~ About the Book ~
In Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.
In Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart,” widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.
In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s “A Shot at Love,” Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.
In Becky Wade’s “Because of You,” Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?
Genre: Historical/Contemporary Romance novella collection
Release date: 2 October 2018
Publisher: Bethany House
~ Excerpt ~
A glint of silver tumbled out of the woolen nest, and Sarah jerked to catch the jewelry before it fell. A smile touched her lips as she ran a finger across the large amethyst heart in the center of the brooch. Silver hearts intertwined around the stone, and a silver crown topped the entire curling mass of shiny nostalgia.
And just that easily, she forgave the old woman for her embarrassing declaration. Lady Densbury was a romantic. She’d loved her husband enormously, and by all accounts he’d loved her, as well—enough to haul her off to Scotland and cause a great scandal when his family had declared her an unfit choice of bride.
They’d spent a year in Edinburgh where he’d bought her this luckenbooth brooch as a token of his unending love for her. It was easily the dowager’s most prized possession. Not because of the enormous gem’s value, but because of the love it made her remember. Sarah lost count of the number of times she’d heard the story.
Legacy of Love ~ Kristi Ann Hunter
Holding the handkerchief out to Naomi, he flipped back the top layer of cotton with his thumb. “Here it is,” he said. “Safe and sound.”
Surprisingly, she made no move to take it. She just nodded and shot him an approving glance. “Just wanted to make sure.”
The purple amethyst glinted in the sunlight as Bo rested it on his leg. Instead of stashing it back in his pocket, he rubbed the curved edge of the silver brooch with the pad of his thumb. “Why is this piece of jewelry so important to you and your mama?”
“Because it brings true love to whoever it belongs to.
Bo’s thumb slipped off the silver edge. “What?”
Hardworking, practical, no-nonsense Ruth treasured this piece of jewelry because of its fairy-tale properties? He shook his head. That couldn’t be right. Maybe it was just a story she’d told her daughter as a bedtime ritual.
“Don’t worry.” Naomi gave his knee a patronizing tap. “Mama says it’s more of a tradition than anything magical. It’s not going to zap you with a cupid arrow or anything.” She grinned, the gap in her front teeth on display.
“What a relief.” Though he was pretty sure that arrow had already found its mark.
Naomi grabbed her crossed ankles and rocked back and forth. “It all started with great-great-grandmother Densbury. She was a fancy English lady who eloped to Scotland with her sweetheart. He bought her that pin as a token of his infection.”
Bo smothered a laugh. “Affection, I believe. A token of his affection.”
Gift of the Heart – Karen Witemeyer
~ Review ~
I don’t always go for novella collections, partly because the stories tend to meld together in my mind after I’ve read a couple of them, but there’s absolutely no chance of that happening with this collection. Each of these stories is set in a distinctly different time and place: England, 1827; Texas, 1890; West Virginia, 1958; and modern-day Washington. Each of the heroines also has a very distinctive voice, from the gun-toting Fleeta Brady: “She wanted to be a gunsmith. To take care of her family. And now she was supposed to fall in love too?” right through to Maddie Winslow, who “met the man of her dreams the same day that her friend Olivia introduced Maddie to her new boyfriend. Which would have been splendid, except that the man of Maddie’s dreams was Olivia’s new boyfriend.”
In fact, the only difficulty I DO have with this collection is in trying to decide which of these novellas was my favourite. Was it the first, with the elderly matchmaker who went to the trouble of handpicking a bride for her (unsuspecting) favourite grandson? Or the second book, with the wealthy and aloof (but actually rather soft-hearted) Bo Azlin, who can’t help but be fascinated by a hardworking widow, her charming daughter, and the furry miscreant who moves in despite his objections. And I’ve already mentioned feisty Fleeta and moonstruck Maddie from books three and four. Each romance was perfectly paced for the novella format, very engaging, and had just the right level of sweetness to produce a sigh of contentment at the final paragraph.
Okay, so maybe the second novella just sneaked over the line ahead of the others, (I did form a bit of a soft spot for Bo Azlin) but seriously, they were all delightful reads. So I guess it’s going to be up to you to read them for yourself to see if YOU can work out which one is your favourite.
I received a copy of this collection from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ About the Authors ~
Kristi Ann Hunter is the RITA® award winning author of Regency romance novels from a Christian worldview. Her books include the award winning Hawthorne House series as well as the newly published first stories of the Haven Manor series. Beyond writing, she is also speaker, teaching classes in writing as well as Biblical and spiritual topics. She has spoken to writers’ groups, schools, and young women’s groups at churches.
When she is not writing or interacting with her readers, Kristi spends time with her family and her church. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a computer science degree, she can also be found fiddling with her computer in her free time. A born lover of stories she is also an avid reader. From very young she dreamed of sharing her own stories with others and praises God daily that she gets to live that dream today.
Christy Award finalist and winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.
Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.
Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.
Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.