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A Bride's Agreement: Five Romances Develop Out of Convenient Marriages Paperback – October 1, 2015
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About the Author
RAMONA K. CECIL is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer. Now empty nesters, she and her husband make their home in Indiana. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana Chapter, her work has won awards in a number of inspirational writing contests. Over eighty of her inspirational verses have been published on a wide array of items for the Christian gift market. She enjoys a speaking ministry, sharing her journey to publication while encouraging aspiring writers. When not writing, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.
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Thanks to a Lonely Heart by Elaine Bonner
Steven Barnes is a long way from home and carrying a lot of guilt. When he receives word that his wife and passed away and that he must come home or his children will become wards of the state Steven makes a rash decision. He asks waitress Emily Johnson to marry him in name only and become the caretaker of his five children.
Emily is a childless widow and says no to Steven but agrees to think on it. Emily finally agrees but can’t figure out why. Steven Barnes is cold and hardly speaks to her. When she arrives at the farm, she is met with anger and suspicion by the children and locals. She doesn’t know what else to do but follow God’s word and eventually she wins over three of the children, but can’t seem to break through the two older boys and even Steven himself.
With faith in God, patience and time, Emily soon learns that Steven’s former wife was verbally and emotionally abusive to the point he couldn’t live with her and that she attempted to turn the town and the children against Steven. Steven with God’s direction discovers evidence proving his support and love of his family. When he confronts the children with the evidence along with friends who speak up regarding Rebecca’s games, Steven begins to heal himself and his family.
A Bride’s Sweet Surprise in Sauers Indiana by Ramona Cecil
Regina Seitz thinks she is in love with Eli the miller’s son but her father refuses to allow the match as he is set on a German son-in-law to take over the farm. She is unaware that her father when faced with no local prospects for his daughter sends money to Germany and seals an agreement for a mail order husband.
Diedrich and his father travel to Indiana but his heart isn’t it in. He has dreams of heading to California to find the promised Gold, but he won’t go back on his word and hurt his father and settles for the future set for him. He also wasn’t expecting how attracted he is to Regina.
Falling for each other sets off a whole new set of problems, especially when a secret to do with Regina’s past that connects to Diedrich’s own family has his father calling off the wedding.
In this story you read how sometimes we think we understand God’s word and are doing what he wants, only to find that we have become arrogant and have lost our trust in letting God take over. We have made assumptions that have displaced God’s will in our lives.
Sonoran Secret by Nancy J. Farrier
Eduardo Villegas is a Christian man who makes a deal to marry in order to forgive another’s debts to him. When the man proves as devious as expected, Eduardo finds himself married to the wrong daughter.
Chiquita has had such a traumatic past that she no longer speaks and is afraid of so much. She works hard and suffers in silence in order to make her new husband as happy as she can. Slowly she finds he is fair and will never hurt her regardless if he is angry or not.
Chiquita has never been taught about Jesus, his love or his sacrifice. She has been taught she is unworthy. Eduardo shows her through God’s word who Jesus is and of his great love and forgiveness. When Chiquita’s life is threatened, she finds herself wishing she knew Jesus and reaches out to him.
In Eduardo and Chiquita’s story you will see how even being a Christian such as Eduardo you will struggle with issues such as anger, but with God’s help and through prayer we can overcome anything. Chiquita is shown how truly worthy she is and how special God finds her.
Love’s Shining Hope by JoAnn A. Grote
JoAnn Grote is one of my favorite authors and her style of writing just draws me in.
In Love’s Shining Hope she introduces us to Jason Sterling, a young man with hopes of marrying his childhood love Miranda and becoming an architect. With the unexpected deaths of his parents, Jason must place his dreams on hold to run the family farm and raise his siblings. He never expected Miranda to turn his marriage proposal down because of his responsibilities.
Pearl Wells has loved Jason Sterling even though he always loved her friend Miranda. When she overhears Miranda callously throwing Jason’s love aside she is shocked. Pear decides to help Jason and his family even though the outcome could damage her reputation.
Pearl continues to believe Jason loves Miranda. Jason slowly realizes he loves Pearl but thinks she loves his brother Frank. Miranda becomes jealous and wants Jason back. A twisted love story that only God can turn around through faith and trust.
Kiowa Husband by DiAnn Mills
The saying saving the best for last applies to this story as it was my favorite of the group.
A young girl, Sarah Jane, is traveling with her parents to Oregon with dreams shared as a family. She never thought they would succumb to Typhoid Fever. When the only one in the wagon train willing to help her is Painted Hands, a white man raised by Indians, she is told by the committeemen that she must marry him for them to stay behind together.
Painted Hands has no use for the committeemen, especially the hypocritical clergyman. He turned away from God long ago and favors the Kiowa gods. With personal plans of his own in Oregon and no wish for a wife, Painted Hands tells Sarah Jane he will divorce her once they get to Oregon. He turns a cold shoulder to Sarah Jane in order to shut her out, but Sarah Jane isn’t so easily dissuaded.
As the pair faces one obstacle after another, God works on Painted Hands through several miracles. Will Painted Hands give up the Kiowa gods in favor of the Almighty? Will Sarah Jane and Painted Hands find that God meant for them to be together regardless of their plans?
Every one of these stories shows the human nature and how hard it can be to turn our lives over to God in faith and trust. I once read a line in RoseMarie Naramore’s book, Abound In Love, in which the character discusses God being in control but she was going to ride shotgun. That line stuck with me and I believe it is a good representation of how we should place our lives in God’s hands.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3: 5 NIV
I received this book in exchange for my honest review
I would have to say that my favorite story was written by DiAnn Mills and titled Kiowa Husband. It is a story about a young girl that loses her parents on a wagon trail in 1848. The leaders of the wagon trail decide that she may not stay with the party as her parent's illness was highly contagious and they fear she may also have the disease. However they do not want to leave her to her death so decide to leave her with an American that was raised by Kiowa Indians named Painted Hands. In this day and age it would have shown a true lack of propriety if an unmarried woman was escorted by a single man, so the leaders marry them.
The story continues through the trials of going west during this time period and shows how deep love can develop over time with God as their foundation. DiAnn did such a nice job of developing these characters that I was disappointed that she hadn't written a full length stand alone book. The remaining four books-Thanks to a Lonely Heart by Elaine Bonner, A Brides' Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana by Ramona Cecil, Sonoran Secret by Nancy J Farrier and Love's Shining Hope by Jo Ann A. Grote are all well done, if you like the collections that Barbour Publishing assembles, you will really enjoy this one, I feel these are five really well done short stories and one of their strongest collections.
This book was given to me by NetGalley for my honest opinion. The publisher is Barbour Publishing.
The novellas were all pretty good stories, but I think my favorite was Love's Shining Hope by JoAnn A Grote. Pearl has decided to help her friend Jase with his responsibilities since his parents were killed in an accident. He has two younger brothers and two younger sisters to care for, a farm, the house; and he's in over his head. Pearl comes to teach the older girl about keeping a home and cooking while Jase and the boys take care of the outdoor chores. When Pearl's parents come home from a trip, they tell her she is endangering her reputation by being at Jase's house unchaperoned. After two weeks with no Pearl, Jase asks her to marry him, in name only. She agrees and he gives her forty-eight hours to get ready for the wedding. Pearl has loved Jase since they were children, but it takes a while for Jase to realize that he does love Pearl and wants her for his wife in all ways.
The olio has a wide variety of stories to please the reader: all of the authors are quite competent in their craft and they have done well with the stories in this anthology, the characters have depth, the settings are well-suited for the plots, and the plots move at a steady pace that keeps the reader involved.
This is a five star, two thumbs up book, and a cooking lesson for an adolescent girl.
Elaine Bonner--Thanks to a Lonely Heart
Ramona Cecil--A Bride's Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana
Nancy J Farrier--Sonoran Secret
JoAnn A Grote--Love's Shining Hope
DiAnn Mills--Kiowa Husband
My thanks to Barbour Books for allowing me to read and review this book.
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Elaine Bonner, Ramona K. Cecil, Nancy, Farrier, JoAnn A. Grote & DiAnn Mills
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.Read more