I love reading collections of novellas and getting multiple stories about the same subject, or during the same time period, or about multiple members of a family. So, when I chose to read Brides of the Old West, that's what I thought I was getting: five stories that would take me back to frontier days in United States history. I got better than I was expecting--I got five full-length novels with fully developed plot lines, complex characters, and incredible descriptions.
Morning Mountain by Peggy Darty
A Bride's Rogue in Roma, Texas by Darlene Franklin
Valient Heart by Sally Laity
Lessons in Love by Nancy Lavo
To See His Way by Kathleen Paul
These five women have written from their hearts and put some important spiritual truths in the plots as well as an entertaining story.
With Lessons in Love, Deborah is raising her younger brother and has been given her Uncle Cyrus' cabin to live in. Luke shows up wanting them out of the cabin because he believes they are interlopers. When the misunderstanding is cleared up, Luke decides to stay on the ranch and keep an eye out for Deborah and her brother. As friendship grows between them, Deborah finds out that Luke can't read, and in an effort to spare his feelings, asks him to sit and take his lessons with her brother as an encouragement to her brother. As he learns to read, he finds spiritual help at the same time--and finds himself needing the Heavenly Father even more than he needs Deborah. When he falls in love with Deborah, he feels he can't offer her the most important thing a man can give: his name--he doesn't have a last name. It's fun to watch how Deborah overcomes Luke's reticence and they get their happily ever after.
To See His Way finds Tilde being sold into marriage by her aunt's husband--a cruel man who abuses those around him. On their way to Fort Reynauld, the wagon carrying Tilde's aunt and uncle falls over a cliff and both are killed in the accident. The Arapahoe come across the wagon wreck and find Tilde, Boister, Mari, and Evie alone and confused. Boister, Mari, and Evie are Tilde's cousins and the children of the aunt and uncle. Now they are, for all intents and purposes, Tilde's children. As the Arapahoe care for them, a couple of the men of the tribe go and find the big Swedish preacher because they believe that Tilde is his bride.
These are just two examples of the kinds of writing the reader will encounter in this collection.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and unexpected weddings all around.
My Thanks to Barbour Books for allowing me to read and review this book.