It’s November, which means my Christmas binge of novellas has begun. First up on my TBR pile was this newest release from Lucette Nel. The Christmas Husband is my favorite of her stories so far. For one, Benedict (the hero) is a Brit, and who doesn’t love a swoony Brit? 😉 Bless his soul, this poor man stumbles into a mess and does the merciful thing, even though it is a detriment to him. Naomi is a mother just trying to do the best she can for her daughter. Who knew that one little lie to appease her daughter would end so disastrously?
I adore the interactions between Benedict, Naomi, and Elise. This twist on a marriage of convenience story will have you chuckling, swooning, and hoping for love as you speed through the pages while trying to savor every interaction.
I recommend this story to fans of marriage-of-convenience, misunderstandings, sweet romance, and ready-made families. This story will leave you with all sorts of warm fuzzies and happy sighs.
Genre: Historical Romance, Texas, 1885
It was one little lie told only to protect impoverished Naomi Stuart and her daughter. But when Benedict Ramsay — a man she met fleetingly years before who should be in England — arrives in town, all she’d carefully constructed threatens to crumble.
Benedict arrives a stranger in Noelle, hoping to confront the father who’d abandoned him. What he did not expect was to discover he was a married man … to a woman he didn’t even remember meeting. And against his will, Benedict warms to the idea of a ready-made family.
What I loved: This is an adorable story. I loved all the feels it gave me, but I especially loved the dynamics between Naomi, Elise, and Benedict. That man was my poor bumbling hero.
Favorite Character and Why: I struggle between Benedict and Elise. Elise is just so innocent and sweet, but Benedict is just as adorable with his sweet, bumbling ways. I will be reading him over and over again.
Rating and Why: Five Stars. This was one of those quick, feel-good stories that leave you on cloud nine. I will be rereading this one every Christmas.
The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain is part of a wider series written by multiple authors which are all read as stand-alone novels. As is par for the course with Lucette Nel, her book is filled with laughter, tough relationships, redemption, and a hint of danger. The characters have individual problems that contribute to a wider picture and draw them closer to one another as they learn forgiveness of each other and the past. The romance is sweet and humorous, and there is a twist I didn’t see coming. I fell in love with the unique characters, from the boarders and Emily to Annabelle and Jack. I need Annabelle to come to my house when she is stressed though. I am not a stress cleaner and that woman can really make a place shine. 😉 You’ll just have to read it to find out what I mean.
This quick read would be great for anyone who loves stories of redemption, second chance love, and western settings.
Genre: Historical Romance, 1868
Can love withstand new betrayals and old hurts?
Jack Sullivan has a runaway wife to return and a bounty to collect. A gunshot lands him at the feet of Annabelle Lawson and jeopardizes a promise he can’t afford to break. Can he set aside his heart and focus on what he came to do?
Annabelle Lawson had finally picked up the fragments of her heart. Why did Jack have to crash back into her world? She may have to care for the injured bounty hunter, but she refuses to help him cash in on his professed ‘easy money’. Nor will there be a second chance at claiming her heart.
What I loved: I really enjoyed the relationship and tension between Annabelle and Jack. They knew each other well, yet still managed to misread each other as any real couple does. The struggle between moving forward and clinging to past hurts permeated multiple relationships.
Favorite Character and Why: I love ALL the characters, but I really loved Annabelle. She was a mix of strong woman and vulnerability. I could see quite a bit of myself in her because she always did what needed to be done while trying to shield her heart and failing miserably.
Rating and Why: Four and a half stars. The story was well-developed and well-written. There were a couple of things I would have loved to see more of, but everything was completely satisfactory.
Hello fellow bookies! I’m traveling the country in an RV with my family this month, so I thought I’d make it easy on myself and do book lists with various topics this month, and first up is CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!
It seems everyone has their own version of Christmas in July, and I figured why not? Some of these I have reviewed and the links are included, and some are just on my TBR pile. Links to those lead to Amazon. If you have a favorite, list it in the comments so I can add it to my TBR pile!
London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn. William’s bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. William asks Mina to be his pretend bride. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.
A Match of Sorts by Lucette Nel – As Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.
The Widow’s Captive by Lucette Nel – On the run with two small children and a third due within weeks, Adeline Spencer seeks refuge in an abandoned cabin. Sheriff Jonah Hale is determined to prove himself worthy of his badge, even if it means riding into a blizzard to check on a crazy miner. When Jonah reaches the cabin, he’s caught off guard by a pretty and very pregnant young woman wielding a skillet. Bound to a chair while the storm rages, and as Christmas settles in around them, he must find a way to earn Adeline’s trust…and perhaps her heart.
The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection – Enter the heartland of historical America at Christmastime through twelve inspiring romance novellas from acclaimed Christian authors. Meet Alma, Lucy, Esther, Marilee, Polly, Deborah, Annabelle, Sophie, Maddie, Karen, Arabella, and Kate who are surprised by how God brings them the desires of their hearts. Watch as faith, romance, and heartfelt gifts open each of their hearts to love.
3 Talented Seamstresses, 3 Christmas Romances Return to Christmases of yesteryear with three seamstresses who use their talents to succeed in the late 1800s. But can love also be stitched into their lives?
A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs – As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.
Siblings forge new paths and find love in three stories filled with the wonder of Christmas. Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
See below for the winner of an e-book copy of both Lucette Nel’s books.
A Match of Sorts by Lucette Nel
Christmas is a time of year when I love to grab quick, sweet reads. There isn’t a whole lot of time to indulge in more than an hour or two of reading and A Match of Sorts satisfied my need to read in a short amount of free time.
Reverend Caleb Brennan isn’t exactly your typical pastor. He does have a caring heart and a sweet way about him, but he isn’t a Bible thumper or a force scripture down your throat kind of man. He was human with downfalls and “normal” people struggles. When the impending visit from his father-in-law threatens to take his girls from him, Caleb is willing to do whatever it takes-including marrying a mail-order-bride. But it will be a marriage in name only.
His love for his children and his sacrificial heart in caring for an injured “boy” in the snow reels you in from the beginning.
Grace is a woman who has been on her own for far too long. Living a lonely, dangerous life catches up with her in a way that leaves her at the mercy of Reverend Brennan. Penniless, defenseless, and needing time to recover, she accepts the hairbrained idea of posing as his mail-order-bride.
The antics and hilarious situations that occur from the moment Caleb discovers the boy in the snow drift is really a woman all the way to the end make me laugh out loud.
I definitely recommend this book for a short evening of curling up by the fire.
“As Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. When his mail-order bride jilts him, Caleb grows desperate. During a storm, he finds an unconscious boy outside his home with signs of foul play. Despite his previous misfortune, obligation compels Caleb to lug the stranger inside. But as he provides first aid, he discovers more than he expected.Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.”
– Blurb from Amazon.com
Interested in purchasing your own copy? Both of her books are on sale for the entire month of December for $0.99 each.
I have fallen behind on my interviews, but I am back on track, and just in time for Christmas, I am here to introduce to you Lucette Nel, fabulous author of Historical Romances.
Lucy Nel is a coffee addicted work-in-progress daughter of the Lord Almighty. She’s a mommy to a rambunctious toddler and wife to her best friend and real-life hero. Along with three spoiled Pugs, they make their home in Gauteng, the smallest of nine provinces in South Africa.
She works as a bookkeeper and uses every available second to create interesting characters in historical settings.
She’s a member of American Christian Fiction and her dream came true when she signed a contract with Pelican Book Group for her Christmas themed novella, The Widow’s Captive and now her upcoming release, A Match of Sorts.
Thank you so much for consenting to do this interview, Lucy. I know it is an incredibly busy time of year.
WC: So let’s get down to business. What is the hardest part about being an author?
LN: Oh wow. Finding time to write will be top of my list. Secondly, not to compare myself to another author. I’ve learned that there will always be someone more talented, funnier, with a story that readers will enjoy more.
WC: When it is time to sit down and write, what are your must haves?
LN: Coffee! I’m one of those people that drink coffee no matter the time of day or season!
WC: What are you reading now (or just finished)?
LN: I just finished rereading my all-time favorite Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I actually reread it once a year.
WC: What is your favorite Bible verse?
LN: Philippians 4: 13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
WC: Just for fun, if you you could be any animal, which animal would you be? Why?
LN: Do bears really hibernate for three months? I’m sleep deprived.
WC: Lucy, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Readers, I have an awesome opportunity for you to get introduced to Lucette Nel’s writing. Below is a giveaway link of her currently published books. If you can’t wait or don’t win, Pelican Book Group is offering her e-books for $0.99 for the month of December. So there really is no excuse not to check her out.
You can follow Lucy on her author Facebook page, here.
Lucy has two books available for purchase with Pelican Group at the moment:
Legal: This #giveaway is open to all residents of Earth and those who are 18 years and older, except where prohibited. It is a random drawing and the winner will be selected by Rafflecopter on December 5th and the winner announced on the December 6th Book Review post of A Match of Sorts.
The Widow’s Captive
On the run with two small children and a third due within weeks, Adeline Spencer fears the approaching blizzard will seal their fate. An abandoned cabin is an answer to her prayers. She hopes it will shield them from both the storm and the enraged brother-in-law hot on her tail. But when a stranger knocks at the door, she is convinced they have been found by one of Ward’s lackeys.Blamed for the death of his friend, Sheriff Jonah Hale is determined to prove himself worthy of his badge, even if it means riding into a blizzard to check on a crazy miner. When Jonah reaches the cabin, he’s caught off guard by a pretty and very pregnant young woman wielding a skillet. Bound to a chair while the storm rages, and as Christmas settles in around them, he must find a way to earn Adeline’s trust…and perhaps her heart.
A Match of Sorts
As Christmas approaches, widowed Reverend Caleb Brennan needs a wife, or his vengeful father-in-law will take his young daughters. When his mail-order bride jilts him, Caleb grows desperate. During a storm, he finds an unconscious boy outside his home with signs of foul play. Despite his previous misfortune, obligation compels Caleb to lug the stranger inside. But as he provides first aid, he discovers more than he expected.Bounty hunter Grace Blackwell refuses to owe a debt to any man, especially one as charming as Reverend Brennan. To repay him for saving her life, Grace agrees to pose as his mail-order bride. If their ploy is discovered, Caleb could lose his daughters. But in their pretense, the reverend and the bounty hunter might just both lose their hearts.