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.
I cannot believe I have been so remiss in posting my review of one of my favorite Christmas stories! And since I am planning my semi-annual Christmas tea theme around the Once Upon a Dicken’s Christmas series, it is time to correct this error.
Michelle Griep has never written something I did not thoroughly enjoy, and this series is no exception. So sit down, snuggle in, and prepare to have your appetite whet, because this book and next week books are not to be missed!
Genre: Historical Romance, London 1850
Overview of Plot:
When Clara receives an invitation to stay twelve days at Bleakly Manor, it comes with a handsome reward, enough money to support herself and her aunt. The catch is, she must stay the entire twelve days. What could be so bad about staying at a country manor?
But when she arrives, a handful of odd guests have been invited, including the man who left her standing at the altar and ran off with her family’s fortune.
Benjamin Lane was falsely accused of embezzlement and rushed through a trial that couldn’t be called just. Just before he is to be shipped off to Australia, he is given a shot at freedom, but he must stay twelve days at Bleakly Manor and never set foot off the grounds under the threat of death. Desirous to have the chance for justice he arrives, only to find Clara, the woman who betrayed him.
Not everything is as it seems. As Clara and Benjamin begin to make sense of what happened to them, dangerous accidents begin to occur. Can they survive Bleakly Manor long enough to have a second chance at life and love?
Favorite Character and Why:
This one is so hard, but as much as I adore Clara and Benjamin as the main characters, Miss Scurry is my absolute favorite secondary character. She is quirky and wise, yet a vulnerable soul. I’ve had a Miss Scurry type figure in my life, and all I can do is smile in remembrance every time I read her character.
What I liked:
What don’t I like? Michelle Griep is one of my absolute favorite authors. She has an incredible ability to pull you into the story and draw you so deep you become the character. But it is not that gift alone. Her stories always have an intensity about them that draws me in. The danger, the real characters, and even the quirky ones. This story, in particular, was filled with great surprises and nods to Charles Dickens himself, and I absolutely loved the mystery behind it all. *sigh* A Christmas story at its very best. Oh, yes, and I can’t forget all those wonderful historical details. *swoon*
Who would like this:
Anyone who loves stories of redemption and second chances or stories with mystery, danger, and love set to a Christmas theme. I think almost anyone would love this story, but you’ll have to read it to find out.
A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger…and love?
England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.
Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.
What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.