Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Book Review: Convenient Bride Collection

Convenient Bride Collection. 2015. Barbour Books. 446 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Did I enjoy reading The Convenient Bride Collection published by Barbour?! Yes!!!! So very, very much! To be fair, these novellas are all built around a predictable premise: convenient marriages that all end with the couple falling head over heels in love with each other. I happen to have a weakness for this romantic sub-genre. Predictability can be a strength as well as a weakness, depending on personal preferences, of course. So if you happen to dislike this sub-genre (convenient marriages) or if you happen to dislike historical romances in general, then this isn't the collection for you. (And that's okay!)

Nine novellas in all:

The Substitute Wife by Amanda Barratt
One Way to the Altar by Andrea Boeshaar with Christina Linstrot Miller
Keeper of My Heart by Mona Hodgson
Blinded by Love by Melissa Jagears
Bonnets and Bees by Maureen Lang
A Groom for Josette by Gabrielle Meyer
Wedded to Honor by Jennifer Uhlarik
A Bride for Bear by Erica Vetsch
Have Cash, Will Marry by Renee Yancy

Since this novella collection focuses on convenient marriages, I thought it likely--very likely--that I would enjoy most of the stories in varying degrees. I didn't expect, however, to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of them. Sure, I could probably pick a top three that made me extra-giddy. But really, all of them proved giddy-making and purely satisfying.

My least favorite novella was probably Amanda Barratt's The Substitute Wife. It read a little too closely to Grace Livingston Hill's Marcia Schuyler to my liking. (And Marcia Schuyler was one of my first romances to ever read. It's one I've read two or three times at least.)

My top three novellas are probably A Bride for Bear, A Groom for Josette, and Have Cash, Will Marry. Honestly, picking my third favorite was difficult. I could just as easily have gone with Blinded by Love or One Way to the Altar.

I enjoyed each novella. I worried perhaps that there wouldn't be enough time for character development since they were novellas and not full-length novels, but, I shouldn't have worried. While I wouldn't have minded a little more of my most-favorite stories, I also didn't feel that the stories were lacking either. Plenty happens, and there is time to come to care for the characters.

All of the novellas are set in America, one novella has an English hero, however. Overall, I liked the historical settings for the novellas.

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