Friday, July 19, 2013

A Bride For All Seasons by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy & Robin Lee Hatcher -my review

I truly love reading anthologies, yet I always find, in the end, I want more. I want more story. I want more of the characters. I want more from the authors. This is not a bad thing by any means. In reading A Bride for All Seasons, an anthology written by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy & Robin Lee Hatcher I discovered a new author to me, Debra Clopton. I also remember why I love all these authors and it makes me want to go out and pick up their newest novel.

A Bride for All Seasons is made up of four stories.  The first is And Then Came Spring by Margaret Brownley. This is the story of Mary-Jo Parker, a Mail-Order Bride who has come to Colton, Kansas in 1870 to marry one Mr. Daniel Garrett. One, very dead, Mr. Daniel Garrett. Will Mary-Jo stay in Colton and find someone else to wed or will she return from wince she came? What about the young boy that has been left fatherless when Mr. Daniel Garrett passed on? 

I found Ms. Brownley's story quite enchanting. I was immediately drawn into her story and fell in love with her characters.  

The second story was Debra Clopton's, An Ever After Summer. This was the story of Melvina Eldora Smith (Ellie for short) and Mathew McConnell. It takes place in Honey Springs, Texas in 1870. Ellie is escaping her past with hopes of a new future with Mathew and her beloved Lord and Savior Jesus. What she doesn't know is Mathew requested that his bride not be a Bible thumper. Can Ellie change his mind?

This was my first experience in reading Ms. Clopton's work and it won't be my last. She too drew me into the story quickly and made me care deeply for her characters.

The third story was Robin Lee Hatcher's, Autumn's Angel. This was the story of Luvena Abbott and Clay Birch and takes place in the Idaho Territory in 1870.  Luvena's parents have died as has her sister and brother-in-law, leaving her to raise her two nieces and one nephew. She knows the only way she can manage is by becoming a mail-order bride. What she doesn't know is that her letter has been altered and she doesn't realize that Clay Birch doesn't want to raise someone else's children. Clay also didn't receive the part of Luvena's letter telling him of her young charges. What happened to their letters? Will Clay come to care for the children as his own?

This is the second time I have read something by Ms. Hatcher. I truly enjoy her work and always look forward to reading more. She too created lovable characters.

The last story was Mary Connealy's Winter Wedding Bells and it is set in Wyoming in 1870. It is the story of Megan McBride and David Laramie. David is the father of two small boys, ages 4 and 5, and he believes he is about to die. He wants a bride so when he dies his sons will have a mother to care for them. David was diagnosed with pneumonia and told he has a failing heart. Megan won't hear of such a thing and begins to nurse him back to health just as she nursed her own brothers when they had pneumonia. I must admit I chuckled a few times in this story. Okay, I laughed out loud. After all, the author is Mary Connealy and she is quite good at placing a touch of humor in all the right places. 

Ms. Connealy captured me with the very first page and drew me into the story as she always does. Her characters are crisp and believable.

While none of the stories are connected to each other by character or setting, they are connected by The Hitching Post, a mail order catalog, and Mr. Melvin Hitchcock, the owner and editor. Mr. Hitchcock, has a knack for 'knowing' just what each person is truly looking for in a bride or groom and he sees to it that each letter is 'tweaked' just a little.

More about A Bride For All Seasons:
It All Started with an Ad in a Mail Order Bride Catalogue . . .

Melvin Hitchcock of the Hitching Post Mail Order Bride Catalog isn't dishonest---not exactly. If he tweaks his clients' applications a bit, it's because he's looking out for their best interests.
This charming bouquet of novellas introduces four Hitching Post prospects in the year 1870, each one eager for second chances . . . and hungry for happiness. Year in, year out, they'll learn that love often comes in unexpected packages.
And Then Came Spring by Margaret Brownley
Mary-Jo has been unlucky all her life. But who would guess she'd travel halfway across the country to meet her match . . . only to find him dead!
An Ever-After Summer by Debra Clopton
Ellie had no idea she's not what Matthew ordered. And what's wrong with being a "Bible thumper" anyway? She's determined to show him she's tougher than she looks---and just the girl he needs.
Autumn's Angel by Robin Lee Hatcher
Luvena would be perfect for Clay if she didn't come with kids. But kids are a deal breaker, especially in a rough-and-trouble mining town. The trouble is, there's no money to send them back. . .
Winter Wedding Bells by Mary Connealy
David's convinced he's not long for the world. He needs someone to mother his boys when he's gone---nothing more. Can plucky Irish Megan convince him to work at living instead of dying?
Purchase a copy:

Meet the Authors:

Margaret Brownley is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author and has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. @margaretbrownley 
Robin Lee Hatcher is a Christy and RITA award-winning author. Her books often appear on bestseller lists. @robinleehatcher 
Mary Connealy is a Carol Award winner, an a RITA, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. @MaryConnealy 
Debra Clopton is an award winning author of sweet, heartfelt, western romance that face life with a smile. With over 2 million books in print, Debra has her first book coming as a movie starring LeAnn Rimes. @debraclopton

I would highly recommend A Bride for All Seasons to anyone wanting a good clean historical romance to read.  I thoroughly enjoyed all four stories. Did I have a favorite? Yes, but that's my secret.

On a 5-Star Scale = 5 stars!!!!!

I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for my review copy.  I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

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