Western Christmas Brides by Lauri Robinson, Lynna Banning, Carol Arens


Western Christmas Brides by Lauri Robinson, Lynna Banning, Carol Arens
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Three heartwarming stories of Christmas in the Wild West.

A Bride and Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson

Pregnant Hannah Olsen has made a list of Oak Grove’s eligible men. A list that Teddy White sees—and he’s not on it! Time for him to act so that both their Christmas wishes can come true.

Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish by Lynna Banning

Dedicated new teacher Christina Marnell feels her heart race as she watches Ivan Panovsky chop wood for the school. She had ruled marriage out, but Christmas is a time when miracles can happen…

A Kiss from the Cowboy by Carol Arens

Kitson James and Livy York both have secrets, but can their love overcome the lies they’ve told? A Christmas kiss might help…

There are three heartwarming stories of Christmas in the Wild West in this one book. First is A Bride and Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson, next is Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish by Lynna Banning and last is A Kiss from the Cowboy by Carol Arens.

To say I was excited to read A Bride and Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson is an understatement. The reason I was eager to read this story is because the heroine, Hannah and the hero, Teddy made an appearance in the book Winning the Mail-Order Bride (Oak Grove series) by Lauri Robinson. I knew they were going to be in A Bride and Baby for Christmas and I couldn’t wait to read their story. It was well worth the wait.

This is my fourth Lauri Robinson book. I became an official fan after reading a third book of hers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, her flawless writing style is consistent in each of her books. She creates a web of relatable characters that are intertwined in a community that are unforgettable and inspirational. There is plenty of drama, conflict and sweet romance that kept me flipping the pages. Lauri Robinson books are original, genuine, and entertaining. When you finish one of Lauri’s books you walk around for hours/days thinking about the characters.

A Bride and Baby for Christmas was endearing – a perfect book to read during the holiday season to get you into the Christmas spirit. I especially loved how it immediately started with Teddy and Hannah meeting. The situation was precious. Then there’s a touch of comedy with “the list”. That plot thread was hilarious. Teddy’s sister, Abigail, stirs the pot but that is one element that made the book riveting. Abigail kept me wondering what kind of trouble she was going to cause next. I didn’t like the conflict she caused at first but I understand Abigail’s character was necessary to the entire plot of the book.

I do want to rave about the two inspirational stories that were part of A Bride and Baby for Christmas. I was touched by the story Teddy heard from his grandfather when he was ten years old. That is a message that all humans can benefit from, especially in today’s world. Then the message that Brett’s mom told Hannah one day. Both are thought-provoking and heartwarming. So far Western Christmas Brides is on my must read list.

Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish by Lynna Banning was overwhelming for me. The story was ninety two pages in length. I had to stop reading to get a pen and paper. Within twenty eight pages Lynna Banning had introduced twenty two characters. I don’t have a photographic memory and it didn’t help when she referred to one character as Stockett and later as Abraham. Only after re-reading did I figure out that Abraham Stockett was the same person. She did the same thing with Thad MacAllister. I share this information with you so that you are warned and aware to pay attention. You might want to have a paper and pen ready. Ivan, the hero, has a boss named Ike Bruhn. Later it says his boss’s name was Abraham Stockett. It is later revealed that Ivan actually has two jobs and that is why he has two bosses. I found all of this confusing. I like to relate and bond to my characters. It was impossible to do that with so many to remember.

The heroine, Christina, is the town’s new school teacher. The reader was introduced to ten of her students. In the story there is a dance. It felt like all twenty six characters were at the dance taking turns switching partners and it made my head spin. I gave up trying to remember who Vern Forester was. Actually, according to my notes she was the town dress maker. The romance between Ivan and Christina was in all reality, non-existent. Thirty five pages into the story they still hadn’t even had a real conversation and when they did, it was an argument so, as far as the “Christmas Spirit” goes, it’s not much. Christmas wasn’t mentioned until the epilogue. Needless to say I didn’t connect with this story in this anthology. However that’s not to say that someone else won’t. I suggest other readers give it a try.

Seriously, A Kiss from the Cowboy by Carol Arens gave First a Bride and a Baby for Christmas by Lauri Robinson a run for her money. Wow! I LOVED A Kiss from the Cowboy! Kit, the hero and Livy, the heroine were refreshing. A splash of fresh air. A unique plot with clever threads and fun twists that kept me flipping pages with a smile. The Christmas spirit was alive and thriving in this story. The message of love was loud and clear. If I closed my eyes I could feel myself standing next to Kit and Livy by the town Christmas tree seeing carols. This was a genuine heartwarming feel good story. An entertaining quick read that I would easily recommend to others. The side characters were well developed and enhanced the sense of community in the small town of Sweet Bank. If you’re looking for a sweet quaint enjoyable book then look no further. A Kiss from the Cowboy was delicious!

Overall, I enjoyed Western Christmas Brides. I love Cowboys and Christmas as much as I love Baileys in my coffee. Trust me, that’s a strong love affair. I know I had a hard time with Miss Christina’s Christmas Wish but that’s not to say everyone else who reads that book would. It’s my opinion that the other two stories in this book are definitely worth more than the weight of gold. I definitely recommend Western Christmas Brides to be in stockings all around the world come this Christmas.

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