Treasure this beautiful collection packed with all the angst of romance founded upon practical arrangements. Four sisters travel in answer to an ad before even corresponding with potential husbands. Two women bend to the will of their parents in taking husbands. A widow commits to a stranger in name only. And two women on the Oregon Trail hitch their lives to men they’ve just met. Will love blossom for convenience sake?
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 4.30(d)|
About the Author
Cathy Marie Hake is a Southern California native. She met her two loves at church: Jesus and her husband, Christopher. An RN, she loved working in oncology as well as teaching Lamaze. Health issues forced her to retire, but God opened new possibilities with writing. Since their children have moved out and are married, Cathy and Chris dote on dogs they rescue from a local shelter. A sentimental pack rat, Cathy enjoys scrapbooking and collecting antiques. “I’m easily distracted during prayer, so I devote certain tasks and chores to specific requests or persons so I can keep faithful in my prayer life.” Since her first book in 2000, she’s been on multiple best-seller and readers’ favorite lists.
JoAnn lives on the Minnesota prairie which is a setting for many of her stories. Once a full-time CPA, JoAnn now spends most of her time researching and writing. JoAnn has published historical nonfiction books for children and several novels with Barbour Publishing in the Heartsong Presents line as well as the American Adventure and Sisters in Time series for children. Several of her novellas are included in CBA best-selling anthologies by Barbour Publishing. JoAnn’s love of history developed when she worked at an historical restoration in North Carolina for five years. She enjoys researching and weaving her fictional characters’ lives into historical backgrounds and events. JoAnn believes that readers can receive a message of salvation and encouragement from well-crafted fiction. She captivates and addresses the deeper meaning between life and faith.
Kelly Eileen Hake received her first writing contract at the tender age of seventeen and arranged to wait three months until she was able to legally sign it. Since that first contract a decade ago, she’s fulfilled twenty contracts ranging from short stories to novels. In her spare time, she’s attained her BA in English literature and composition, earned her credential to teach English in secondary schools, and went on to complete her MA in writing popular fiction.
Writing for Barbour combines two of Kelly’s great loveshistory and reading. A CBA bestselling author and member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she’s been privileged to earn numerous Heartsong Presents Reader’s Choice Awards and is known for her witty, heartwarming historical romances. A newlywed, she and her gourmet-chef husband live in Southern California with their golden lab mix, Midas!
Amy Rognlie is an author and teacher, who, like the characters in her book, has traveled many unfamiliar and unexpected paths in the course of her life. She has seen God's faithfulness every step of the way, and wants her readers to know that no matter what circumstances look like, God is good. Amy and her family live in Central Texas, where she teaches language arts and Latin, writes Bible studies and Sunday School curriculum, and is involved in ministry in her local church and community.
Janelle Burnham Schneider has published six novels with Heartsong Presents. After thirteen years as a Canadian military family, she and her loved ones are now settled in Manitoba, Canada, near the geographic center of North America. In addition to being an author, wife, and mother, she has also worked as an administrative assistant, catalog delivery person, school bus driver, and Starbucks barista.
Pamela Tracy is a USA Today award-winning author of almost 30 books, contemporary, suspense, historical, and devotional. First published in 1999 by Barbour Publishing, their Heartsong Presents line, Pamela continues to write for Barbour as well as Love Inspired and Guideposts. Her 2007 suspense Pursuit of Justice was a Rita finalist. Her 2009 suspense Broken Lullaby won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the year award. You can find out more about her at www.pamelatracy.com
Lynette Sowell is an award-winning author with New England roots, but she makes her home in Central Texas with her husband and a herd of five cats. When she’s not writing, she edits medical reports and chases down stories for the local newspaper.
Read an Excerpt
La Manque, Louisiana — July 1819
Hurry!" Jacques LeBlanc shouted over his shoulder. "We'll be late!"
"If Papa LeBlanc is angry, it'll be your fault." Josée Broussard held her skirt high enough with one hand to keep from tripping on the hem. "You're the one ... who let Philippe ... fall into the bayou."
She gasped for breath. Little Philippe bounced on her hip while she trotted along the path through the tall grass. The boy was too small to keep up with their hurried pace yet heavier than a sack of flour. Josée tried not to think he might not settle down to sleep tonight after Jacques telling him the legend of the great snake of Bayou Teche.
Jacques paused and faced her. He grabbed her hand, and the touch made her stomach turn like the curving dark waters behind them. Jacques has been my friend for so long, why should his hand make me feel ...? Josée's skirt swirled down around her ankles.
He smiled, and his black eyes sparkled with a secret. "Ma'amselle Josée, it's your birthday, and Papa will be in a good mood. Bon temps tonight!"
She tried to smile but bit her lip instead. Couldn't Jacques carry his younger brother?
Prickly heat surrounded them like a heavy blanket. Josée longed for the cool bayou, thick with moist air but cooler than where the larger LeBlanc house stood, farther away from the banks of Bayou Teche. Papa had turned from the bayou to farming.
Philippe wriggled from her hip and ran. Not through the garden! Jeanne and Marie scolded him where they stood by the house, their arms reminding Josée of flapping hens' wings. She waved at them.
"Happy birthday, Josée!" they called.
"Merci. I'm sorry Philippe ran through your garden."
Jeanne, six months older than Josée, ruffled her littlest brother's hair. "Why so wet, then?"
"He thought he was a fish," Jacques said. The sisters both laughed then fell silent and stared at Josée's and Jacques's hands clasped together.
Josée pulled free and wiped her palm on her skirt. "It's hot today."
"Oui, and you're brown already, just from being down by the water." Jeanne linked arms with Josée. "We must get you ready for the party tonight. I think Mama has a surprise for you."
"Wait for me." Marie followed behind.
"How does it feel, being eighteen?" Jeanne leaned closer. "Now you've caught up with me."
"Eighteen's not much differen' from seventeen."
"Ah, t'is different. When you're eighteen, you're a woman. As soon as I turned eighteen, Josef Landry asked Papa for permission to marry me." Jeanne sighed. "He already has a small farm next to his papa's. Then once his house is built ..." She sighed again.
Josée laughed. "I can guarantee you that no one will be asking your papa's permission to marry me."
They entered the LeBlanc farmhouse, and the three girls climbed the ladder to the loft where they shared half of the space with the boys. A curtain divided the long loft in two.
Mama LeBlanc, the only mother Josée had ever known, had hung a new dress where they could see it. Mama turned as the girls entered the loft. "Beautiful, n'est-ce pas?"
"Yes, it's very beautiful." Josée wanted to cry. She held scant memories of her own parents. The fact that the LeBlancs accepted her as one of their own comforted her, yet the same fact reminded her that they had taken her in when she had no one.
"Merci, Mama." She hugged the short, stout woman who stood beside the dress.
Mama LeBlanc returned the hug then held Josée at arm's length. "Your papa LeBlanc has another su'prise for you tonight."
"I wonder if he's found a man for you, Josée!" Jeanne started brushing her own black tresses. Marie, sixteen, giggled and flopped onto the mattress so hard that a tuft of Spanish moss stuck out the side.
Josée touched the soft cotton frock and almost shuddered. Marriage? A man? Yet if she were to marry anyone, it would probably be Jacques. At least he would make her laugh and listen to the songs she made up. But she, Josée Broussard, orphan, had nothing to offer a man. "I couldn't imagine."
* * *
All afternoon, Edouard LeBlanc had endured the squeals and laughter that disrupted the tranquillity of his secluded LeBlanc bayou cabin. If he hadn't caught enough fish for the day already, he'd have sent the brood back to the big house. To him, violating the quiet of the bayou was sacrilege.
Edouard stared up at the canopy of cypress trees that blocked most of the late afternoon heat. He had time to shave before the party. No sense in hurrying. If it wasn't that Papa had requested — no, demanded — his presence, Edouard would be content to lie in his hammock and watch the fish jump from the bayou tonight. Or maybe not. A wayward mosquito found Edouard's arm, and the sting spurred him to leave the hammock and enter the cabin.
Today Josée Broussard turned eighteen years old. All grown up and always with a song on her lips and spring in her step, Josée's ways needled him like pesky mosquitoes. Not that he'd been close enough to feel any bites. Listening and watching her from a distance was enough.
Edouard prepared his shaving mixture and propped up the chunk of mirror, a remnant from an old looking glass. Careful of the long scar running from under his ear to the end of his chin, he used the long shaving blade to remove his scruff of beard.
The scar made its appearance on his face. He would dare anyone to stare at him tonight, like Celine had done on his return from the war. Believing in a cause and following its course had made him follow Jean Lafitte to New Orleans five years before. If he had known his actions would cost him his only true love, he would have planted himself along the Bayou Teche and never have departed from La Manque.
Satisfied he'd removed enough of the beard, Edouard put the glass away. After sunset, maybe the light of the bonfire and lanterns would give enough shadows to cover most of the scar. He found his comb and pulled it through his wet hair then secured the length in the back with a leather thong.
Edouard limped to the bureau at the other end of the cabin and took out a clean but rumpled shirt. He could endure the fiddle music and the songs as long as he didn't have to dance. Storms approached. His bad leg told him so.
Out of respect for Papa and because of Josée's birthday, Edouard resolved to go to the party and stay no longer than necessary. Then he could retreat to the cabin and try to forget the life that swirled around him persistently and tried to draw him in.
* * *
Josée's sides ached from laughter. She smoothed the skirt of her new dress and gave Mama LeBlanc another smile of gratitude. Jeanne had helped her put her hair up on her head, and she felt as fancy as any lady over in Lafayette. Merry fiddle music matched the bonfire's roar, and Josée tapped her bare feet to the beat of the drum played by one of the village boys.
Then she saw him at the edges of the crowd. A tall man with eyes as black as the murky bayou water at midnight. Jacques's brother, Edouard, the eldest of the LeBlanc clan.
"Looks like my brother made it to the party," Jacques murmured into her ear.
"I ... I'm glad." Although, Josée wasn't sure how she felt. Dark. Brooding. His eyes spoke of a soul deeper than the waters that flowed through La Manque. She wondered if he ever laughed. The only time she ever saw him was when she and the other LeBlanc children would go to the bayou to fish and play by the water. If the children grew loud, Edouard would hop into his pirogue and drift away.
Whenever Josée would ask Jeanne or Marie if they should be quieter, one of them might say, "Ah, pah. It's just Edouard sticking his head from his shell like a tortue."
Tonight she could feel his gaze on her when Jacques gave her a bottle of ink as a gift and when Jeanne and Marie gave her their present, a writing pen. Where had they found such treasures?
Josée was, as they called her, "the smart one" and could read and write. Perhaps the LeBlanc children admired her, even if they did not grasp the use of such activities. Tonight when she met Edouard's gaze, she couldn't tell how he regarded her. A'bien, she wouldn't let his opinion bother her. She stuck her chin out and tried to stand like a lady.
* * *
"My son, my eldest." Papa clapped him on the back. His voice boomed loud enough to be heard over the crowd's chatter. "You honored your papa and your family by comin' tonight."
"I could do no less." Edouard knew he should have left after the dances began. Yet the sight of Josée, her hair up, and flitting like a bird around the bonfire, her arms linked with his sisters', had made him stay. Several times he caught her stare at him. Did she see the scar, or was she watching his limp? He dared her to say something.
Here she was now, arm and arm with Mama LeBlanc, so close he could see the skin peeling from her sunburned nose. Her hair glowed almost blue black in the firelight. He wondered if she looked like her mère who had borne her. She gave him an uncertain smile.
Then Papa bellowed again, "Mes amis de La Manque, tonight we celebrate! Josée Broussard, raised as my daughter since she was but six, is now eighteen years old!" He gave a great laugh. His belly shook and the buttons on his vest threatened to pop. A few whoops and hollers and cheers rose up from the merry group.
Josée's already bronze skin glowed with a deeper blush that crept to her neck, which curved gracefully to her shoulders. Edouard's throat felt like he'd put on a tie tonight, except he had not.
After the cheers gave way to silence, Papa continued. "Tonight, I have a special su'prise for Josée an' another member of my family."
Edouard saw Josée dart a glance at Jacques, who jerked his head in their direction. Then he watched Josée's gaze shift to him, and he saw her eyes dawn with a sudden, horrible recognition.
"As is the custom of our people," Papa shouted gleefully, "I announce the betrothal of Josée Monique Broussard to my eldest son — Edouard Philippe LeBlanc!"
Like the tears coming from Josée's eyes, rain fell on the LeBlanc's farmhouse roof. The crowd had celebrated until late, but Josée found it hard to sleep after the family settled to bed for the night. Snores from various areas of the attic told her the LeBlanc siblings rested with as much vigor as they'd rejoiced at her betrothal to Edouard.
In two weeks, the priest would meet them at the village common house. He would marry and bury, then move on and leave them until his next passage through.
Mon Père, I do not understand Your plan. Josée rolled onto her back and looked up into the darkness, as if to see through the ceiling above her and up to heaven. My mama — my real mère — always said You work Your will in our lives. How can this be Your will if I'm not happy? Edouard is moody and dark. Jacques is —
Everything Edouard was not. Josée sighed. She should accept what Mama and Papa LeBlanc had decided for her — for them, she corrected herself. After all, her world wasn't the only world that had been disrupted. Edouard looked as if he'd been sentenced to hang.
She couldn't picture any other unmarried man in the village being happy at the prospect of marrying an orphan without a dowry. She had nothing except herself to bring to the marriage. Josée shivered and pictured lonely years ahead.
Forgive me, mon Père. I should be thankful You are providing for me for the rest of my life. Yet like a snake from the dark waters not far away, fear slithered around her heart. What if Edouard was a cruel man?
Josée flung back the quilt and tried not to disturb Jeanne who slept next to her. She was destined to marry someone she cared for, and he for her. Tonight the soft mattress that smelled of moss did not comfort Josée. Her feet found the cool plank floor. Perhaps a cup of coffee, reheated on the coals, might do her good. She descended the loft's ladder and entered the kitchen.
Mama LeBlanc stood at the table in the warm glow of lamplight.
A wooden trunk lay open before Mama LeBlanc. "I thought you might be down, chere."
"I couldn't sleep." She hoped Mama did not see the traces of tears on her face. "What's this?"
"Some things from your family. Look." Mama patted a yellowed paper wrapper.
Josée pulled the paper away to find an old dress that pricked at the edges of her memory and hurt a little. Her real mère's dress. A lump swelled in her throat. "Oh. It's beautiful. I'd almost forgotten."
"We'll have jus' enough time for you to try it on and see if I need to sew the hem." Mama's rough fingers smoothed the lace. "Your mère would be proud to see you wear her dress. There's more in here for you. You may take this trunk when you move to your new home."
Josée's heart beat faster, and she nodded. A new home. With Edouard.
"The coffee should be ready. Would you like a cup?" Though her surroundings remained the same, for the first time Josée felt as if she'd changed merely by reaching her eighteenth birthday.
"Of course." Josée settled onto one of the wooden benches as if she were one of the local village women visiting Mama for a cup of coffee and a talk.
Mama LeBlanc placed two mugs of coffee between them and rested her ample form on the bench across from Josée. "Marriage brings lots of changes."
One sip of the dark brew made Josée sit up straighter. "Oui, I am sure." She clutched the mug with both hands.
"Edouard is a good man. A hurt man, a disappointed man, but a good man." The older woman exhaled deeply, as if unburdening herself. "I know, deep down in his heart, Edouard understands le bon Dieu carries his troubles and cares for him. But —"
"Then why couldn't I marry ..." Josée made herself stop. She had no right to question the LeBlancs' choice of husband for her. She had grown up with the knowledge that one day she'd likely marry one of the older LeBlanc brothers.
"Why not Jacques?" Mama patted Josée's hand. "Jacques is too young. He is impulsive. He would keep you laughing, oui. However, he cares more for himself than anyone else. He is a pourri, a spoiled young man. I am to blame, and his papa."
"I care for Jacques, and I think he cares for me, too." Josée's dismay at the words she spoke aloud caused her to touch her hot cheek.
"Ah, but is his affection the kind of carin' that would last? Chéri, I love my son, but Jacques is too young to marry and shoulder such responsibility. For when marriage comes, then come bébés."
Bébés. Josée's mind spun like a top. She could scarcely breathe. If only she could have stayed seventeen forever.
* * *
Edouard let the July sun soak into his bare shoulders. He spread more pitch on the cabin's roof. In spite of his anger at his father's decision, he wouldn't dream of causing his family — or the innocent Josée — any dishonor. So he must prepare the cabin and make it fit for a young bride. A woman around would be like having a hen loose in the cabin all the time.
"You don't want to marry her, do you?" Jacques scuttled across the roof like a crab and squatted next to him. "Wish I was older."
"Not her, not anyone." Edouard spoke the words truthfully enough. Heat radiated from the tar paper and roofing. Jacques was delaying their job by his talk. Edouard wanted nothing more than to be done.
"Not even Celine Hebert?"
"Celine Hebert forgot me and married another four years ago." Edouard clenched his jaw. Jacques's words irritated him more than the sweat trickling a path down his back.
The anguish over his lost love that had once torn his heart had dulled to a dismal memory, but Edouard still hadn't the inclination to seek anyone else as a wife.
"You haven't forgotten her."
"I don't love Celine, if that's what you mean. What's done is done." Marrying Josée without any thoughts of love would be best.
"Yet you'll marry someone you don't care for to please Papa." Jacques shook his head and picked up a hammer.
"For honor's sake I marry Josée Broussard. She has no feelings for me, so we begin the marriage even." Edouard recalled her dark-eyed expression the other evening at the party, as if she were trying to see inside him. He wasn't sure he welcomed her curiosity. But at least she didn't flinch from the sight of his scar. Aloud, he continued, "And perhaps over time she will forget what feelings she thinks she has for you."
Jacques shrugged. "I should have never told you what I heard her say the other night, the night of Papa's announcement and the big storm. Like I said, if I were older —"
Edouard's gut twisted, and he glared at Jacques. "Once Josée and I are wed, you'll not come around and cause trouble. I'm marryin' her. You are not. And I noticed you speakin' with several young ladies at the party. I will be faithful to Josée — mon Dieu requires no less."
"As you try to forget your lost love Celine!"
Enough! Edouard shoved Jacques and sent him hurtling over the edge of the cabin's roof. The young man whimpered like a pup on the ground. Edouard sprang from the roof. He managed to land on his feet, his hands curled into fists. How dare Jacques accuse him of harboring love for Celine?
Excerpted from "The Bartered Bride Collection"
Copyright © 2007 Lynette Sowell.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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.
Table of Contents
Joie de Vivre,
Button String Bride,
The Wedding Wagon,
From Halter to Altar,
From Carriage to Marriage,
From Pride to Bride,
From Alarming to Charming,
A Vow Unbroken,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent collection. I enjoyed every one of these novellas.
Great collection of stories. Really enjoyed this collection, especially the four about the sisters in the middle who were "sold"by their brother-in-law who stole their dairy from them and sent them off. I highly recommend this, especially if you enjoy reading a shorter story near bedtime. I saw one reviewer state that the stories were shortened from original but I had not read the originals so I don't know. Barbour is expecting to do another similar series and I'm looking forward to reading it. I read my book through NetGalley and am under no compulsion to give a positive review.
This is a nice collection of historical romances. Though not all of the stories are arranged marriages exactly. What I liked: I really enjoyed the four stories about the sisters who came west. They where very well written and considering the stories are shorter then a normal novel they really did not feel shorter they where so well written. I really enjoyed all of these stories! What I did not like: Nothing really. This was a very well written and put together collection. Over all I really liked this book! I liked all the stories for the most part and was kind of sad to see the book end. If you like collection books this is a great one!
The Bartered Bride Collection Review shortened to fit B&N criteria Joie De Vivre © 2006 by Lynette Sowell 1819 Louisiana Edouard LeBlanc and Josee Broussard are to be married after Edouard's father decided it was to be. Neither thought they would do well together but perhaps the Lord has other plans for them. Button Strong Bride © 2001 by Cathy Marie Hake Widower Ethan Cole is traveling to Oregon with his two children. His sister started out with him but when she had the chance to turn tail and run, she did. When the opportunity comes to help a young woman who lost both parents on the trail and in return she can help him Ethan takes on Charity Davis. As feelings for the young woman grow he realizes that she’s a wealthy lady and he’s a simple carpenter. Worlds apart. Can God cross that divide? The Wedding Wagon © 2002 by Cathy Marie Hake Dr. Joshua Rogers quickly fell for Bethany Handley after she spent a Christmas with them. When they marry and head down the Oregon Trail, he wonders if she married him or his family. Next 4 books were originally from Bride for a Bit From Halter to Altar © 2003 by Cathy Marie Hake Ellis Stack had four sister-in-laws to get off his hands. When he reads a notice for a man wanting a bridle order he misunderstands it as bridal and sends Matilda, Corrine, Bess and Bertie Craig off to James Collingswood in Lickwind. When Jim meets the train to get his bridles he instead has four women. What is he to do with them now? From Carriage to Marriage © 2003 by Janelle Burnham Schneider Luke Collingswood was pulled towards Corrie Craig from the start. The young widow who was already in the family way seemed so fragile and something in him felt the need to protect her. He’d like that responsibility for good but would the young widow ever learn to love a second time or forever mourn her late husband? From Pride to Bride © 2003 by JoAnne A. Grote Bess Craig is considered bossy and very independent. Gideon Riker is the local saloon owner but is there more to him than meets the eye? This unusual team join forces when he offers to rent his brand new house to Bess and Bertie to start a business out of. From Alarming to Charming © 2003 by Pamela Kaye Tracy Thomas Hardin is returning to Lickwind seven years after his father was chased away and considered a cattle rustler. He first mistakes Bertie Craig for a boy, than a child and finally for the beautiful woman she is. A Vow Unbroken © 2000 by Amy Rognlie James Parrish was so excited, his future wife was to arrive on the train. God had answered his prayers and he would have a wife to love and share his life with. When Abby Cantrell arrived James thought her to be absolutely beautiful. And then his world shattered. She was not the same woman he expected and this one carried several burdens. Would God bring her into his life to torture him or was there hope for a real marriage? Finishing Touches © 2007 by Kelly Eileen Hake Captain Gregory Royce had a nightmare instead of a fairy tale wedding. His fiance left him and he was forced to marry her sister, Libby Collier to save face. Can any good come from such a marriage?
I really enjoyed these stories. Highly recommend it!
Ok, no character should be perfect but I really disliked the male lead in the last story.
Author: Nine Various Authors Published By: Barbour Books Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Book Blog For: GMTA Rating: 5 Review: "The Bartered Bride Romance Collection: Nine Historical Stores of Arranged Marriages by 9 Various Authors was really good historical reads. Some I have read before but this collection comprised a mixture of it all....Here is just a little bit about each of these novellas. Book 1: Josée has been brought up by LaBlanc family Book 2: Charity traveling on a wagon train to Willomet Valley Oregon Book 3: Bethany's friend Penny brings her home over a Christmas Holiday Book 4: James Collingsworth has ordered 4 horse bridles, and ends up receiving 4 brides Book 5: This is the second and continuing story of the Brides... Corrie Craig Book 6: This is a continuation of the Craig Sister... Bess Craig Book 7: This is Bertie's story, and the final and youngest of the Craig Sisters Book 4-7 are connected..... Book 8: The eighth novella is of Abby and James and the last one... Book 9: Captain Gregory Royce has lent Mr Collier a lot of money to save his business. In return he is to marry Tabitha, whom he is in Love with, however, that doesn't work out and he ends up with another daughter...Libby. This will be an interesting romance. Now, to find out what is going on in each of these novellas you will have to pick up this excellent read to find out. "Will these couples be able to find love and hold on to their faith even in the most bizarre circumstances?" You will see through love and faith, will these couples be able to get through such difficult situations? I found the characters, especially the brides, were all very realistic making this read very well understood by the reader. Would I recommend this novellas as fun and fast paced good reads, YES!
You will really like this book. You get 3 stories in one book which is always good. Come a long on wagon trains and real trains. Come cry and laugh and find out how strong women are. Oh lets not forget that handsome man that we all fall in love with. Even when they had no idea how much they want and need us. Charlotte
Good job i'm proud of you!! :D
Way too preachy. The people in the stories can't carry on a conversation without throwing a bible quote at one another. It made the stories stilted and one dimensional.
Book 1 Josée has been brought up by LaBlanc family since she was 6 years old. She is starting to have feelings for her friend/brother. It is the custom in this Buyou Community that the father pick a spouse for his daughter when she reaches 18. That is where Josée is now, and is surprised when she finds herself engaged to wed Edouard, the older aloof brother. Will she give up her feeling for one and turn them to another? Will she be able to reach Edouard? We shall find out! Book 2 One of my favorite authors Cathy Marie Hake wrote this short story and she does not disappoint. We are traveling on a wagon train to Willomet Valley, and when the story opens Ethan's wife has passed and he is traveling with his two young children, and having a hard time and needing to depend on others to help with their care. Charity was traveling with her Mother and Father, when first her Mom and then her Dad died. The Wagon Master is insisting Charity cannot travel alone, and must be sent back….or combine the two wagons. So begins, a really sweet journey, with Charity and the children, and Ethan. You will have to read this one! It is a must read! Book 3 When Bethany's friend Penny brings her home over a Christmas Holiday, she loves being part of this family. A relationship develops between Penny's brother, Dr. Joshua Rogers, and Beth. He eventually asks her to be his wife, and travel with him to go to Oregon, by wagon train. Did Bethany marry him for love, or a family, that is the question to be answered in this story! Book 4 Starts out quite funny, James Collingsworth has ordered 4 horse bridles, and ends up receiving 4 brides! He is not interested in a Woman. He can't leave them in town, and ends up bringing the sisters to his Ranch. He and his brother Luke end up sleeping in the barn. Will either he or Luke end up with one of these pretty woman. Book 5 This is the second and continuing story of the Brides..not bridles, and this is Corrie Craigs. Her husband died a few months prior and she is in a family way, but that doesn't keep Luke from having feelings for her. Can Corrie who really loved her husband, ever have feelings for Luke? Book 6 This is also a continuation of the Craig Sister. Bess Criag wants to move to town and Mr Riker or Gideon, offers Bess and Bertie his new house to use. Bessie sets up a kitchen and starts earning money from baking, and cooking meals. She also starts teaching some of the young boys how to read, and then some of the Soiled Doves from the Saloon. She begins to have feeling for Gideon, but as a Christian can not have anything to do with a saloon. Book 7 This is Bertie's story, and the final and youngest of the Craigs Sisters. She is the a "tomboy", and loving it…that is until she meets Thomas Harding. All of a sudden another woman her age appears, married, and in a family way. It was like a light bulb went off in Roberta's head. You will have to read to see what happens to this one. Book 8 The eighth novella is Abby's and James. Abby's Aunt plays a big trick on both of them! Abby is very pregnant when she arrives to be James's new Housekeeper, and James is surprised to find his new mail order bride to be with child. Will Abby ever be able to break her vow to God? Will there ever be a real marriage? Surprising turn of events! Book 9 Captain Gregory Royce has lent Mr Collier a lot of money to save his business. In return he is to marry Tabitha, whom he is in Love with. When the day before his wedding Tabitha elopes with another, her father offers his other daughter, Elizabeth or Libby as she is known. Does this marriage have a chance? Will the Captain be able to Love Libby, and not pine for Tabitha. A surprising romance. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Barbour Books, and was not required to give a positive review