Wednesday, January 13, 2016

With This Ring? Do you?

What can go wrong?



Title:  With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry
Author:  Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears
Publisher:  Bethany House
Release Date:  December, 2015

    

ABOUT THE BOOK


Sometimes Love is Found in the Most Unexpected Places!

Love isn't always a fairy tale, and it doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes the best stories, though, are the ones that are the most unexpected. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that celebrate the power of love to triumph . . . even when circumstances go awry! 


The Husband Maneuver
When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

Her Dearly Unintended
Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they'll save their reputations--but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing? 

Runaway Bride
Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he's promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises. 

Engaging the Competition
Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they'll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison's glasses--without which he's nearly blind--she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.
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MY THOUGHTS

What can go wrong?! Apparently a lot - for the characters! I love this novella collection. I mean, how could you not? Just look at the list of authors! OK, fangirl-ing aside, each story brings out the spunk that these authors are known for in their books.

In The Husband Manuever, there's basically a story within a story, starting off from the ever popular dime novels back in the day.  Also present in Karen's most recent novel, A Worthy Pursuit, which really is worthy of pursuit (click on the title for my review), The Husband Maneuver follows directly behind A Worthy Pursuit in terms of timeline.  The characters, Daniel and Marietta originally appeared in the first book and gave readers quite an impression. So I'm thrilled to read about their adventure to matrimony.  Despite it being a novella, Karen still manages to give us a story that speaks to the heart of readers and a bit of conflict for the characters to figure out. Inner thoughts gave way to understanding. I particularly enjoy reading about Etta's "maneuvers", and how schemes and plans don't always pan out the way we want them to. And when all hope seems to be lost, there might just be a little sunshine down the road.

In terms of connection, Her Dearly Intended also follows characters from Regina's other novels, A Most Inconvenient Marriage and At Love's Bidding We meet Josiah again, a punk (in a funny and sweet way) in all definitions from the other novels, all grown up and ready for his own love story to come to fruition. The bickering between Josiah and Katie Ellen are a hoot! The old saying, "opposites attracts" comes to mind, but  really all started as misunderstanding.  Each harbors love for the other, but for reasons in the past and present, a mental wall have slowly made it's way up. Will these two be able to chip away years of doubt and anguish, and work together when danger knocks on the door?


Did I really miss all those Kincaid Bride and Trouble in Texas series?!?! We meet many characters along the way in this novella, and they all connect somehow to Mary's other series, but don't worry, you won't feel lost. I didn't, but I do want to check out the other series.   As Carrie and her younger brother, Isaac was rescued by Texas Ranger, Big John, they've encountered trouble that requires some help from John's friends, and there we meet the Kincaids and others.  Even for the amount of characters, we are still rapt into Carrie and John's story as they consider a marriage of convenience to ward off Carrie's dangerous pursuers.  A fun read with a head strong hero and heroine. Will they butt heads or will this short stop be permanent?

Melissa's Engaging the Competition does not follow any story, but it does introduce us to the characters of her next novel, and I can't wait! No worries, this also is a standalone story, and you will enjoy it just as much, with hopes for the main character of Melissa's next novel.  We start off with tomboy Charlie already engaged to August, part of the Whittaker clan, which are bullies in town. A marriage of convenience to help Charlie be able to keep her house and property, financially.  With no love involved, will this story end as you wish? Jump in Harrison, a childhood friend and town teacher who've always been nice to Charlie, until a misunderstanding and pride years ago drifted them apart. Unexpectedly, a storm and a pair of broken glasses brings Charlie and Harrison together, and maybe a chance to finally see clearly each other and the events of the past.  Charlie is a head-strong character, and somewhat unlikable, but by end, you will understand the soft side of who she is. What I do find a tad bit disconcerting is the level of intimate interactions (kissing/hugging/touching) between Charlie and Harrison while Charlie's an engaged woman!  Besides being part of a big clan of bullies, August doesn't seem so bad, and somewhat honorable, except that he went along with a marriage of convenience because of her property. They do however admit their transgression, and I think in all, a good story about pride and love.

With wit, charm and ingenuity, the authors of With this Ring? gave us a fabulous collection and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good book.


NOTE:  Many thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for a complimentary copy.  This review is my honest opinion on this book. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.

TO PURCHASE A COPY

    

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Photo courtesy of Amber Gilbert
Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children.

CONNECT WITH KAREN:   website, facebook







Photo courtesy of Ginger
Murray Photography
Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has over half a million books sold. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie's Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. 

CONNECT WITH MARY:  website, facebook, twitter







Photo courtesy of Ginger
Murray Photography
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

CONNECT WITH REGINA:  website,  facebook,  twitter





Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store,and A Bride at Last, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. 

CONNECT WITH MELISSA:  website, facebook, twitter








4 comments :

  1. Fan girl here too! This collection looks SO good!

    ReplyDelete
  2. O, Beth! Yes it is GOOD!! =) O, Goodreads currently have a giveaway on it: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/157399-with-this-ring-a-novella-collection-of-proposals-gone-awry

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i fangirl-SQUEALED when I was reviewing this for RT & saw that Big John was the lead in Mary Connealy's novella. I've been waiting for his story all this time!! And then he went and fell in love with a Carrie. Perfection! ;) Since you didn't read those other series (and yes you must go back and do so!), you might have missed the clever wordplay Mary used in one particular scene - she worked in the titles of the Trouble in Texas novels in conjunction with their main characters. I was in fangirl heaven :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. O Carrie! Now I DEFINITELY have to go check out the other series! Trouble in Texas, you say. Ooooo! So are you squealing because it's an awesome book or because Big John fell in love with a "Carrie"?!?! LOL. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete