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The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection: 9 Historical Women Win More than a Blue Ribbon at the Fair Paperback – November 1, 2016
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There are also nine really great stories in the book and every author brought their unique spin to fairs. From quilting to butter sculpting, ballooning to auto polo, farming and food you can find it all at the fair! Each story had a great cast of characters and really nice story lines but a couple stood out for me and I wanted to give them a special shout.
In Requilted With Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels: Michigan State Fair, 1889. Mistaken identity leads Grant Bentley to help Sarah Richmond with her quilt display at the state fair. But when he learns that she lost two fiances to accidents, can he dare tell her of his job of a balloonist, or will the revelation of danger cause her to flee from the developing romance?
From a really good history behind the story to wonderful characters this is the work I've come to expect from Carrie Fancett Pagels. Sarah's spirit and courage shine through. Will she trust in God and His rich promises for his children? Grant was a bit bossy but it was an endearing flaw and added to the depth of his character. Then you throw in some quirky characters and a surprise ending and you have a fantastic read.
In Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach: Chicago World Fair, 1893. With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke Edwards agrees to go to Chicago and manage the mining exhibition all summer with hopes of finding a wife. But a pretty botanist, who despises the way most mining ruins land, keeps getting in the way of his pursuits.
This story was just plain fun. I had a smile on my face through most of the book. Once again, we have an author who is able to weave history and fiction together so well. The tension between Luke and Bettina was tangible and you wondered if they would either get together or ring each other's necks! The matchmaking was sweet and the story had a great ending!
There are lots of other great stories in the book and each one had their own unique takes yet managed to fit well in this great collection! So pick up your copy today and come to the fair! Happy Reading!
1-Requilted With Love***** by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1889...North of Lansing, Michigan....Sarah Richmond is hopeful of winning a Blue Ribbon as she enters her quilt in the Michigan State Fair and knows exactly what she will do with the winnings—nothing for herself. She has suffered grief more than once in her young life and has strong feelings on certain things, like balloonists for one—I can certainly understand her feelings and fears. Even though she has decided to live a certain way, God has other plans for her. Will she trust God's guidance?
I love Sarah's spirit, courage and faith. I was hoping she would find peace from her past griefs and love—and a blue ribbon. I love Grant Bentley's integrity and determination, although he tends to be bossy at times...he means well. Like Sarah, he has suffered grief and heartache. He is hiding something from Sarah that may end a budding romance before it even begins. I like his friend, Lee Hudgins, who is a big tease with a southern drawl. Sarah's Aunt Bonnie Swanson is a “character”, and loud—Grant likens her to a “conjured hurricane images and the bane of his existence”, but she is loveable. Bonnie's little daughter, Lila, quickly captured my heart. There are a couple characters I did not like much...one man was a scoundrel and his lady friend a schemer and liar—they were perfect for each other.
This is a fun, humorous, heartwarming and romantic story. There are heartbreaks, grief—some long held grief, forgiveness, reconciliation, second chances, learning to trust and lean on God as He guides, dreams, love and faith and a surprising ending.
(I had the privilege to be one of the beta readers for this story (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review)
2-Seven Medals and a Bride**** by Angela Breidenbach
Fair in 1893...this is a fun story with some humorous moments that had me laughing out loud. I really liked the sweet matchmaking ladies from Luke Edwards' home. Bettina Gilbert is sweet and determined to make a difference for those less fortunate, I think she had a good plan. I was hoping she could find a way to do that and find love.
3-A Taste of Honey**** by Darlene Franklin
Spruce Hill, Vermont 1896...Edith Grace harvests honey from the bee hives of her good friend and neighbor, Mr. Oscar. She is experimenting with the honey in different recipes to come up with the perfect recipe to win a blue ribbon at the upcoming state fair. However, Mr. Oscar's son, Grant has other ideas and they don't include Edith using “his” honey. I really liked Mr. Grant and hoped his son would come to his senses before he did something he would later regret. I like the way Edith doesn't give up and holds to her values and faith. Surprising developments bring a solution that will benefit everyone. Cute and heartwarming story.
4-Altered Hearts**** by Gina Welborn
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 1908 county fair...Reba Diehl creates beautiful hats and wins ribbons for them. Winning ribbons is one thing but what about her dream? Levi Webber loves horticulture but will he be forever stuck on his family farm instead of following his dream? Misunderstandings and heartbreak follow for Reba and Levi, will they find a way to overcome them? Wasn't sure I liked Levi at first as he is a bit presumptuous, but I liked him by the end of the story. I really liked Reba, her determination to make her dream come true and learn from her mistakes. Fun heartwarming story.
5-Better with Butter*** by Jennifer AlLee
Fallon, Nevada 1916...it was interesting how Ella Daniels sculptured with butter and entered her sculptors in the fair each year. Maxwell Sinclair worked at the new margarine company, which put him in conflict with Ella. Can they overcome their differences and forgive? I had hard time getting into this story. Parts of it was interesting but some parts I didn't care for. I did like Ella and Maxwell and hoped they could work out their problems. Cute story.
6-Driven to Distraction**** by Becca Whitham
Western Washington Fair Puyallup Valley, Washington 1918...Tragedy struck both Jolene Caplan and Robert Montgomery's families a year earlier resulting in more anger, bitterness and unforgiveness between the two families. They reminded me of the feud between the Hatfield and McCoys. Jolene and Robert had a lot to deal with and I hoped they could find a way for their families to forgive each other. Cute and fun story.
7-First Comes Pie**** by Niki Turner
Colorado 1920...Rifle's Apple Pie Days annual festival will be here soon and Lorelei Boyd plans on entering a contest-winning pie. Emmett Dewey found himself an apple rustler and trespasser...or did he? I liked the interaction between Lorelei and Emmett, they are fun characters. There is some suspenseful moments when some men take it upon themselves to—not telling. Fun, heartwarming story.
8-Front Page Love**** by Tiffany Amber Stockton
Douglas, Wyoming state fair...Paige Callhan and her best friend Mollie help out in arranging items to be judged in the Agriculture Hall. Paige meets Andrew Lawrence, a reporter from the Denver Post covering important aspects of the fair and her life is changed in a way she had not envisioned resulting in some surprising situations and ending. Cute story.
9-Competing Hearts**** by Cynthia Hickey
1930 Arkansas...this is a cute and fun story with Annie Mae Thompkins entering a quilt and her childhood friend Jonathan Mercer entering his pig. Things don't go as planned, learning to trust God and some surprises for them all and the reader.
I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley, (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
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By: Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer AILee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene...Read more