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Christmas Mail-Order Brides: Four Mail-Order Brides Travel the Transcontinental Railroad in Search of Love

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Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the t Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways? A TRUSTING HEART by Carrie Turansky Swedish immigrant Annika Bergstrom travels to Wyoming as a mail order bride, but when her prospective groom, Chase Simms, disappears, she finds herself falling in love with his brother Daniel. Will she take hold of her chance for love, or wait for the man she has promised to marry? THE PRODIGAL GROOM by Vickie McDonough Jolie Addams is 18 and must leave the orphanage she grew up in. The headmaster has arranged for her to work for a lecherous benefactor. She decides to become a mail-order bride to escape what she fears would be a dreadful existence. But on the way to Nevada, her stage is robbed. She and a wounded passenger are stranded. They are rescued the next day, but Jolie’s intended refuses to marry her after she spent the night alone with Clay Jackson. She and Clay are forced to marry. Can a relationship and love grow from such an awful beginning? HIDDEN HEARTS by Therese Stenzel After facing a series of tragic events, Elizabeth Lariby agrees to become a mail-order bride. Hoping to build a new life in Nebraska, she is determined to hide her grief-stricken heart from her new husband. Driven to be a success, Zane Michaels quietly obtains a wife through a mail-order bride society, but feels he must hide his past and his recent wealth from his new wife. When their secrets are revealed, will their fledgling marriage survive? MRS. MAYBERRY MEETS HER MATCH by Susan Page Davis Amelia Mayberry’s rewarding career as a matchmaker is winding down. She’d like to close shop and spend her sunset years in peace. There’s only one unfinished piece of business—an unsatisfied customer for whom she needs to set things right. The question is: will Lennox Bailey allow her to make amends?


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Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the t Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways? A TRUSTING HEART by Carrie Turansky Swedish immigrant Annika Bergstrom travels to Wyoming as a mail order bride, but when her prospective groom, Chase Simms, disappears, she finds herself falling in love with his brother Daniel. Will she take hold of her chance for love, or wait for the man she has promised to marry? THE PRODIGAL GROOM by Vickie McDonough Jolie Addams is 18 and must leave the orphanage she grew up in. The headmaster has arranged for her to work for a lecherous benefactor. She decides to become a mail-order bride to escape what she fears would be a dreadful existence. But on the way to Nevada, her stage is robbed. She and a wounded passenger are stranded. They are rescued the next day, but Jolie’s intended refuses to marry her after she spent the night alone with Clay Jackson. She and Clay are forced to marry. Can a relationship and love grow from such an awful beginning? HIDDEN HEARTS by Therese Stenzel After facing a series of tragic events, Elizabeth Lariby agrees to become a mail-order bride. Hoping to build a new life in Nebraska, she is determined to hide her grief-stricken heart from her new husband. Driven to be a success, Zane Michaels quietly obtains a wife through a mail-order bride society, but feels he must hide his past and his recent wealth from his new wife. When their secrets are revealed, will their fledgling marriage survive? MRS. MAYBERRY MEETS HER MATCH by Susan Page Davis Amelia Mayberry’s rewarding career as a matchmaker is winding down. She’d like to close shop and spend her sunset years in peace. There’s only one unfinished piece of business—an unsatisfied customer for whom she needs to set things right. The question is: will Lennox Bailey allow her to make amends?

30 review for Christmas Mail-Order Brides: Four Mail-Order Brides Travel the Transcontinental Railroad in Search of Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked the Carrie Turansky story the best. The other 3 were not very Christmassy and I didn’t like them as well. I’m a big fan of Carrie Turansky’s books so it didn’t surprise me that I liked hers the most. A Trusting Heart (Carrie Turansky) - 4 stars A really sweet story. I loved the little girl Mariah and the cook Song Li. It was nice to see Annika’s Swedish Christmas traditions (St Lucia Day) and each of the characters grew by the end of the story. Definitely my favorite in the collection. T I liked the Carrie Turansky story the best. The other 3 were not very Christmassy and I didn’t like them as well. I’m a big fan of Carrie Turansky’s books so it didn’t surprise me that I liked hers the most. A Trusting Heart (Carrie Turansky) - 4 stars A really sweet story. I loved the little girl Mariah and the cook Song Li. It was nice to see Annika’s Swedish Christmas traditions (St Lucia Day) and each of the characters grew by the end of the story. Definitely my favorite in the collection. The Prodigal Groom (Vickie McDonough) - 2.5 stars I liked the theme of forgiveness between Clay and his father, but the deus ex machina was a bit much and the true villain of the piece was so over the top “bad” that it was fairly unbelievable. I also wasn’t a fan of the suggestive comments. Hidden Hearts (Therese Stenzel) - 2 stars There was barely any Christmas mentions, and I didn’t like the suggestive comments. I also didn’t like the lack of honesty between the two characters. Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match (Susan Page Davis) - 2.5 stars I liked that it touched on the subject of prejudice and I think the story handled it well. This one was slightly more Christmassy but still didn’t have much. My main issue was the romance which seemed instalove-y. Overall the couple was cute; I just wish the story had been fleshed out a little more. Also deus ex machina with lightning burning down her house basically made her decision to stay in Sacramento.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    Three young women and the matchmaker who placed them all cross the US on the transcontinental railroad in hopes that they have been connected to the love of their lives. But in each case, God has something different planned for them and the wrong man turns out to be the right one. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Truansky I love the convoluted twists in this particular mail order bride scenario. A father writes a mail order bride request for his widowed son, his son is in love with someone else already Three young women and the matchmaker who placed them all cross the US on the transcontinental railroad in hopes that they have been connected to the love of their lives. But in each case, God has something different planned for them and the wrong man turns out to be the right one. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Truansky I love the convoluted twists in this particular mail order bride scenario. A father writes a mail order bride request for his widowed son, his son is in love with someone else already and doesn't know a mail order bride is coming, and the son's brother falls in love with the mail order bride!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen L. L.

    Just in time for the Holiday season, Barbour's collection of Christmas novellas made an enchanting romantic escape. Three mail-order brides head west to seek new lives and hope for love as they meet their matches through Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character. As a delightful conclusion, the fourth novella involves Mrs. Mayberry herself. Carrie Turansky tugged on my heartstrings with Annika Bergstrom's story, a Swedish immigrant who must leave her newly married sist Just in time for the Holiday season, Barbour's collection of Christmas novellas made an enchanting romantic escape. Three mail-order brides head west to seek new lives and hope for love as they meet their matches through Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character. As a delightful conclusion, the fourth novella involves Mrs. Mayberry herself. Carrie Turansky tugged on my heartstrings with Annika Bergstrom's story, a Swedish immigrant who must leave her newly married sister to seek a place and a husband of her own. When the man whom she believed to send for her rejects her, she faces the fear of abandonment, until an unexpected love blossoms right where God planted her. Tender, real and touching, this story kicks off the four-part novella collection with a gentle hero that stole my heart. Next, Vickie McDonough brings an action-packed tale of a young emancipated orphan escaping the odious clutches of her new employer. Jolie Addams is bound for Nevada to set up house with a shop-owner, but when a gunman holds up the stage on which she rides and shoots her traveling companion, her plans take a detour. Can she find love in a hostile land where her very reputation is on the line? The chemistry between the hero and heroine in this novella had me up past midnight to find a great happily ever after. Therese Stenzel writes a story of suspense and secrets between a woman scorned by her former fiance and a widower seeking a new start for himself and his daughters. Elisabeth Lariby is thrust into a contract of marriage with Zane Michaels, a gentle, philanthropic soul who longs to win her reticent heart. Their unsettled past seeks to drive a wedge between them, and they each must lay it to rest before accepting God's future for them. Finally, I had the pleasure of reading my first Susan Page Davis story, and from the first lines, Mrs. Amelia Mayberry won me over. It takes a writer of refinement and grace to depict a character with those attributes, and Amelia was all of that and full of warm genuineness, too. Facing retirement from her matchmaking business, Amelia has one last loose string to tie--her late husband's best friend Lennox Bailey. She had failed in her prior attempt to find Lennox a suitable wife, but with God's help, she is determined to succeed this time. Will the matchmaker find the love she has sown out to so many other happy couples? These engaging stories are sure to brighten many Christmas seasons with hope, love and a happily ever after.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Pagels

    I read this novella in paperback version as part of the four novellas in one collection in Christmas Mail Order Brides. This was 90 pages and I read it in one night, actually got up from bed to finish the end. Carrie Turansky received the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol award for this novella. Authors – I felt this was a great example of the use of Swaine’s methods from “The Selling Author” which is a book I recently rediscovered after reading it thirty years ago. Because it is a novel I read this novella in paperback version as part of the four novellas in one collection in Christmas Mail Order Brides. This was 90 pages and I read it in one night, actually got up from bed to finish the end. Carrie Turansky received the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol award for this novella. Authors – I felt this was a great example of the use of Swaine’s methods from “The Selling Author” which is a book I recently rediscovered after reading it thirty years ago. Because it is a novella the writing had to be tight. She effectively uses all of his techniques with great results. I am going to be honest, as a writer I was a tad distracted by catching the various ways Carrie Turansky made use of these methods. Readers – Annika is a Swedish immigrant who was orphaned and worked in Chicago until she agreed to marry the young man who she thought she was corresponding with – a widower with a young child. When she arrives in Wyoming she instead meets his younger brother, Daniel. Her betrothed doesn’t even come to meet her. That is because he has no intention of marrying her but was threatened by his Pa, who wrote the lovely letters that made Annika want to accept the proposal! Little Mariah and Annika form a bond as Daniel falls for his brother’s fiancé. Great holiday read. I highly recommend it even if you only read the first novella by Carrie, like I’ve had to do. Three other lovely authors also contributed their novellas – Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, and Therese Stenzel. Savor them on another wintry evening, too! Lovely voice, tight writing, nice story line, and loveable characters. I will be reading more of Carrie Turansky’s novels! I was privileged to share a table with her at the ACFW conference and hope she gets a very special man’s story written. I won’t spill the beans but I love this particular American hero. Bibliotherapy elements: Grieving, abandonment, and life transitions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Holmes

    The stories were cute. They provided light and non-serious entertainment for a couple of afternoons. Unfortunately, their plots were predictable (at least on a couple of them), but I realize there was limited space in a collection to fully develop characters and plot. All in all, a fun collection of reads.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    I thought the novellas were sweet and heartfelt. None of them were especially touching, though they were enjoyable reads. One thing that I thought was kind of weird about them is they were, I believe, all orphans. I thought that was a little unusual. It wasn't supposed to be Orphaned Mail-Order Brides Collection, was it? Oh, and they didn't really seem very Christmas-y either. A Trusting Heart – Carrie Turansky 3 stars. This is the first I've read by this author. It was pretty good. The plot was cute I thought the novellas were sweet and heartfelt. None of them were especially touching, though they were enjoyable reads. One thing that I thought was kind of weird about them is they were, I believe, all orphans. I thought that was a little unusual. It wasn't supposed to be Orphaned Mail-Order Brides Collection, was it? Oh, and they didn't really seem very Christmas-y either. A Trusting Heart – Carrie Turansky 3 stars. This is the first I've read by this author. It was pretty good. The plot was cute, though a bit cliqued. The characters were realistic enough. The romance was sweet, though minimal. The action was deftly written. And the faith was distant, as I'd expected. I didn't laugh or cry. The writing was pretty engaging. I believe it wouldn't have been difficult to put down, but it was so short I didn't really get the chance. For being only 90 pages, I think the author did a decent job in keeping the story flowing at a realistic pace. (*SPOILER ALERT!!!*) Daniel was sweet and gentle. Very responsible and kind. Not exactly the kind of guy that'd make me swoon (he'd have to be more romantic for that), but he was nice. Annika – She was sweet. She seemed a little strange emotionally. Like she'd cry about something that wasn't of much importance and then at the parts where I would expect her to cry, she doesn't. Hmm. Chase seemed like an idiot at first. It would've been so much easier if he'd just told his father that he was already courting someone else, instead of letting them see him as a irresponsible lout. I still don't get why he was drinking though. Because he was frustrated with courting one person and promised to another? I wish it'd explained. Mariah was a sweetheart, spoiled though she was. She desperately needed a mother and father. I'm not quite sure how I see Mr. Simms. He seemed brash and insensitive, yet he also just wanted his son to get a life. I don't know. Moving on to the next novella... The Prodigal Groom – Vickie McDonough 4.5 stars. So I'll be reading more of Vickie McDonough's books. Before, I had seen her books and even owned a few of them but had never read them. Then I stumbled across this book. Well, actually I didn't stumble across it. My mom had purchased two Romancing America collections from a library sale and I immediately turned to this one because it held the promise of the Wild West (which I totally love). So I read the descriptions and this one story really stood out to me. A mail-order bride who's intended refuses to marry her because of unforeseen events, forcing her to marry another man. That intrigued me. So I started skimming through the novella, not reading it, just looking for the romantic parts (I know, I'm terrible). Anyway, my gaze was caught by an action scene and then I half-read, half-skipped through the rest of the book. And I loved what I'd read. So I decided to read the actual novella. And I did. It was great! The characters were well-portrayed, the romance was sweet, the action was exciting, and the faith was, well, the same as usual. It didn't make me laugh or cry, though I did smile and shiver. The time flow wasn't the greatest, but wasn't that bad either. If you enjoy western romance, you will enjoy this novella. (*SPOILER ALERT!!!*) Jolie was cute and kind. I'm glad she helped heal the rift between Clay and his father. Her innocence was fresh and sweet. I'm glad she and Clay ended up together. Hiram sounded like an idiot. Clay was romantic, and strong, and handsome, and sweet. His “wife” lessons were so stinkin' cute and romantic. Do men like him exist in real life? Will was a nice old codger. I thought he was sweet. I'm glad he and Clay were able to renew their relationship and trust one another again. One part that I thought wasn't handle correctly was the part when Drake tried to ruff up Jolie. It was breath-catching and gave you the sense of danger, but I think it could have been more threatening. I wish the author would have dressed up the scene a bit more. All-in-all, great book. Hidden Hearts – Therese Stenzel 3 stars. At first, I didn't really care for this novella. Elisabeth was constantly mourning her old life and her inadequacies and it was really starting to annoy me. I was waiting for her to get on with her life. And the secrets between the two seemed a bit petty. I wished they'd just started out fresh and truthful. The characters were pretty good, the romance was all right, the action was well-written, and the faith was traditionally vague. It didn't make me laugh or cry. I may or may not read more from this author. (*SPOILER ALERT!!!*) Elisabeth was a pretty good character, other than her longing for her old life. I usually wouldn't mind that. I mean, who doesn't get homesick now and then? But it seemed to really drag it out. She was constantly distant, and wishing she was a better person, and pulling away from Zane. It was a bit irritating. Zane, or Michael (I like that name better) seemed like a sweetheart. I say seemed because I kind of felt that he didn't really have much of a chance to prove that he was one. Well, he did show that he was sweet be being so kind, and gracious, and considerate. He seemed romantic too. He was constantly kissing her and stuff, but she was distant and unresponsive, leaving me without a single memory of a breathless kiss. They're no good if they're only one-sided. His constant “Good. Good.” line was annoying me though. Hamilton was a bit of a jerk. He was too fickle. If he really loved Elisabeth then why did he ever reject her in the first place? And then he simply wouldn't listen to her when she said she belonged to someone else. I guess he just isn't used to not getting his way. Mrs. MacIntyre was really great. She was sweet, kind and a big help. The girls, Olivia and Sophia, seemed like sweethearts. I know they'll help Elisabeth feel welcome. One more novella left. Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match – Susan Page Davis 2.5 stars. I don't know about you, but for some reason romantic parts just don't seem very charming to me when the people are older. I look forward to reading about the romance of a young couple in their early twenties, not a not-exactly-young couple in their fifties (no offense). Another thing I didn't care for in this novella was it seemed to play out like a soap opera. Like they were actors simply reciting their memorized lines. And then Mr. Bailey said this: “I cannot tell you how vexed I am to hear about your house. If there is anything I can do at all, please don't hesitate to ask.” Doesn't that sound straight from a play? The characters were all right. The romance was, well, like I said. The action, what was there, was handled deftly. The faith was a mimic of the others'. I didn't laugh or cry. This is the second I've read by Susan Page Davis. I enjoyed the other (Love Finds You In Prince Edward Island, Canada) a deal more than this one. I don't think this story was written with enough care and it was incredibly predictable. But then again, isn't it that way with every romance novel? (*SPOILER ALERT!!!*) Lennox – First of all, I absolutely despise that name! It's so unattractive and boring. He was a nice enough character, a sweetheart and a gentleman. He and Amelia get along wonderfully. Amelia. She was sweet, though I do believe it was her pride that prompted her to seek out Mr. Bailey. She and him get along so well, I wondered why they hadn't thought of marriage sooner. Helen was sweet. I thought it was sad that she'd carried scars because of her parent's interracial marriage. I'm glad she was able to heal. Daniel seemed wise and just right for Helen. And their baby was impeccably cute!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda R

    Four authors, four stories, one theme - a mail-order bride sent by Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character. In Carrie Turansky's A Trusting Heart, Annika Bergstrom moves to Wyoming to marry Chase Simms, a widower of three years. When she arrives, she is met instead by Chase's brother, Daniel, who tells her Chase is away for a few days. As the days go by with no sign of Chase and Annika and Daniel spend time with each other, feelings start to develop between the two. Four authors, four stories, one theme - a mail-order bride sent by Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character. In Carrie Turansky's A Trusting Heart, Annika Bergstrom moves to Wyoming to marry Chase Simms, a widower of three years. When she arrives, she is met instead by Chase's brother, Daniel, who tells her Chase is away for a few days. As the days go by with no sign of Chase and Annika and Daniel spend time with each other, feelings start to develop between the two. Chase finally returns with news that decides all their futures. I liked this story. Daniel's tenderness toward Annika was touching during an awkward situation. I would have preferred that Carrie found a different way for Chase to deal with his grief, however. In Vickie McDonough's The Prodigal Groom, Jolie Addams travels to Nevada to marry a store owner. Clay Jackson is returning home after three years of dealing with his brother's death. On the way, the stagecoach is robbed and Jolie must spend the night alone with Clay, who has been shot, while the driver goes for help. When they arrive in town the next day, the store owner refuses to marry Jolie and Clay is forced to wed her. I really liked this story. Clay's protectiveness of Jolie was heartwarming. I appreciated that Vickie simply stated how Clay dealt with his grief in one sentence rather than going into further detail and focused on the present story instead. In Therese Stenzel's Hidden Hearts, Elisabeth Lariby arrives in Nebraska to marry Zane Michaels. Zane grew up poor, having to beg for food as a child. After gold is found on his land, Zane changes his name and moves to town, keeping his past and his wealth a secret. Already feeling inadequate since she knows no housekeeping skills, Elisabeth only feels more unsuitable after finding out Zane's secret. I did not find this story as enjoyable. Zane was loving towards Elisabeth, but having him not understand how to manage money and hiding his past from her made him seem an inferior character. In Susan Page Davis's Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match, Amelia Mayberry feels she must go to California to try and convince Lennox Bailey to give her another chance to find him a wife before she retires. Her first attempt was her only failure in her matchmaking business and she knows she will only find peace for both of them if she can succeed. I did not enjoy this story. While Lennox obviously cared for Amelia, their romance was too stilted and formal.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kirttimukha TheCat

    The first two stories were charming ( A trusting heart and a prodigal groom). However it was the third story that nearly made me put the book down. I didn't expect it to be earth-shatteringly awesome, but it left me with more questions than answers. Anyhow, When I got to Hidden Hearts, I didn't like the characters much, I thought the story didn't resolve very nicely, and I lost complete respect for any character that needed to ask god's intersession to make a cup of coffee. I still had a lot of The first two stories were charming ( A trusting heart and a prodigal groom). However it was the third story that nearly made me put the book down. I didn't expect it to be earth-shatteringly awesome, but it left me with more questions than answers. Anyhow, When I got to Hidden Hearts, I didn't like the characters much, I thought the story didn't resolve very nicely, and I lost complete respect for any character that needed to ask god's intersession to make a cup of coffee. I still had a lot of questions at the end. How does changing your name keep your neighbors from knowing you are the son of the town drunk? His wife "has a head for figures" but after telling her he won't have her involved in his business the subject just seems to get dropped. The last story wrapped up the book nicely but I didn't even realize the characters liked each other in a romantic way until the last few pages. Let me take an aside here and say that I didn't realize it was a christian romance. I prefer a bit less praying in my books. An 18th century setting already gave the book a lot of leeway for expressing christianity and chastity and modesty. By insisting on additional entreaties to god the authors went overboard and lost authenticity in their subject. I just can't get over the coffee. If you were going to ask for a miracle, it's a waste to ask for a cup of coffee in my opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky I love this exceptionally good mail-order bride story. Annika is a precious and godly young woman who is blessed immeasurably by her trust in God. The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonough What a wonderful and inspirational story. Both the hero and the heroine are 5-star characters. Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel This is a good story about learning to trust God and listen to His voice. It’s also a sweet love story. Mrs. Mayberry Meets her Match by Susan Page Davis Thi A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky I love this exceptionally good mail-order bride story. Annika is a precious and godly young woman who is blessed immeasurably by her trust in God. The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonough What a wonderful and inspirational story. Both the hero and the heroine are 5-star characters. Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel This is a good story about learning to trust God and listen to His voice. It’s also a sweet love story. Mrs. Mayberry Meets her Match by Susan Page Davis This is a lovely story—a bit different than the usual mail-order bride story, however, I did enjoy it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tamera Westhoff

    Sweet romances There are four different romances, each super sweet! The first one seemed considerably longer than the others, but each was a clean mail-order bride story. The second story had some steamy inferences, but was okay. I absolutely loved the last story!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ladette

    Short, sweet and quick reads I enjoyed these short, sweet stories for a quick read! It was fun and interesting reading about mail order brides... I can’t imagine what those women went through leaping out on faith that things would turn out right.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Many Missing Pages I LOVED what I could read of these four stories, but all were missing several pages. I am very disappointed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    4 short stories about mail order brides during the Christmas season.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brenda-

    Good book! I enjoyed reading this book very much. All the stories were interesting. I love reading historic fiction. It is my favorite.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robin Willson

    Excellent holiday read! A fully engaging story of four women who brave the unknown. Great investment of your time and money. Be entertained.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Nalley

    Oh, my. Really, really bad choice.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    A Trusting Heart - 3 stars The Prodigal Groom - 3.5 stars Hidden Hearts - 2.5 stars Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match - 3.5 stars

  18. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Sue

    Very good book I enjoyed these stories a lot. I would read it again and I would recommend it

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Brand

    1. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky RATING: 8 OUT OF 10 I think the main message of this story is to follow the path God wants you to take because it might not necessarily lead to where you imagine it will end. Annika is cautious about being a mail-order bride, and resigns herself to marrying a man who hasn't got over the death of his wife and spends most of his time drunk and neglecting his family. It takes her a long time to consider that maybe God sent her to Wyoming not to marry Chase, but 1. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky RATING: 8 OUT OF 10 I think the main message of this story is to follow the path God wants you to take because it might not necessarily lead to where you imagine it will end. Annika is cautious about being a mail-order bride, and resigns herself to marrying a man who hasn't got over the death of his wife and spends most of his time drunk and neglecting his family. It takes her a long time to consider that maybe God sent her to Wyoming not to marry Chase, but his brother. I also loved the relationship that Annika forged with her prospective groom's daughter. I don't really have any complaints with this story, but I didn't absolutely adore it either. It was a very enjoyable start to the collection and had all of the elements that romance readers look for in a novella. 2. The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonough RATING: 9 OUT OF 10 Definitely my favourite in this collection! Another case where the bride ends up marrying someone other than her intended. What I loved more about this story wasn't the unconventional plot but the chemistry between the characters. It reminded me a lot of Mary Connealy or Kelly Long in the way that the author showed the two main characters growing closer together and slowly realising their attraction for each other. I really appreciate it when Christian authors acknowledge how important the physical aspect of a relationship is to marriage, as well as the emotional and spiritual. My only complaint with this novella is that there was a bit of mystery injected suddenly at the end that came way too fast and didn't merge properly with the rest of the story. 3. Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel RATING: 7 OUT OF 10 Probably my least favourite novella in this collection, but still a sweet story. Orphaned Elizabeth is sent to become a mail-order bride as she has no inheritance and her aunt and uncle refuse to pay a dowry for her. She keeps her background from her husband, and he keeps his hidden from her as well. Everything goes pear-shaped because of their secrets, and the overt message is not to keep anything hidden from the person you're married to, and communication can avert a lot of problems. In a way, I felt this was more the story of Elizabeth finding herself and coming to understand who she is in God's eyes, not society's, than the story of her falling in love with Zane. Still not sure entirely what I thought of this one, but a nice enough story. 4. Mrs Mayberry Meets Her Match by Susan Page Davis RATING: 7 OUT OF 10 I appreciated that the stories were all tied together with one about the matchmaker herself. It was interesting to hear about her background and how she got into the business. This was the typical story of a couple who don't realise how perfect they are for each other, with the added humour of one party trying to set the other up with various people. Again, sort of a lack of honesty/communication story. It was nice, but I didn't relate to Mrs Mayberry as much as I did the other female characters, probably because of her age and life experience. As is a pet peeve of mine in a lot of American Christian fiction, there was a brief comment about how Mrs Mayberry abstaining from alcohol earned her the respect of Lennox. I would prefer if authors just didn't push any sort of opinion on alcohol by just not mentioning it at all in their stories as I get quite offended when the idea that All Alcohol is Evil is suggested. The assumption that all Christians abstain from alcohol is entirely unfounded, and as a Christian who enjoys a couple of glasses of wine with my dinner on a Friday night I often find myself grimacing when characters in books get holier-than-thou about drinking alcohol. This is purely a personal issue I had with this book, but even excluding that the story was cute but not as compelling as the first two. While the last two stories weren't quite as enjoyable as the first two this was a lovely little collection that put a smile on my face at the end of each story and got me in the Christmas mood. As an overall rating for the book, I'd give it 8/10.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shantelle

    Christmas Mail-Order Brides was a delightful collection of mail-ordered bride stories that charmed me with their sweetness and heartfelt touch. Faith was an important aspect of each of the four stories; which really just added all the more to them! Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character is a theme in all the stories, and we get to personally meet Mrs. Mayberry in the last. I enjoyed the entire book for the most part... this is one of the best novella collections I Christmas Mail-Order Brides was a delightful collection of mail-ordered bride stories that charmed me with their sweetness and heartfelt touch. Faith was an important aspect of each of the four stories; which really just added all the more to them! Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character is a theme in all the stories, and we get to personally meet Mrs. Mayberry in the last. I enjoyed the entire book for the most part... this is one of the best novella collections I have read! :) A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky. Annika Bergstrom is on her way to Wyoming to meet the man who has “ordered” her as his bride, Chase Simms. Having left behind her old home for good, she's at loss of what to do when she arrives at her intended's home and finds him missing. This was just a sweet story... filled with the unknown, loyalty, deceit, and mended hearts. Annika was really a lovely character, and I enjoyed watching brothers Chase and Daniel's getting on good terms again. Add in a control-taking grandfather, and the cute little daughter of Chase, and you get a sweet read! The Prodigal Groom by Vickie DcDonough. Orphan Jolie Addams has signed up to be a mail-ordered bride as a way of escaping a horrible future. On the way to meet her fiance, her stagecoach is attacked, and she finds herself stranded with a handsome stranger named Clay Jackson. ...Perhaps God has a plan different than her being a mail-ordered bride. Unusual but charming, this story told a cute tale with just a hint of suspense and some tense moments. Jolie is so sweet, I just really like her. Her relationships with both Mr. Jacksons were fun to watch unfold. Just the right ingredients for a Christian, western romance. Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel. After heartbreak, Elizabeth Lariby heads to Nebraska, almost forced by her strict aunt. She quickly grows affectionate of Zane Michaels, and especially his two adorable daughters. But will she ever be able to truly love him? Will their marriage last through secrets and a unexpected arrival? Just a lovely, satisfying story. It was filled with tenderness... learning to love again... opening up hearts. Hidden Hearts had an authentic feel to it. Definitely wasn't your normal romance, but that's what made it so sweet and fulfilling I think! :) Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match by Susan Page Davis. Mrs. Mayberry, the founder of Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians if Moral Character, is traveling to California to make one more match before ending her business for the time being. Lennos Bailey was a dear friend of her late husband, and she is determined to fix the matrimonial blunder she made on him by finding him a suitable bride this time. But bitter daughters, pride, and perhaps... love... may just change things all up. This was the unexpected yet fitting end to Christmas Mail-Order Brides. Mrs. Mayberry is a widow in her fifties who makes matches; it was fun to meet her and get to know her! Also it was just nice to see how everything fit together so perfectly in the end. Overall a cute tale, though I didn't enjoy it as much as the others. So yes, Christmas Mail-Order Brides definitely exceeded my expectations with interesting, faith-based, and heartfelt love stories. An endearing collection!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lillie

    Four different mail-order bride Christmas stories for some light entertainment during the holidays.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    A Trusting Heart- Carrie Turansky After Annika Bergstrom's twin sister, Sophie, is asked to marry Annika chooses to be a mail order bride. A man named Charles in Wyoming sounds wonderful and she leaves Chicago on the train to meet him. She is met by his father, brother and daughter but not him. After much time he appears at the house but does not seem like the man she had exchanged letters with. As time goes on she learns to love Mariah and becomes very fond of Daniel, Chase's brother. The Prodigal A Trusting Heart- Carrie Turansky After Annika Bergstrom's twin sister, Sophie, is asked to marry Annika chooses to be a mail order bride. A man named Charles in Wyoming sounds wonderful and she leaves Chicago on the train to meet him. She is met by his father, brother and daughter but not him. After much time he appears at the house but does not seem like the man she had exchanged letters with. As time goes on she learns to love Mariah and becomes very fond of Daniel, Chase's brother. The Prodigal Groom- Vickie McDonough Julie Addams has lived in the orphanage most of her life. She worked hard and now enjoyed taking care of the babies. She was almost 18 and Miss Tuttle was sending her to be a housekeeper for Mr Richter. The man scared Julie so she decided to move forward with her plan to be a mail-order bride. Hidden Hearts Therese Stenzel 5/30/2011 Aunt Dorothy has set Elizabeth up to be a mail order bride. She was engaged to Hamilton and his family rejected her for a bride of their choice. She was being sent from St Louis to Nebraska. Zane Michaels was thrilled with the beautiful wife he was getting. Even when she confessed her aunt wrote the letters. Although she did pass out at the train station after seeing he had two daughters. Aunt Dorothy had wrote that she was domestic! That she could cook, sew and clean. Which she could not. And he had two daughters, she did not know how to be a mother either. Most of all, her biggest secret of all was she loved Hamilton not Zane. Zane had so many secrets. What would she do if she found out he grew up poor, or that he had alot of money now. He did not want to be cared for by how much money he had. This story is founded once again on what can happen when people try to hide the truth. It never ends up well. Mrs Mayberry Meets her Match- Susan Page Davis Clay Jackson was returning home after 3 years. After his brother Clint died, an accident Clay felt he caused, he went down a dark road of gambling, drinking and more. He was sharing the stage coach with a young lady who was being tossed all over. Suddenly they were being attacked. When it was over, he had been shot. The stage coach driver went for help leaving the two of them alone. After her intended refused to marry her, Clay gave in and agreed to. Who knows what would happen to her otherwise. Not knowing how he would be welcomed home again, Clay headed to the Bar J to face his dad. Hoping for the killing of the fatted calf. Great story. Mrs Mayberry Meets her Match- Susan Page Davis 5/30/2011 Amelia Mayberry started a matchmaking business a few years after losing her husband. She wanted to support herself and kind of fell into this business. She is planning on retiring but feels she has one thing to fix. Her husbands good friend from the army, Lennox Bailey, had a failed attempt of marriage through her. She was heading from Missouri to Sacramento to fix it. Lennox was glad to see Amelia. He just hoped she would not bring up what had happened two years ago. He refused her when she wanted to refund his money, she had done her job well, it was the lady who was just wrong. Amelia has three ladies in mind but maybe Lennox is starting to see who would make the perfect bride for him on his own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lorie

    Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians with Moral Character helps three unmarried women find husbands. Each unmarried woman becomes a mail order bride and travels the Transcontiental Railroad to meet their grooms. Each run into problems along the way. The last story is about Mrs. Mayberry meeting her match. The first story was A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky. Annika Berstrom has lived with her twin sister since her parents deaths. When her sister decides to get married she decide Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians with Moral Character helps three unmarried women find husbands. Each unmarried woman becomes a mail order bride and travels the Transcontiental Railroad to meet their grooms. Each run into problems along the way. The last story is about Mrs. Mayberry meeting her match. The first story was A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky. Annika Berstrom has lived with her twin sister since her parents deaths. When her sister decides to get married she decides to become a mail order bride. She travels to Wyoming to meet her groom, Chase Simms, who has dissappeared when she gets there. Annika is left with Chase's father, daughter, and brother. She learns to trust Chases's brother and actually starts to fall in love with him. What will she do when Chase returns? Will her heart still be open for Chase? The second story was The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonough. Jolie Addams was raised in an orphanage after her mother dies and her father does not want her. She is forced to become a mail order bride after the orphanage tries to make her leave because she is too old to be in the orphanage and wants her to work for a mean man. As she goes to Nevada to meet her new groom, the stage coach is robbed and she is force to spend the night with Clay Jackson who is shot during the robbery. When she gets to her groom he decides he can't marry her because of the situation. Clay decides to marry her and take her home to meet his family that he has been estranged with. Will they be able to make their fake marriage work? The third story was Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel. Elizabeth Larby becomes a mail order bride after her fiance breaks up with her and her aunt writes to Mrs' Mayberry's Mail Order Service. Elizabeth goes even though she still has feelings for her ex. She ends up marrying Zane Micheals. Both come to the mariiage with secrets will they survive when all the secrets come out? The fourth story was Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match by Susan Page Davis. Amelia Mayberry is finally ready to retire from the match making service. She has a nice home of her dreams and enough money to live in peace. Amelia decides to find a match for one groom who's match went wrong. She travels tp California to try to get Lennox Bailey to let her try again so she can retire with no worries over the business. Can she make a match for Lennox this holiday season or will she go home to retire? I really enjoyed every story in this collection. I think the second one was my favorite though. The stories can easily be read in one sitting and are a great way to get in the Holiday spirit.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Title: CHRISTMAS MAIL ORDER BRIDES Authors: Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Therese Stenzel, Carrie Turansky Publisher: Barbour Books September 2010 ISBN: 978-1-60260-969-3 Genre: Inspirational/historical Marriage arrives by Mail-Order—just in time for Christmas. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky—Annika Bergstrom’s twin sister is getting married, but she refuses to go with her groom until she knows Annika has plans for marriage. So Annika agrees to go west to be a mail order bride. But when sh Title: CHRISTMAS MAIL ORDER BRIDES Authors: Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Therese Stenzel, Carrie Turansky Publisher: Barbour Books September 2010 ISBN: 978-1-60260-969-3 Genre: Inspirational/historical Marriage arrives by Mail-Order—just in time for Christmas. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky—Annika Bergstrom’s twin sister is getting married, but she refuses to go with her groom until she knows Annika has plans for marriage. So Annika agrees to go west to be a mail order bride. But when she gets there, the groom is not the man she thought he was and she finds herself falling for his brother. Will she marry the man she’s promised to, or hold out for love? The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonough—Jolie Addams is an orphan, promised to work as a maid for a lecherous old man. Desperate to escape, she promises to marry an unknown man in Nevada. But when her stage breaks down, she is forced to spend the night un-chaperoned with Clay Jackson. Now her intended refuses to marry her and she is forced to wed Clay. Is there any hope of love coming from such an awful beginning? Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel—Elisabeth Lariby agrees to become a mail-order bride after her life crumbles around her. Zane Michaels ordered a mail-order bride but both of them hide their pasts and circumstances from the other. Will their marriage survive after the secrets are revealed? Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match by Susan Page Davis—Amelia Mayberry has made a living as a matchmaker but now she wants to spend her sunset years in peace. There’s only one problem. An unsatisfied customer needs her to make amends. But what will it take for both Will Lennox Bailey and Amelia to find a happy ending? This collection of four mail-order brides historical romances is definitely a sweet romance collection to read this holiday season. I especially liked one of the stories more than the others (as it usually goes) but I did enjoy all four of them. Only one of the stories is actually about a match being made the way it was intended, but it was fun watching the others unfold and hoping the brides (and grooms) would realize their mistakes and find love with the right person. If you are looking for a good historical romance collection to read this holiday season, then don’t miss CHRISTMAS MAIL-ORDER BRIDES. It will warm your heart. $7.99. 352 pages.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    4 Touching Stories Each of the 4 stories are very wonderfully written by 4 great authors. Each story gave a different perspective on how both the bride and groom felt in each story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Four novellas with a Christmas and Wild West 1880s theme.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ

    This is an anthology of four christian christmas romances. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky Decent story but I found it unrealistic in that the father ordered a mail-order bride for his drunken lazy son without his knowledge. And evidently Mrs. Mayberry's references for christians of good moral character failed in checking into this particular groom-to-be. Takes place in Wyoming. The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonoughM/b> So far, the best story of the book. That being said, the jerk of a store ow This is an anthology of four christian christmas romances. A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky Decent story but I found it unrealistic in that the father ordered a mail-order bride for his drunken lazy son without his knowledge. And evidently Mrs. Mayberry's references for christians of good moral character failed in checking into this particular groom-to-be. Takes place in Wyoming. The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonoughM/b> So far, the best story of the book. That being said, the jerk of a store owner and the mob in town that forced her to marry is ridiculous. Also the first chapter about the sadistic old man wanting to hire her as a maid is creepy as it implies that all the young women he hires disappears never to be heard from again. Takes place in Nevada. Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel I didn't like this story at all! First off, it's all about them keeping secrets from each other - like who they are or even hiding their wealth (or lack of it). The book is suppose to take place in Plainsville, Nebraska. I live in Nebraska. Trust me, Nebraska in 1884 isn't anything like the large town they tried to make it out to be. The author just picked a town name and state out of a hat and didn't try to make it realistic at all. Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match by Susan Page Davis This one probably made the most sense of the lot. Not as much christianity in this one as in the others, but the plot is more believable.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I enjoyed this collection of four stories. It was a little distraction for me while I took a break from some more serious books I'm currently reading. For those who like romance, historical fiction and Christian fictions this is a great option and quick read. Set in the 1880's, the first three stories are about three young women who agree to be mail-order brides for one reason or another. Through Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character they meet their future husband I enjoyed this collection of four stories. It was a little distraction for me while I took a break from some more serious books I'm currently reading. For those who like romance, historical fiction and Christian fictions this is a great option and quick read. Set in the 1880's, the first three stories are about three young women who agree to be mail-order brides for one reason or another. Through Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character they meet their future husbands in interesting roundabout ways and learn God does works in mysterious ways for those who trust in Him. The last story is about Mrs. Mayberry herself, set to retire from her mail-order matchmaking services but determined to fix a failed match for her late husband's best friend. She too learns much about God and matchmaking just as her brides did. Each author did a great job on this collaborative work. Each story was separate from the rest with just a common theme and connection to the matchmaking society but fit together well. The writing styles were similar between the four, which in this particular case, I liked because it gave the book a feeling of unity. Their different approaches to plot though show their distinctive voices and techniques. This was an opportunity to sample a few authors at once and has persuaded me to check them out individually as well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Haskell

    "Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?" I'm not sure what I expected, bu did not realize this book was oriented to Christian "Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?" I'm not sure what I expected, bu did not realize this book was oriented to Christian Beliefs. All the men and women in these stories were devout believers in turning problems over to God to solve. As a result, the characters are less well developed and more passive than I prefer in a romance novel. While the book is notto my preference, I am sure many people would find it a fine example of how well life can turn when someone lives by her beliefs.

  30. 5 out of 5

    April Suter

    Annika headed west to be Chase's bride only he doesn't know it. When he leaves the ranch he also leaves his daughter, father and brother; and when he returns will there still be a new family? Jolie also heads west to be a merchant's wife but a stage coach robbery leaves her with Clay overnight. Whose wife will she become? Elisabeth is sent by her aunt to be a wife in Nebraska to be Zane's wife. When she finds out he has kids and a poor past and he finds out she doesn't know much about housekeeping Annika headed west to be Chase's bride only he doesn't know it. When he leaves the ranch he also leaves his daughter, father and brother; and when he returns will there still be a new family? Jolie also heads west to be a merchant's wife but a stage coach robbery leaves her with Clay overnight. Whose wife will she become? Elisabeth is sent by her aunt to be a wife in Nebraska to be Zane's wife. When she finds out he has kids and a poor past and he finds out she doesn't know much about housekeeping will they find love? Mrs. Mayberry, who started her matchmatching/mail order bride business, heads to San Fransisco to help her late husband's friend find a bride. Surprises for both! 350 pages

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