make their home in Nashville. Visit her website at http://www.tameraalexander.com Facebook: tamera.alexander Twitter: @tameraalexander

A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. Facebook: dorothylovebooks Twitter: @WriterDorothy

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio. Visit her website at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray Twitter: @ShelleySGray

Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls ‘entertainment with a soul.’ Elizabeth attended The Westminster Schools in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where she majored in French and English literature, graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

I was given a review copy of Among the Fair Magnolias from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Five Enchanted Roses

FiveEnchantedRosesFinalCoverBook Review: Five Enchanted Roses

Authors: Kaycee Browning, Savannah Jezowski, Jenelle Schmidt, Dorian Tsukioka, and Hayden Wand

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Amazon’s website description of Five Enchanted Roses:

Rediscover the Enchantment!

A ship bearing the souls of sinful sailors drifts upon a ghostly sea. An abbey looms as the final defense between mortals and ghouls of the underworld. In the stillness of a throne room, statues stand forever frozen in a moment of terror. Monsters and men stalk their prey deep in the jungle’s shadows. A rose blooms in the dead of winter, sheltered in the ruins of an ancient Scottish castle.

And only true love can free the Beast from his prison.


I try to read two or three novella collections every year, simply because I love the flow of a shorter story and the creativity that can be used in such a collection. After reading the Five Glass Slippers collection from last year, I knew that Five Enchanted Roses would need to be on my to be read list. Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite fairy tale, though I know it is also one of the most debated. So, let’s get right into it and I’ll tell you what I thought of this collection.

Esprit De La Rose was fascinating and confusing as I scrambled to keep up with what was going on, just like Cecilia, the heroine had to do. I loved the element of pirates and the amazing creativity the author had to come up with to form the unique story world for the novella. It’s a great start to the collection, one that will press you to keep reading until the end.

Wither was…spell bounding. I couldn’t predict a single thing that would happen in this novella. The Beast of this tale was complicated and who he ends up being was a surprise for me. I liked the heroine’s spunk and the hero’s noble cause. It’s a story that will give you chills, yet also manages to attain the elements of Beauty and the Beast.

Stone Curse twists the original tale on its side and views the story from a new angle, one that kept me guessing and had me intrigued. Rather than have the ‘beauty’ come to the castle, we see that character already there and the beast is not entirely expected. Redemption would be the key word for this tale, for more than one character.

Rosara and the Jungle King was so much fun to read! The setting of the Amazon rainforest was awesome, the villain was truly terrible, and the beast intriguing. I wasn’t quite sure how a happy ending would be attained, or if it would be, but the ending is satisfying and definitely worth the read.

The Wulver’s Rose, the final novella in the collection, sticks closest to the original story yet still has its own unique elements to make it a good read. The use of the prologue and epilogue was excellent, and the motivation of Bonnie was well-done. I felt for the poor girl, as well as for the beast. In all, a good ending to the collection.

Rooglewood Press puts out another great fairy tale retelling collection, again bringing stories bursting with creativity that will keep the reader delighted and entertained, challenged and satisfied. I highly recommend this collection to lovers of fairy tales and the Beauty and the Beast story. In this collection, you’ll find the story as you’ve never read it before.

About the Authors

Biography from Rooglewood Press’s Website: Kaycee Browning is a homeschooled teenager living in North Carolina. She wrote her first novel when she was thirteen and published a novel at age fifteen. When not writing, she is most likely amusing herself by reading, fangirling, hanging out with friends, or (occasionally) doing her schoolwork. She resides with her two amazing parents, her three awesome siblings, and her two bossy dachshunds.To find out more about Kaycee and her work, visit: www.KayceeBrowning.com

Savannah Jezowski lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, who is no less shiny after eight years of matrimony, and a loyal brigade of kitties, who may or may not sleep on the job. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights, and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She likes books, faeries, writing hats, and having tea with her imaginary friends. To learn more about Savannah and her work, visit: www.SavannahJaysWorkshop.blogspot.com

Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-midwest. She now resides with her husband and their three adorable children in North Carolina where the summers are too hot and there is never enough snow. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family storytimes. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.To learn more about Jenelle and her work, visit: www.JenelleSchmidt.com

Dorian Tsukioka writes fairy tale retellings, young adult fantasy, and science fiction with just a dash of romance thrown in to keep things spicy. When she’s not writing, Dorian teaches 5th graders in Kansas City, MO, or she can be found chasing after her two, pixie-esque daughters. She has a love of learning and teaching, and loves to talk about books with anyone who will listen, especially if the conversation includes cinnamon-chip scones and caramel lattes.To learn more about Dorian and her work, visit: www.DorianWrites.blogspot.com

Hayden Wand is a Christian and a homeschool graduate who has loved the classic story of Beauty and the Beast since the age of three, when she saw the Disney movie for the first time. When she’s not writing, reading, or bribing her siblings to read the classics, you can find her baking, crafting, practicing her archery skills, or watching her favorite shows on the BBC. She lives in South Carolina with her parents and four energetic younger siblings. To learn more about Hayden and her work, visit: www.everystory-storygirl.blogspot.com

I was given a review copy of Five Enchanted Roses from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Four Weddings and a Kiss


18805970Book Review: Four Weddings and a Kiss

Authors: Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Publisher Thomas Nelson’s website description of Four Weddings and a Kiss:

In 1885 five western preachers sit around a campfire talking about unlikely couples they’ve seen God bring together.

Spitfire Sweetheart by Mary Connealy

Maizy Place is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.

Love Letter to the Editor by Robin Lee Hatcher

Molly Everton is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper’s owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He’s resolved to change Molly’s mind about him—as an editor and as a man.

A Cowboy for Katie by Debra Clopton

Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Treb Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Treb change Katie’s mind?

Courting Trouble by Margaret Brownley

Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive—or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels isn’t interested in the case—until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace.


Ah, novella collections. Since reading A Match Made in Texas I’ve fallen in love with these vaguely intertwined short stories. Especially when they’re historical romances set in the west.

Within this collection there are four novellas. We are introduced to the stories by a prologue in which several preachers who are part of a week long revival begin to talk about unlikely pairs. So begins Four Weddings and a Kiss.

Spitfire Sweetheart:

Four Weddings and a Kiss starts off with a bang. Literally. I loved Maizy’s character. She was quirky in her own way. Her insecurities in some areas made her very relatable, but I also loved how she stood up for who she truly was. She wants to be loved for who she is, britches and all. It’ll take a special man to win her heart and lose his in return.

Love Letter to the Editor:

In this novella, our heroine isn’t a naïve young girl. In fact, Molly’s accepted that she will be a spinster as she is now in her thirties. I liked how the hero, Jack, saw her for who she really was and wasn’t dissuaded by her early dislike of him. Molly struggles between what she knows God would have her do and what she wants to do. After all, life isn’t fair. Shouldn’t she do something about that?

A Cowboy for Katie:

This may have been my favorite of the novellas, which I was a bit surprised by, since this is the first novel or novella I’ve read by Debra Clopton. Katie’s personality was delightful. She has such a hard time dealing with the tragic accident that took her father and started her headaches. The fact that she ran men off her ranch by threatening them with her gun—and meaning it—struck me as hilarious. I loved it. I also really liked Treb. He is a true hero, though he tries to repress his heroic tendencies. I wished there had been more said about her concussion-like symptoms, though.

Courting Trouble:

This novella had the biggest problem for the hero and heroine to overcome. Wouldn’t we all be suspicious of a woman who had three husbands and they all died? I liked how Grace was completely opposite from who the rumors accused her of being. It will take a miracle, however unlikely, for her to be proclaimed innocent.

I’d almost forgotten the prologue with the preachers by the time I reached the end, but the writers didn’t. We see a resolution to the dilemma the young preacher from the prologue had. If you love historical romance set in the dusty west, I’d highly suggest this novella collection! It has found a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

What do you think of novella collections? Do you like to read them? Or do you usually ignore them for a full-length novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About the Authors

To learn more about these authors you can visit their websites: Margaret Brownley: http://www.margaret-brownley.com/ Debra Clopton: http://debraclopton.com/ Mary Connealy: http://www.maryconnealy.com/ Robin Lee Hatcher: http://www.robinleehatcher.com/

I was given a review copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.