December 4, 2010

The Christmas Brides by Linda Lael Miller

Christmas BridesThe Christmas Brides is an anthology containing two stories by the same author: A McKettrick Christmas and A Creed Country Wedding. So I'm going to take a moment to summarize each story.

A McKettrick Christmas.
Fresh out of Normal School, Lizzie McKettrick is finally going home to Indian Rock to teach in the town's school and be close to her family. She's also bringing home a friend whom she hopes will become so much more. But the travel is starting to show her his true colors, and when catastrophe strikes, only Dr. Morgan Shane - a virtual stranger she can't help to trust - can ease her fears and help her over come.

Will they survive? will they be home for Christmas?

A Creed County Wedding
Juliana Mitchell is close to destitute and with four children to take care of. A teacher in a now closed 'Indian school', she kept four of her chargers: two of whom she hopes to send home to the family they were taken from, and two orphaned toddlers she can't bring herself to just let go. When her last resort plea for help falls through, Juliana is forced to accept the kindness of Lincoln Creed - a lawyer and local rancher - who offers them a place to stay. Lincoln happens to be looking for a governess or a housekeeper to help care for his young daughter Gracie (whom he fears is a bit lonely since her mother's passing), and maybe even a wife if he fails to find the first two.

He instantly likes Juliana, but he isn't sure if it's wise to let her stay at the ranch. Lincoln loves his daughter and loved his wife, but isn't sure if he wants to risk his heart again.

Okay, I loved both stories. They were fun, sweet and Christmas-y. I was surprised McKetrrick Christmas was so engaging since half of the story takes place in a stranded train, but I liked both Morgan and Lizzie and her extended family, that story had a touch of outright magic that I liked. Creed Country Wedding was cute in different ways (kudos to Linda Lael Miller because even though both stories were by her, I didn't feel like I was reading a repeat). I loved Gracie and the other children and the sweet story between Juliana and Lincoln - had a couple of issues with the story over all, mostly felt it solved itself too quickly but it's an anthology so I'm willing to overlook it.

Also loved the format of only two stories - usually with anthologies is 3 or 4 stories, which often leaves me feeling like everything happened too quickly, but with this format more of a story developed, which I liked.

Highly recommend it, specially with Christmas around the corner.

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