A January Bride

A January Bride

by Deborah Raney

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A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

What will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser’s “pen pal” friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn?

Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie’s never met the innkeeper—but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie’s alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn’s owner—a man who's likely many years her senior—and who she’s never even met.

Arthur Tyler is a college professor who lost his young wife to cancer. Together they ran the bed and breakfast where Art lives, but without his wife, the house is missing warmth and cheer. He jumps at the chance to have author Madeleine Houser use the space that was once filled with guests. He, too, begins to enjoy the daily exchanges with Maddie, but a series of misunderstandings lead him to believe she’s far from being a prospective date—even if he were ready to date again, which he’s not.

When Maddie and Art finally meet and discover one another’s identity, sparks fly. Even so, they each have obstacles to overcome in order for this winter romance to blossom.

“Having been the mother of the bride twice and the mother of the groom once, it’s fun planning a virtual wedding. Then again, writing A November Bride made me responsible for every aspect of the wedding, including making sure the couple made it all the way to the ‘I do’s!’” —Beth K. Vogt, author of A November Bride

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310337706
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 12/24/2013
Series: A Year of Weddings Novella , #1
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 147
Sales rank: 175,134
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Deborah Raney’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after twenty happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Deb now has more than two dozen published novels. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, Kansas. They love traveling to visit four children and five small grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the web at www.deborahraney.com. Twitter: @authordebraney

Read an Excerpt

A January Bride

A Year of Wedding Novella

By Deborah Raney


Copyright © 2014 Deborah Raney
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-33770-6


Glancing at the chaos around her, Madeleine Houser set her coffee mug on the dining room table and shoved another packing carton out of her path. It didn't budge. She bent over and attempted to read the smudged label. Kitchen—good china. Oh. Good thing she'd resisted the temptation to kick the box.

Maddie looked into the kitchen where cupboards gaped open, hinges naked. The cabinet doors were lined up against the wall in the empty breakfast nook. Even after four days, the smell of wet enamel stung her nostrils. The flooring couldn't be laid until the electrician fixed the mess he'd made of the wiring. And she didn't dare put her china in the cupboards until all that was finished.

What had her sister gotten her into? Kate's husband had been transferred to Ohio, but with their mother in the nursing home here in Clayburn, Kate had begged her to leave her beloved New York loft and move into Kate and Jed's house on Harper Street while it was being refurbished to sell. "You can write anywhere, Maddie," Kate had pled in her best big-sister voice. "Besides, you can sublet the loft, and just think what you'll save on the rent."

So here she was in Clayburn, Kansas—the middle of nowhere—proving quite soundly that one could not write just anywhere.

Lugging the carton of china out of the way, she wove her way through the maze of boxes and poured another cup of coffee. She blew a long strand of dishwater-blond hair out of her eyes and slid into a dining room chair. In the midst of the piles of books and boxes and unsorted mail strewn across the table, her laptop computer glared accusingly at her.

Ignoring the disorder, she pulled the computer close, pushed her glasses up on her nose, and tried to remember where she'd left off. Ah, yes. The heartless landlord had just evicted the young widow. Oh, brother, Houser, how cliché can you get? Well, too bad. She didn't have time to change the whole plot now. She'd managed to write almost two thousand words this morning, but given her track record lately, she'd be lucky if fifty of them were worth keeping.

What had she been thinking to let her editor talk her into a January 1 deadline in the midst of this cross-country move? It was nearly October! "You can do it, Madeleine," Janice had crooned in her conniving editor's voice. "If we can get this book on the shelves before next Christmas, the first print run will sell out in a month. Come on. Say you'll do it. Houser fans are clamoring for your next book."

Over the six years Janice Hudson had been Maddie's editor, they'd become dear friends. But right now Maddie wanted to strangle her.

She edited the sentence in front of the blinking cursor and forced herself to return to the nineteenth century and the plight of Anne Caraway, her suffering heroine. Poor Anne. She'd lost her beloved William and been evicted from her home, alone with a small child to care for. Now, Maddie was about to throw Anne Caraway onto the mean streets of Chicago. It was the bane of an author's existence—this need to make her beloved characters suffer. To put them in the furnace and turn up the fire. But without conflict, there was no story, and conflict often equaled sorrow. So, onto the streets Anne Caraway and little Charlie must go. She typed furiously.

The faint echo of dripping water pierced her concentration. She glanced up from her laptop and tilted her head, listening. Was it raining? Who could tell with the heavy drapes covering the room's high windows? Those would have to go. But first she must finish this book. Brushing off the temptation to get up and check outside, she turned back to the keyboard. She typed twenty words before the drip, drip, drip became demanding.

She pushed her chair back and navigated the labyrinth of cardboard boxes. The sound seemed to be coming from the kitchen, but nothing was leaking there as far as she could tell. Dodging sawhorses the contractors had left, she crossed to the basement door. As a rule, basements gave her the creeps, but in this tornado alley on the Kansas prairie, it was a rare house that didn't have one. She'd been relieved to find Kate and Jed's charming Tudor had only a closet-sized cellar. Just enough space to provide refuge from a cyclone, but not enough to have dank corners where ... well, where whatever it was she was afraid of could hide.

She opened the door––and gasped. The wooden treads at the bottom of the flight glistened with moisture, and from the far end of the cellar, she could hear the unmistakable sound of water trickling into more water. A naked lightbulb hung over the stairs. Rats! The string attached to the pull chain was caught on one of the splintered rafters overhead. Maddie straddled the steps, one foot on the top landing, the other on the thin ledge that ran the length of the stairwell. Grabbing the door handle for support, she scooted along the ledge, grasping blindly for the string.

Next thing she knew, she was teetering on the ledge. She reached for something to steady herself. Unfortunately, what she found was the door, which slammed shut behind her.

The stairwell went dark. Miraculously she found the string with the next random swing of her arm. Not so miraculously when she pulled on the chain, the light flickered, then sparked. She heard the ominous sound of every electric device in the house powering down.

Had she remembered to save her manuscript? The old laptop barely held a charge anymore; it would be dead before the auto-save kicked in. She felt herself slipping and gasped when she hit the stairs. Hard. A sharp pain sliced through her left ankle, and she bumped down half the flight of stairs.

When the stairwell quit spinning, she crawled back up to the kitchen and pulled herself to her feet, testing. Ouch! Her ankle had already swollen to the size of a small grapefruit. Damp and aching, she hobbled to the cordless phone on the kitchen wall. Dead. And her cell phone was upstairs in the guest room charging. Thankfully the landline in the dining room had a dial tone. She rummaged through the desk drawer until she found the thin phone book and flipped to the number of her neighbor, Ginny Ross. Ginny answered on the second ring.

"Ginny? Hi, it's Madeleine Houser next door. Is your electricity out?"

"No. Well, at least I don't believe so. Just a minute ..."

Maddie heard an oven door creak open and then what sounded like the ding of a microwave. "No. Everything's still on over here."

"Rats! I think I've blown another fuse. And there's water in the—ouch!"

"Madeleine? What's happened? Are you all right?"

Maddie cringed as she eased into the desk chair. "I'm fine. I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle."

"You scared me. I thought you'd electrocuted yourself."

Maddie gave a humorless laugh. "Nothing so dramatic, I'm afraid. Sorry to bother you. I just didn't want to call the electrician again if it was only—"

"I'll be right over."

The phone went dead, and Maddie sat staring at the receiver for a few seconds, until she realized Ginny meant her words literally. Maddie had met her neighbor only two weeks ago, but already she'd grown to love the woman. At eighty-four and widowed for a quarter of a century, Ginny epitomized the word spry. She was as independent as any of Maddie's thirty-something New York friends. With her own mother's mind ravaged by Alzheimer's disease, it was good to have a wise older woman to talk to.

"Yoo-hoo!" Ginny's cheery voice floated in from the mudroom.

"Come on in, Ginny. But watch your step."

Ginny bustled into the kitchen, weaving her way through sawhorses and stepladders. "Now what did you do to yourself?" She bent to inspect Maddie's swollen ankle. "Oh, my! Are you sure it's not broken?"

"I don't think so." She rubbed the tender area around the swelling.

Ginny scooted another chair close and helped Maddie elevate her foot. Then she went to the freezer and rummaged inside until she unearthed a package of frozen peas. "Here we go." She wrapped the icy bag in a dishcloth and draped it over Maddie's ankle. She glanced around the kitchen, taking in the renovation chaos. "How are you ever going to finish that book in this mess?"

Maddie couldn't help it. Tears that had been pent up for weeks overflowed. "Oh, Ginny, I'm already so far behind I can't imagine how I'll make my deadline. And without electricity, I'm sunk."

"Well, of course you are." Ginny made sympathetic clucking noises with her tongue and surveyed the kitchen again. "This will never do. I'd offer to let you write at my house, but I'm afraid my beginning piano students would make this wreck seem like a haven of peace."

Maddie swiped at a tear and forced a smile. "I appreciate that, Ginny. But it's not your problem. I'll figure something out. Maybe I can just go to the library...."

"Are you kidding? You'd have a constant stream of onlookers gawking and pestering you with questions." Ginny snapped her fingers and turned to Maddie with a triumphant gleam in her eyes. "I know just the place. My friend Arthur Tyler has that monstrous house sitting empty ever since his Annabeth died. They had a booming bed-and-breakfast until Annabeth got so bad. Arthur rarely has guests at the inn now, so I know he wouldn't mind if you went there to write. You probably wouldn't want to stay overnight, but you could use one of the rooms for an office. Arthur is a professor at the university. Keeps saying he's going to retire, but he never does."

Maddie hesitated. "Where is this place, Ginny?" She felt awkward about the whole idea, but she had to do something. She sure wasn't going to get her book finished here.

"It's just a couple miles east of town. Out on Hampton Road. Pretty little place. Peaceful. Annabeth's parents ran the inn for years. Named it after her, of course. Grover and I stayed there for our fortieth anniversary. Seemed kind of silly to stay overnight two miles from home, but it was nice. Kind of romantic ..." A faraway look came to Ginny's eyes, and an ever-so-faint blush touched her powdered cheeks. "Let me give Arthur a call. You just get the plumber and electrician here. I'll take care of everything else."


Maddie stood in the doorway of the inn and inhaled. Sunlight splashed saffron patches on the shiny wood floors and caused the jewel tones in the window coverings and upholstery to glow. In spite of her injured ankle, she felt better already, standing in the spacious parlor and looking into tidy rooms free of packing crates.

"Arthur said to make yourself at home." Ginny dropped a key ring into the pocket of her bulky sweater and ran a hand over the oak mantel. Her fingertips left a trail in the film of dust. She cluck-clucked and shook her gray head. "Annabeth always kept this place spotless. Even after she got so sick. Poor Arthur ..."

"Was Annabeth a friend of yours?"

"She was. A dear friend. She and Arthur both. It was a terrible thing, her dying." Ginny lifted a heavy pewter candlestick and wiped the dust away with the sleeve of her sweater.

"I'm so sorry ..."

Ginny nodded, then gave a resolute bob of her chin and brightened. "I'd show you the rest of the house, but I don't think your ankle would appreciate that steep staircase yet. Arthur said you could set up shop in one of the guest rooms. He lives in the apartment on the lower level—doesn't use any of the house proper—so I'm sure you'd be welcome to use the main living area here if you prefer. Or you could hole up in this bedroom." Ginny opened the wide French doors off the living room to reveal a guest room beautifully decorated with dark, Old English antiques. "It's the only guest room on the main floor. And by the way, the only bathroom on the first floor is in here."

Maddie poked her head into the room and took in the modern pedestal sink on the far wall just outside a door that apparently concealed the bath.

Ginny pulled the doors closed and led the way through a wide arched doorway into the dining room. To the left, an open staircase led down to the apartment where the proprietor lived, Maddie presumed. The steep stairway was defended by an oak railing, and in the middle of the dining room sat a huge, round, antique oak table on an oriental rug. The walls wore old-fashioned wallpaper in shades of plum and burnished gold. A fine antique buffet held a silver tea service and baskets of teas and jams. Beyond that, an open doorway led to a small galley kitchen, where an array of dishes and baskets and jars of canned goods were displayed on open shelving.

"You're sure Mr. Tyler won't care if I set up right here?" Maddie tipped her head toward the dining room table.

"I'd say this is perfect," Ginny said, obviously pleased with herself. "I'll leave now so you can get to work."

"Oh, Ginny, it is perfect. How can I ever thank you?"

Ginny winked. "Just finish that book, sweetie. I've only about three chapters before I finish my last Houser novel, and then I'm fresh out of reading material."

Ginny bustled out the front door, and Maddie was left in the blessed quiet of the old house. She took her laptop from its case and set it on the table, positioning her chair for a lovely view through the arched doorway all the way to the front hall. She connected the power adapter and plugged it in. When she was satisfied with the arrangement, she unpacked her sack lunch and hobbled into the kitchen to put it away.

The refrigerator shelves were empty save for a few cans of soda and a package of ground coffee. Maddie put her lunch on the middle shelf, feeling strangely as though she were trespassing. But Ginny had said Arthur Tyler insisted she have free run of the place, including full use of the kitchen.

She dumped the dark sludge from the coffeemaker's carafe and found fresh filters in a drawer under the counter. Once the coffee was brewing, Maddie went back to the dining room to finish setting up shop. She unloaded her bag, placing her dictionary and several reference books to her left, notebook and pen to her right.

She popped a Mozart CD into her computer. Classical music filled the room, and Maddie sighed as she sank into the brocade padded chair, slipped off her shoes, and propped her swollen ankle on the seat of a neighboring chair. The timeless melody, the rich aroma of fresh coffee, and her Victorian surroundings transported her back in time. And when she put her fingers to the keyboard, the words flowed as they hadn't in months. I don't know you, Arthur Tyler, but God bless your generous old heart.

For the next two hours, Maddie typed, getting up only to refill her coffee mug. Her plot was moving along nicely when a polite meow made her look up from her computer.

A monstrous gray-and-white cat stuck its head through the stairway balusters and peered at her. Coming up the last steps, the cat sashayed over to Maddie, arched its back, and rubbed against her ankle before plopping down on her right foot.

Maddie took off her glasses and laid them on the table. "Well, hello there, kitty." She reached down to stroke the leonine head. "They didn't tell me about you."

The cat purred in response and nestled closer to Maddie. Though the house didn't have the chill she'd expected of a high-ceilinged Victorian, the cat's warmth was welcome. The old schoolhouse clock on the wall over the stairwell ticked a reassuring cadence, and she wrote for another hour while the cat napped.

The clock's muffled chime and the growl of her own stomach brought Maddie out of Anne Caraway's world and back to the present. Wiggling her toes and lowering her left foot from its elevated position on the other chair, she nudged the cat. "Sorry, kitty, but I need to get up and stretch a bit."

The cat yawned, bowed his back, and gave a short, friendly mew before following her into the kitchen. Maddie took her lunch from the refrigerator and ate it, leaning against the kitchen counter, her mind still on her story. Though her ankle throbbed, it felt good to stand up and flex her muscles a bit. After she finished her sandwich, she filled the sink with warm, sudsy water and washed the dishes, putting them to drain on the old-fashioned wire dish rack. She'd forgotten how nice it was to be in an operational kitchen, and she spent a few extra minutes tidying the kitchen before she went back to her computer.

Her feline friend had disappeared. The clock chimed the half hour and she looked up, surprised to find it was two-thirty already. Checking her word count, she was thrilled to discover she'd written almost three thousand words. A few more days like this and she might actually believe she could make her deadline. She saved the file, closed her laptop, and began gathering her belongings.

Before she left, she scratched out a note for the inn's owner.

Dear Mr. Tyler,

Thank you so much for allowing me to work from your lovely home. It was such a peaceful day, and I accomplished more than I'd hoped. I so appreciate your generosity, and if you're certain it's not too much of an inconvenience, I'll plan to come back tomorrow.


Excerpted from A January Bride by Deborah Raney. Copyright © 2014 Deborah Raney. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A January Bride 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Shanrock19 More than 1 year ago
I really liked the premise of A January Bride. I thought it was cute and sweet, and it was a good read. A January Bride, as well as the other books I've read in the series, are very innocent, and all about the romance. I like that about this series, because it nice to read a nice and light series. I like the tone the books in this series have. I thought both of the main characters were great, and they were cute together. One thing I would have liked a bit better was a bit more development with their relationship. I really like this series!
CrystalMarie218 More than 1 year ago
In this book I thought it was really sweet how the characters met. And being able to watch as their relationship grows from just a friendship to something more, was done extremely well. This was another great regular old fashion sweet romance. Art and Maddie spent the time to get to know each other. Even after all the “tricks” were played upon them. They still took the time to get to know each other before they moved forward with any type of relationship. I do think Art was confusing as heck during this story and I do understand completely why Maddie was confused! The back and forth that he was going through was just instance. While I do understand with his past, of course he was going back and forth. But I still felt sorry for the poor girl!! But I am glad that he was able to screw his head on straight and was able to move past his past and head to the future. The one character that I completely enjoyed was Jenny. Even though she wasn’t actually brought into the story a lot, but when she was, you could tell that she was a little old lady with that “glint” in her eye. I think she did really well at playing the matchmaker. I think that the author adding her to the story was a really good move. Overall this is another great gentle romance that if you’re looking for something sweet is sure to check it out! Reviewed by Crystal Marie for Crystal's Many Reviewers *Copy provided for honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish it would have moved along faster
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely story!
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
A January Bride is the second book of the Christian Romance series A Year of Weddings 1. This novella was a sweet romance with a charming story reminiscent of one of my favorite movies You Got Mail. Madeleine Houser is a successful writer on tight deadline.  Unfortunately her home is being renovated and the noise is a constant distraction.  But thanks to her elderly neighbor, Ginny, an arrangement is made for Madeleine to work at a Bed and Breakfast owned by Ginny’s friend, Arthur. Although they have never met Madeleine and Arthur form a friendship through messages they leave for each other.  The interaction between them is sweet but their relationship grows into a love affair which seemed rushed for me. A majority of the story is spent with them communicating through letters which I enjoyed but it did slow the pace of the story. It would have been better to include more time with Madeleine and Arthur talking face to face so the readers could have witnessed their relationship blossom.  A January Bride is a Christian romance but the mention of religion is minimal.  This is a cute, clean and quick love story anyone could enjoy.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
This was such a fun story! I loved the characters and the little notes they left for one another. The description of the Inn made me want to visit. The emotions of the characters was well developed, for a novella. The characters were tangible. I could relate to their situations and their character development was well-timed. The romance between Maddie and Art seemed a little bit rushed, but other than that it was well-written. Overall, I enjoyed this sweet story! Sometimes, it's hard to get a feel for the characters and the story line in a novella. This is not one of those novellas!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute, short story with a little religion in the story line.
srkromer More than 1 year ago
A January Bride by Deborah Raney is the second novella in the Year of the Weddings novella collection.  This is a sweet Christian romance that is full of misunderstandings and assumptions that create the basic storyline. Madeleine Houser is an author that is on a tight deadline.  While writing her novel, she decides to move to Clayburn, Kansas, to be closer to her mom that is in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s.  She moves into her sister’s house that she is having refurbished to sell after her husband gets transferred to Ohio.  Thinking she can write anywhere, Maddie takes her sister up on her offer; however, she soon finds out it is impossible to write when there is so much commotion and chaos going on around her.  Her elderly neighbor, Ginny, suggests she write at her friend’s inn, whose wife had died several years ago and doesn’t have many people at the inn anymore.  Maddie finds that she loves the inn and her writing flourishes there, as well as the daily notes that she writes back and forth with the inn’s owner, Arthur, who she has never met.  They both enjoy writing these little notes to each other, thinking that the other person is “safe” because they are older, so they won’t get hurt.  Little do they realize that they are both young adults in their thirties, even though they think the other is the same elderly age as Ginny.  What will happen when they finally do come face-to-face after so many weeks of letter writing? I love this novella collection so far, even though I wish each one was longer, because they do seem very rushed and they could use more detail.  With that being said though I can’t wait to read A February Bride.  I would rate this novella a 4 out of 5 stars, and would recommend this to anyone that likes a short quick romance.
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
MY REVIEW:  What a delightful novella!   I love the way Deborah Raney uses humor throughout the novella.   This story is full of surprises for the characters and the readers.   I can relate to how Maddie and Arthur sort of "fell in love" with each other by writing notes each day even though they had not met in person yet.  My husband and I met online and we emailed for several weeks and talked on the phone before actually meeting for a date.  I fell in love with him and his thoughts and beliefs just like the characters in the story did.  I rate this 5 stars and am looking forward to meeting the February Bride!    I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
The next novella in the Zondervan Bridal series is the January Bride by Deborah Raney. A little hint if you liked a novel The Accidental Bestseller which has appeared at Writer’s Corner then you will love this novel! Synopsis: Madeline Houser needs to get her next novel written. Her sister says come to their house oversee the renovations and get your writing done because you can write anywhere. After spending some time at the house Maddie is barely able to get work done and wants to have a serious talk with her sister. Then her neighbor Ginny comes to the rescue. The she suggests going to this inn to write. It is owned by a widower who has lost his wife. Maddie’s first visit inspires inspiration and she finds working there great! It also helps that the widower leaves her notes. She also leaves him notes. What will happen when they actually meet? Could there be another bride going down the aisle? My Thoughts: I am a writer and I love stories that discuss authors in the process of writing their novels. You would think that might not appeal to me, but it really does. I could not wait to visit this story each evening to find out what would happen next! The most major downer was that I sort of knew where the story was going with the bride going down the aisle. It was still fun to see how the plot of the story progressed. Deborah Raney has written other novels that are worth devouring!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Here is my honest review. This is the second book in the A Year of Weddings series. Just like the first novella, this one is sweet and an enjoyable read.  What I really enjoyed in this book was the fact that Meredith and Art began their romance with a series of daily notes and a misconception that the other was older. The fact that they connected through the written word in a honest and genuine way made it more believable that they would be marrying within four, five months of that first note being exchanged.
GHott More than 1 year ago
Hott Synopsis: Madeleine Houser accepts the use of a practically empty home so that she can write in peace while her home is overrun with contractors. The daily letters between Maddie and the widowed homeowner, Art, become a daily delight to each of them. Each thinking the other is elderly and still managing to gain a deep friendship they both begin to work through their reservations and hang-ups about love. They’ll certainly be shocked if they ever do actually meet! Hott Review: WOW! This was such an amazing story I breezed right through it loving every second. I can barely wait for the next edition of A Year of Weddings!! The letters they wrote to each other made me fall in love with them. It was so sweet and adorable to be reminded that friendship is the better part pf marriage. More… Author: Deborah Raney Source: Zondervan via Netgalley Grade: A Ages: 16+ Steam: Nada Setting: Kansas Series: A Year of Weddings, January (#2)
DubaiReader1 More than 1 year ago
A novella based around writing a book. This series of wedding novellas is interesting in that each book has a different author. I read January first as I assumed this would be book 1, however, for some reason this is the second book in the series, although this makes little difference as they are not connected. This was a sweet, quick read, possibly a little too sweet for my taste but well written with believable characters. It also had a slight Christian element, which would not normally be my choice, but it wasn't overpowering. Maddie is staying in her sister's house while she and her husband are working out of town. Their mother lives near-by and is suffering with severe Alzheimer's disease, so someone needs to keep an eye on her. Unfortunately the house is having some extensive renovations done and it is impossible for Maddie to reach the deadline on her historical fiction book while surrounded by dust and workers. Thanks to Ginny, an elderly neighbour, an alternative work-space is found, and so begin the notes with which Maddie and her host, Arthur Tyler, communicate. It is rather predictable in many ways but the writing is humorous and the characters well drawn, even for the short,147 pages. A light break from more serious reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maddie is an author in need of a quiet place to write. Her friend, Ginny, suggests that she use Art's Bed and Breakfast to do so. The way their relationship unfolded was predictable, yet gradual and sweet--just perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I could see how the misunderstanding came to be--who takes the time to actually write letters nowadays? I loved the surprise each face when they realized who each other was. Content: Very mild Christian elements; no language or violence; sweet, clean romance (mild kissing). **I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
nmarlin442 More than 1 year ago
The story caught my attention from the beginning. It was well written, descriptions captivating and just a fun, enjoyable plot. I didn't want to put down.
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
January Bride Deborah Raney Book Summary: Part of A Year of Wedding Novella series¿In A January Bride by Deborah Raney, what will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser’s “pen pal” friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn? Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie's never met the innkeeper - but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie's alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn's owner - a man who's likely many years her senior - and who she's never even met. Review: This is a unique book in that it is debuted as ebooks and will later be published as a book. I like this series. The stories are short and sweet. The main characters are Maddie and Art. The majority of the story is spent with Maddie. You get glimpses of Art - so that makes the story even more intriguing. I liked Ginny a secondary character but the facilitator of events. She knows things about both Maddie and Art that the other does not. It is sweet and for anyone who has spent time apart prior to marriage from their fiancé knows that sweet can be a great start. I hope the rest are as enjoyable as this one.  I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. 
MaryAnnF More than 1 year ago
I'm not good at deciding what information to include in describing a book, so I'll just say I enjoy Deborah's writing and think most will agree this is a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful romance. And really cute book.I enjoyed it and was pulling for both of them .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice escape. The characters were believable and charming. I enjoyed the time I spent with them.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
For someone ( me) who shunned novellas or short stories for years because they did not have the depth to the characters and plots that I looked for in my books, it is a surprise at the quality of theses that I am finding! I really am enjoying the A YEAR OF WEDDINGS being offered by NetGalley and Zondervan. Although the first one was a Christmas one, and each of the following are appropriately named after the months in which they take place, the only thing connecting them into a series appears to be that they are short engagements and are all novellas.  Ir was very enjoyable to read about Madeline, her pen-pal and the humorous misconceptions that drive this story. A quick read, while thoroughly engaging, I would recommend this to all romantics. I received this ebook free from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson/Zondervan books in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
VillaSyl More than 1 year ago
It's that time of the year where the sweet romantic reads are readily available for the forever romantic. I love novellas, not only are they short and sweet, you can read while waiting in the dentist office or on your patio during a lazy Saturday. Raney crafted a very interesting romance. The love story develops through notes that the hero and heroine send back and forth between them. They both imagine the other by some incorrect assumptions of each other and it becomes comical when they finally meet. Raney creates a sweet charming story with a delightful twist. A wonderful quick read that reminds us that love can be found when we least expect it. I recommend this happily ever after story I am sure you will love A January Bride. I received copy of EBook from Thomas Nelson Publishing in their Booksneeze Blogger program for my review.
northamericanwordcat More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting romance.  The love story develops through notes that the hero and heroine send back an forth between them. They both think the other is much older than they are.  There is a a lot of reflection on love in this one as well as God's role in one's life (the hand is light here) but not much couple time really. I would have like to see them date.  Charming in many ways, this romance is just a bit too removed for me to be completely engaging.  I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful quick read that reminds us that love can be found when we least expect it! I'm loving this Bride series and recommend them to everyone!