Today’s review is on The 12 Brides of Summer Collection by Various Authors. This was also the first book I completed for the 20 Books of Summer Challenge hosted by Cathy746books.
The 12 Brides of Summer Collection has been on my radar for several years, but for whatever reason I just kept putting off picking it up. But now, I finally have, and I’ll be honest, I have mixed feelings on it. As I have done for novella/short story collections in the past, I will write a short review for each story in the collection and then do my overall thoughts.
The Honey Bride by Diana Brandmeyer
This was a sweet story. I enjoyed getting to know Katie and Pete and watching their romance bloom. I also liked how Katie comes to realize that she is so much more than what people assume of her. 4/5 Stars.
Dog Days of Summer Bride by Margaret Brownley
I loved how the main couple got together in a sort of unconventional way – through their dog who has been living part-time with both of them. A couple of the side characters got on my nerves, but it was still a cute story. 3.5/5 Stars.
The Fourth of July Bride by Amanda Cabot
This was a cute fake engagement story set in the Wyoming territory. Even though story ends in the way you would expect it to, I did like that Naomi stuck to her guns in not marrying a man who does not share her faith. I also liked that Gideon did not want to say he believed in God for the sake of marrying Naomi. 3.5/5 Stars.
A Bride Rides Herd by Mary Connealy
I enjoyed this story set in Montana, especially since Betsy and Matt met under unusual circumstances. I would have loved to see more the nieces’ antics, but I also could not help wondering why they lacked discipline so much. I was also reminded of how I really want to read more of the author’s works. Maybe I’ll try and make it a project for the Fall. 3.5/5 Stars.
Blue Moon Bride by Susan Paige Davis
I liked certain aspects of this story, such as train robberies in the Old West. However, I found that the romance was too insta-lovey and that the main characters – Ava and Joe – ended up together a little too quickly (literally within a week). 3/5 Stars.
The Dogwood Blossom Bride by Miralee Ferrell
This was another cute story, but also very much an instant love situations. The couple get engaged after two days of having met. However, I did love Willis’ niece, Laura, and would love to read a book about her antics as she grows up. I also liked that Gracie was a tomboy and not ashamed of it, even if it meant that some considered her unmarriable. 3.5/5 Stars.
The Lumberjack’s Bride by Pam Hillman
I enjoyed this story set in the woods of Mississippi at a lumber camp. I liked learning about the camp and some of the work that the lumberjacks did. The romance was okay, I just felt like the characters barely knew each other before getting engaged. I would have loved to see them get to know each other more and have discussions about different topics. 3/5 Stars.
The Summer Harvest Bride by Maureen Lang
I liked this story, however, I do wish we could have gotten the antagonist’s perspective because the parts involving him seemed rushed. I think this story could easily have been longer than it was. 3/5 Stars.
The Wildflower Bride by Amy Lillard
This was my least favorite story of the collection. It was too insta-lovey, and I felt like the relationship was built upon infatuation. However, I did like the secondary love story involving Grace’s father, I’d love to read more about his relationship. 3/5 Stars.
The Country Fair Bride by Vickie McDonough
This was probably one of my favorite stories in the collection, with some cheesy moments peppered throughout. I liked how we meet Prudence post-redemption and her adjustment to being back in a town where many know what she did before, plus being under mother’s bad influence again. I loved her relationship with Adam, ad it was one of more realistic romances in the collection. 4/5 Stars.
The Columbine Bride by Davalynn Spencer
This was another good addition to the collection, with a focus on learning to trust God after tragedy. I enjoyed getting to know both of the main characters, as well as the side characters. I also like that couple spent a good chunk of time together before getting engaged. 4/5 Stars.
The Sunbonnet Bride by Michelle Ule
This was another sweet story set in Nebraska after a tornado hits. Sally has caught the attention of two men, the hardworking Malcolm, and the bank owner’s son, Josiah, who would never get his hands dirty. Over time, Sally learns more about each man and discovers the best choice for her, someone that isn’t afraid of doing hard work and getting his hands dirty. I enjoyed it, and I liked that the characters knew each other before the start of the story. 3.5/5 Stars.
Overall, this was a sweet collection of stories, although I’ll admit that stories like these are not my cup of tea anymore. As mentioned in some of the individual reviews, I found some of the couples got together way too quickly, without really getting to know each other. There were couple of stories I really enjoyed and I plan on checking out more from those particular authors. Overall rating: 3.5/5 Stars.
Janelle L. C.