The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love through the Generations

The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love through the Generations

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In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493417094
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 41,208
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Karen Witemeyer is an award-winning, bestselling author and lives in Texas with her family. Find her online at

Kristi Ann Hunter is the award-winning author of five books, and she lives with her family in Georgia. Find her online at

Sarah Loudin Thomas is an award-winning author, and she and her husband reside in Asheville, North Carolina. She can be found online at

Becky Wade is the award-winning author of seven books and lives in a suburb of Dallas with her husband and three kids. Find her online at
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. Learn more about Karen and her books at
Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at
Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children's ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season, Until the Harvest, and A Tapestry of Secrets. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in Asheville, North Carolina. She can be found online at
Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at

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The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love through the Generations 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Novellas are not my preferred method to tell a story (not enough time to really delve into the characters, and not enough pages to spend with great characters!) but all four of these tales were so well told! I would have loved more pages, thus more details about the characters and their stories, but the time I was able to spend with them was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved reading about the women of this luckenbooth brooch and am looking forward to reading more work from all of the authors. (Two of the authors I know well and have read all their books so far, but the other two are newer to me.)
CharJones2525 More than 1 year ago
Four riveting short stories with a Christmas theme centered around a broach passed down through generations. Such a clever idea executed beautifully! With gratitude to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the ARC; opinions are fully mine. Pub Date 02 Oct 2018. #TheChristmasHeirloom #NetGalley
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter Nothing is harder for me to review than Novellas, as I’ve shared more than a few times. I was excited to get my hands on this particular collection however as it has some favorite authors, it’s Christmas-y, and they all tie together with one little brooch. Kristi Ann Hunter starts it off so amazingly with a sweet story about a 3rd son of an earl, a dowager’s companion of dubious past, and a dowager that doesn’t fit into any mold despite a family that tries to make it so. I was a bit disappointed that we fell into almost insta-love though. I mean, I guess they did know each other, kinda, for a year. However, their togetherness was sporadic at best and he was turned off by her mousiness so he was completely uninterested until a bit of spitfire at a family dinner. She was cow eyed for him but then again. . . what is a girl of lowly station to do. Forget the insta-love for a second because every thing else was absolutely captivating. The love that Randall (third son with no future) and Sarah (companion with no past) have for Lady Densbury is endearing and sweet. The lengths they go to ensure her life ends as lovely as it was lived is beyond tender. The love she helped them find will only bring more love for every person their lives touch. That is why I loved this snapshot and these people. I leave you here with this quote from Lady Densbury (Grandmother). Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer Four generations later we meet Ruth. Still in possession of the brooch that was handed down from Lady Desnbury to Sarah to her daughter Rosemary (named for Lady Densbury) to her daughter (Ruth’s mother though I never caught her name just the initials REH) to Ruth and then eventually to Ruth’s Daughter Naomi. This history of the brooch is so integral to these stories and builds on the theme of love. Not just the romance of falling in love but the love of family and generations of history. Enough about history let’s talk about that love. I love Ruth, she’s had so many setbacks but she’s got gumption and fortitude. She’s not afraid to find a way to get what she needs, for herself and for her daughter despite her lack of financial means. And Bo, Beauregard. I mean, how do you not fall for someone named Beauregard? He’s had his own setbacks as well but instead of developing gumption he developed a means to staying in the shadows while building an empire of sorts with unlimited financial means. Until Ruth. Though I’m pretty sure that Naomi helped to spur them into their own bout of insta-love. I truly loved watching these two find each other, and in honesty a part of themselves in the process. I can almost forgive the insta-love though at the sweetness of these three branching out and growing into a family despite the obstacles of money and pride and community to overcome. A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas Having read ‘The Sound of Rain’ earlier this year I was thrilled to go back and reconnect with some beloved characters in the Mountains of West Virginia. I have no idea how the brooch made it’s way to Bethel but I do know that Naomi married and had a daughter named Marion who had a daughter named Fleeta. And with a name like Fleeta you know it’s going to be interesting. (I LOVE that name!) Fleeta is as different and unique as her name, she is the antithesis of feminine. She’s only seen in a dress at holidays and church, she can out-shoot any man on the mountain, and her life goal is to become a gunsmith. Oh, and
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
These novellas are a continuing story of an heirloom broach that is handed down to the women in the family and they share their romantic love stories through almost a 200 year span.. Stories of strong interesting women who find their true love after being given the family broach. I requested a copy through Net Galley, my review is voluntary.
sandralb More than 1 year ago
I love these authors, so I am not the least bit surprised that I loved each of these novellas. As the description tells us these stories take place from 1820's Regency England to the present day. There are several different locations and different families all tied together by the Scottish heirloom brooch passed down in history from mother to daughter through the generations. I was not prepared to become so involved in each of these novels. I found myself laughing through parts, but more than not moved to tears. I had finally purchased this for myself for Christmas. It was a wonderful time to be able to read these heart-felt tales. I would recommend these books not just for the holidays, but to be enjoyed anytime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who knows my reading habits much at all knows that I’m not typically fans of novellas - I love longer books and the deeper stories that typically come with more page time with the characters. But when I learned 3 of my favorite authors had teamed up for a Christmas novella collection, I couldn’t resist checking it out! Plus, I had the opportunity to read a new-to-me author’s work, which I almost always enjoy. With that being said, this book definitely surpassed my expectations and I quite enjoyed it! One of my favorite things about this book is that they worked the story lines so that each author was able to write the time period and geography that suits the rest of their writing. Kristi Ann Hunter’s story is up first and it’s set in England in the early 1800s. Karen Witemeyer is next and it’s set in the mid 1800s in America, and so on. I’d never read anything from Sarah Loudin Thomas, despite the fact that I was born and raised in WV, so I had no idea what to expect of her story. It was . . . .different. At first I was a little unsure how it was going to play into the other stories, but she wove it in quite well. And I was so excited that Becky Wade was able to connect her novella with her Bradford Sisters series! I also really appreciated the fact that each story, while connected to the others, was complete on its own. None of them were left with things left unfinished to be picked up in the next tale. I really don’t think I had a favorite in this collection, as they were all well written and fun to read! If you’re looking for a very well done Christmas novella collection to enjoy with the season, or any time of the year, I would highly recommend this one! *My thanks to the author for my copy of this book! I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise, and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
E_Espinoza More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love through the Generations includes terrific stories written by Kristi Ann Hunter, Karen Witemeyer, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade. Engaging and memorable, each of these novellas is well-written and utterly delightful. All four stories contain richly developed characters, wonderful settings, and plenty of sweet romance and holiday cheer. Featuring novellas that are set in England during the Regency Era, in post Civil War Texas, in late 1950’s West Virginia, and in present day Washington state, this collection includes stories that will satisfy the preferences of a wide variety of readers. The authors have creatively connected these novellas in ways that are clever, meaningful, and truly entertaining. There is an easy flow from one novella to the next, and rather than four disparate books, it is four special stories linked together through the passage of time, the power of faith, and the bonds of family. I enjoyed every bit of this collection from the first sentence to the last. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down. I simply loved being in the fictional worlds these authors created. I was quickly invested in the plot of each novella, and I also had a swift emotional connection to the characters within each story. Their struggles and their successes, their motivations and their fears, and their perseverance and their courage kept me intrigued and inspired page after page. This collection contains four love stories that are charming, fresh, and relevant. They are the kind of stories readers earnestly seek and are thrilled to find. The Christmas Heirloom is a novella collection that I will enjoy re-reading and sharing with my friends. I recommend it wholeheartedly. *I was given a copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.
brandyhei More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Heirloom is a wonderful collection of loosely connected novellas written by some of Bethany House’s most talented authors. Each story is set in the time and place where its author excels, but the titular heirloom, a silver-and-amethyst luckenbooth brooch, links the stories with warm family ties and a romantic legend. Each features a generous dose of Christmas cheer, with heartwarming romance mixed with heartfelt faith, seasonal trappings, and the just-right amount of sentiment for tears and grins throughout. I’ll pick one minor bone with the collection as a whole for generally avoiding discussion of the sweeping geographical shifts through the generations of one family. I wish that it had been acknowledged, since people generally tended to either remain in or close to their own climate zone, or to migrate in groups. I’m not bothered that these stories are literally all over the map, but I wish we’d had a given reason for all the movement. Even so, in my eyes the best thing about this collection is how the unique style and voice of each author shines through. I am familiar with other works from all four (some more than others), and I can attest that each novella represents its author well. This makes it a great introduction to a group of prolific authors, and if one or more stories stands out to you, it’s a safe bet that other works by its author will appeal to you, as well. And considering that each story can be read relatively quickly, this book is a convenient choice for the busy holiday season. My favorite novella in this collection was Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer. This isn’t a big surprise because she’s one of my favorite authors, and, as I told my husband, I would follow her to the moon. “What about Venus?” he asked. I pretended to think about it, then nodded. “No atmosphere? No problem.” Disclaimer: Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC. I was not required to review; my opinions are my own. Disclaimer 2: I’m sure I learned all about Venus in school, but I don’t know a thing about it now.
KJI More than 1 year ago
"The Christmas Heirloom" is my new favorite novella collection, I absolutely loved it! The story of this piece of jewelry is passed down through the generations and four women are highlighted in this collection as to when they receive the jewelry and how it coincides with each of them finding love. I had high hopes for this collection, I mean why wouldn't I with these authors as they are all amazing and I was not disappointed in the least! Kristi Ann Hunter kicks off this collection with a story set back in the early 1800's with sweet Sarah caring for the Dowager Countess of Densbury, but their relationship being so much more than that of employer/employee. Then we jump ahead to the late 1800's in Karen Witemeyer's story set in Texas with a widowed mother and her young daughter making a fresh start. Next is Sarah Loudin Thomas' novella set in West Virginia in 1958, focusing on Fleeta whom can outshoot every man around, until a new one shows up in town. This collection ends with Becky Wade's story set in present day in Washington State and the lovely Bradford sisters make an appearance from her Bradford Sisters series that is her current series. Each and every story is unique in this collection with one common theme, the women finding love at Christmas and the heirloom piece of jewelry that has been passed down through so many generations. Karen Witemeyer's story is such a sweet one as Ruth is desperate to provide for her daughter and be able to make a living on her own. However, the housing option that has been found for her is a good deal but so much more than she is able to afford and so she offers her most prized possession, a treasured heirloom that she hopes to pass to her daughter Naomi when she is older. However, the man who she renting from owns the biggest hotel and business in Hope Springs where so many travel to in the hopes of experiencing the healing powers of the water here. As Ruth and Naomi settle in at the café, their new home and the town, they find themselves feeling at home and also helping their landlord feel more at home as well as they help him without really trying or realizing what they are doing. The characters that Karen create just come to life in this story and I found myself just loving them all and the story. Myrtle of course became a favorite as she was just so full of love and full of life and the perfect person to help Ruth and Naomi through her café and as a motherly figure. I highly recommend this sweet collection of stories, this will truly put you in the Christmasy spirit and the feelings of love and hope. *Thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of this book.*
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed each of the stories in this collection by four of Bethany House's strong authors! It was neat that they took place in different eras, connected by the heirloom brooch that is passed down the maternal line. With each story I was immersed in the setting and characters, and a full story arc was achieved in the space of a novella. The romances were sweet and full of chemistry between the lead characters, making the stories come to life. This is a collection that I plan to read again in the future! It would also make a lovely Christmas gift for readers and fans of wholesome romance. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Heirloom By: Kristi Ann Hunter, Karen Witemeyer, Sarah Loudin, and Becky Wade This captivating collection of Novellas follows a Scottish luckenbooth brooch as it travels through the generations of women leading them to find love. Starting this collection Kristi Ann Hunter tells the tale of Sarah Gooding as she boldly defends her employer to her family. Her boldness is noted by her mistress’s grandson and sparks a quest for him to know more of this spirited girl. Karen Witemeyer tells the tale of widow Ruth Albright as she struggles to provide for herself and daughter. Using her family heirloom, a luckenbooth brooch, as collateral is her only hope to make due this winter. Sara Loudin tells the tale of Fleeta Brady a tomboy like no other to unexpectedly find love after receiving a family heirloom brooch from her aunt. Becky Wade brings this collection of stories to an end in the modern day. Maddie Winslow struggles through her guilty past to accept the love she has for her past time crush. A little gift from her forgetful mom reminders her that she can find happiness. These novellas were well written and easy to read. The authors weaved each story together nicely. I think this collection is a great read. I was so intrigued by the generations of women it made me want to look back at my own family tree.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
This was the choice of my book club for our annual Christmas book. What a perfect pick! There are four short stories from four very talented writers. I felt like each story could be read in an evening. During this busy time of year that is a real bonus. While each story is a stand alone novella there is a theme that pulls all of them together. The connecting thread that weaves throughout each story is a brooch that is passed from mother to daughter. I enjoyed each of the stories and can't say that I preferred one over the other. The continuity between the stories was very smooth and made for an overall good read.. The last two stories, A Shot At Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas and Because of You by Becky Wade, are off shoots from their current series. If you're fans of these two authors you definitely don't want to miss this book. So far this is my favorite Christmas read of the season. If you're looking for a stocking stuffer for your favorite reader this would be a wonderful choice. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Fiction_Faith_and_Fun More than 1 year ago
Four sweet stories of new-found love, tied together by a family heirloom. Whether you enjoy historical or contemporary romances, you’re bound to enjoy all four of these stories! From Regency England to modern America, each tale brings an era to life with its lovable characters and sweet love story. If you’ve read these authors previously, you already know their wonderful abilities as writers. However, if you haven’t had the opportunity to read their works yet, this is a great way to try out any that are new to you. I’m not sure that I could pick a favorite from among the four. While I tend to prefer historical romance, I thoroughly enjoyed each story in this collection. If you’re looking for a few good Christmas stories this season, don’t miss The Christmas Heirloom! (I received a complimentary copy of this collection. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)
PinkGranny More than 1 year ago
Four Holiday Novellas of Love Through The Generations each have a voice as different as each woman whose story is told. The Christmas Heirloom written by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas and Becky Wade will capture your imagination as you follow its history. At once it is a rich treasure and in another moment it may be lost forever. As I get older and am reminded of my heritage, stories such as this warm my memories like a cup of fine tea shared among friends. I hope this collection will find its way into your hands as this wonderful season rich with holidays begins. In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station. A beautiful amethyst brooch is a treasure for ... and an heirloom passed through generations from mother to daughter. Sarah was a blessing to an old and largely ignored woman. From the moment they met they connected, mostly because Sarah saw her as the person she always was; not as the old woman nearing the end of her life. In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love. Ruth treasured the brooch she received from her mother and was holding it in trust for her daughter. What a wonderful story of love and devotion. Coming with nothing but her strength and courage she touched the lives of many. I particularly enjoyed this story for the generous spirit Ruth had for all she met. If there is a story to be told about a hard working woman, Karen Witemeyer is the one to write it. In the west, when a woman was all alone, she either rolled up her sleeves and found a way to support her family or floundered. In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance. I enjoy reading Sarah Loudin Thomas's books and it was good to get a second glace at some characters from the sound of rain. Fleeta is such an unusual young woman the way she can out shoot most men at the turkey shoot. She is following her dreams and doesn't want anything like a brooch send romance her way. Her innocence is both delightful and bittersweet. I liked this novella for people that came alive in true Sarah Loudin Thomas style. Rich with the poignancy of West Virginia in the 1950's where people were doing their best with what they had. Yet still, that brooch was treasured. In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love? The brooch made it to present day Christmas season. Becky Wade's approach is in tune with the younger generation. The brooch makes its way into Maddie's hands in an almost irreverent manner. Maddie's mother seemed a bit sheepish when she admitted she had forgotten it in with some of her old things. Fortunately, Maddie loved the brooch and found it just in time...or are all the stories of this brooch just coincidence? To find out for sure, pick up a co
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
What can be better than a book with several of my favorite authors? When there is a thread throughout the stories that connects them all. I loved reading about a family heirloom being passed down from generation to generation, and the love that followed it. Although they were all part of the same family, the characters were all so unique. Each story had me turning the pages to see if the legacy that follows the brooch could be true. During a season of hope, even impossible dreams can come true. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance. You can’t beat 4 love stories in one novel, and each author brings their best to the table. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley and was in no way forced to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Lyssa Armstrong More than 1 year ago
I love these novella collections that come out every Christmas. I look forward to them every year. And I especially love when common character threads tie one story to the next. This book was a little different in that the common thread comes in the form of brooch that passes down from mother to daughter, bringing the promise of love and marriage with it. Unsurprisingly, my favorite was the first one. It was a sweet story that made me laugh out loud. Can't get better than that. I also enjoyed the second novella about Ruth and Bo Azlin. I see what you did there. Fleeta Brady's story was more contemporary than I usually go, but I enjoyed it all the same. The last story affirmed my taste for historical/regency tales. The premise for Maddie Winslow snagging her best friend's man made me deeply uncomfortable. I don't care that the character in question had been killed off; Maddie had pined for him since they first met, while he dated, married and had a child with her friend. Not cool. And then there was the writing style, which was heavily focused on things I don't care about- endless descriptions of their clothes and hair, Maddie appreciating that her best feature was her large chest size, etc. Instagram was mentioned so frequently, it was basically a supporting character. I'll stick to my 1800's stories.
Digging4Pearls More than 1 year ago
Legacy of Love - Kristi Ann Hunter pulls the reader from the first page and has you longing for more even after the close of her story. She has a unique ability to make the reader feel like they are part of the story. I found Legacy of Love to be a delightful tale and have enjoyed all of Kristi Ann Hunter's books. I highly recommend her to lovers of historical romance. Gift of the Heart - Seven-year old Naomi Fulbright steals the show in Karen Witemeyer's new novella. I loved the way the hero loosens up, grows, and completely comes out of his crusty shell throughout the story. This delightful tale is sure to warm your heart and have you longing for more. Karen Witemeyer's books are sure to please. A Shot at Love was my first introduction to Sarah Loudin Thomas and I wasn't disappointed. She created a fun tale set in the heart of West Virginia. Ms. Thomas' heroine has a sweet charm and simplicity that makes the reader route for her to find a happily-ever-after. This novella is one that will touch readers. Because of You is the first story I've read by Becky Wade. I loved the way the heirloom brooch was introduced in each of the tales. Because of You is a great reminder that love finds us at different stages of our lives. Overall I found this collection to be quite charming. A positive review was not required in any way. - 2018
GingerS219 More than 1 year ago
I loved that one heirloom traversed time to bless four women with love. Each of these stories was well thought out and well written. I enjoyed the idea that the brooch went from mother to daughter in the family. So many times we read about something going to the first son, but this went to a daughter. I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.
CandiceSuePatterson More than 1 year ago
This is the perfect novella collection to get you in the holiday spirit. The stories range from 1827 to present day, and each story revolves around an amethyst brooch handed down through the generations. Each story was wonderful in its own way, starting with Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” set in England and full of witty and lovable characters. Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart” is warm and charming with a Texas Christmas as homey as the southern settings in her other books. “A Shot at Love” (a Sound of Rain novella) by Sarah Loudin Thomas takes readers to West Virginia for the holidays. The setting and inviting cast of characters made me feel like I had gone home after being away. It was great to visit this family again. Finally, Becky Wade’s “Because if You” (a Bradford Sisters novella) brought all the stories together in a precious romance worthy of a Hallmark Christmas movie. My rating is based on the stories together as a whole. I highly recommend this book.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the best collections I have ever read. But look at the authors, how could you go wrong? I am a fan of each of these authors and none of them disappointed me in these novellas. Each story was unique and drew me in. I loved the connection running throughout each story and some characters that popped up from their previous novels. I had a moment of, “Wait, what? I know that character.” How fun. If you are looking for some good Christmas romances you won’t go wrong this collection. A copy of this book was given to me through All opinions are my own.
MelissaNC More than 1 year ago
The Heirloom is a collection of four novellas that all center around a brooch that has been passed from mother to daughter through several generations and the true love that will be found by the current owner. The collection follows the passing of the brooch from the 1800's to present day. This is a heartwarming collection of stories centered around Christmastime, but could definitely be read any time of the year. It was interesting to see how the authors connected the stories, but each one could definitely be read by itself. I know some people do not enjoy novellas because there is not as much time for character development, but in my opinion that is not an issue with this collection. I was given a copy of this collection in exchange for my honest review.
BlueJeansAndTeacups More than 1 year ago
Cozy with just enough Christmas to delight, but not Overwhelm (1)Legacy of Love, a Haven Manor Novella by Kristi Ann Hunter *1827 Lancashire, England& - Sarah Gooding plays piano & is companion to the elderly & frail Dowager Countess of Densbury, & she loves cake! Mr. Randall Everard is a 3rd son & therefore of little consequence to the earldom. However, he is the apple of his grandmother's eye & he has a deep love of cultivating the earth. The Dowager Countess has lived a full life & enjoys music, fellowship & practical jokes. She is both kind & formidable if trifled with. She wears a beautiful pendant her sweetheart gave her in her youth that often reminds her of the wonderful love they shared. This Christmas she has some very special ideas of how to celebrate & hopefully cultivate young love. “From this moment on we live life the way my grandmother did. We love Jesus. We love each other. & we let everyone else come along or get out of the way.” I laughed out loud & I also cried. A wonderfully heartwarming Christmas tale. (5 stars) (2)Gift of the Heart, a Novella by Karen Witemeyer * 1890 Hope Springs, TX - After the death of her husband & losing nearly everything, Ruth & her seven-year-old daughter, Naomi, are starting over in the up-&-coming town of Hope Springs. With scant few personal items, a beloved family heirloom is the only thing of value she possesses. But, that will be given to her daughter one day, when true love comes to call. Although she has reservations about so many things, she has gumption & the sheer will to provide for her daughter will push her past any doubts. Beauregard owns the local hotel. Heck, he owns most of the town. But his debilitation keeps him hidden away. That is until a fiery widow with a talkative little girl, a meddling best friend & a pesky cat pull him out of his shell. Bo & Ruth are drawn to each other & find something they were each missing in their lives.(5 stars) (3)A Shot at Love, a Sound of Rain Novella by Sarah Loudin Thomas /1958 Bethel, West VA - 22-year-old Fleeta is a crack shot & can hold her own with any man. More of a tom-boy, she dreams of becoming a gunsmith but is beholden to her family. “She’d had her fill of men. She’d take care of herself & never look to a husband for anything.” Hank Chapin is a timber man but is getting restless for something new, & perhaps settling down. He collects guns, & when he’s invited home for the holidays with his best friend Judd, he decides to enter the local turkey shoot with his br& new Remington 740 Woodsmaster rifle. Little does he know what he’s in for when he meets the attractive & strong-willed Fleeta hidden behind a pile of masculine clothing & a Winchester 1890 rifle. “He had the definite sense he could no more hold on to her than he could a gossamer cloud of mist.” (4 stars) (4)Because of You a Bradford Sisters Romance Novella by Becky Wade *Present Day, Merryweather, WA - 27-year-old Maddie Winslow & 31-year-old Leo Donnelly have a unique connection. Maddie is compassionate & a people person who works in a sweet shop. Leo is a bookish professor & rather shy, & dad to three-year-old Charlie. When they are paired up at church to work the “Mission – Christmas” project together & bless Kim & her daughters, a local family in need, they spend more time together than just the occasional run-in they might have expected during the holiday season. (3 stars) I was sent a complimentary book in the hopes of a favorable review, with no further
TimelessNovels More than 1 year ago
I love the idea behind this book of an heirloom because passed through the generations. And what better time than Christmas? Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter Having read all of Kristi Ann Hunter’s published works, I had a feeling I would love this one as well. She writes such interesting, unique, imperfect characters. Not only are they more realistic, but you really want to root for them to get their happy endings. Randall Everard is a third son. I never really considered a third son’s life during this time period. He is neither the heir nor the spare, and he is just trying to find his place. There is no set path for him, which has both positives and negatives. Sarah Gooding is seen before in the Haven Manor series. I love when stories are interconnected, though this book can be read as a stand alone. I loved how much Christmas was in this story and how it fit together so well. I also loved the message that you should be able to live your life no matter what age you are. The scene with Sarah playing the piano was hilarious and one of my favorites. Though I would love to spend more time with the characters, it has the feel of a full length novel and doesn’t feel rushed. Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer Like Hunter, Witemeyer is another one of my favorite authors. As a member of her “Posse”, I love that she dedicated the story to us! Karen Witemeyer also creates characters who are not perfect. She has the ability to make her characters strong while also being incredibly vulnerable. I loved the Biblical connection to the Ruth and Boaz story. Besides the names, there were so many little connections as well. Beauregard “Bo” Azlin was one of those characters you feel an instant connection to. The back story of Bo’s childhood where his mother considered him damaged goods is heart breaking. Bo tried to be fair to everyone and not give special treatment but he also helped protect those in need. I liked the scene where Bo is holding the heirloom and vowing to keep it safe for Ruth. It was also sweet how he liked to keep the heirloom near his heart. Witemeyer’s books always contain some funny moments. When Bo calls the stray cat a miscreant, little Naomi mistakenly believes that the cat’s name is Miss Creant. Bo and Naomi have a number of sweet and funny conversations. While this felt like a very complete story, I want it to continue. I’m not ready to leave these characters. A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas It took me awhile to get into this story. The beginning was inundated with hunting and gun talk. While I don’t have a problem with hunting for need, I don’t like the “sport” or bragging that was involved. The second half of the book was a lot more enjoyable for me. I liked that Fleeta was a different kind of character. She wasn’t “girly” and she liked the same jobs and hobbies that were usually only thought of for men. Jack the bird was a fun little character and I liked the cousins. I have read a novella by this author that I enjoyed and I own a few other books that are on my TBR list that I look forward to reading. Because of You by Becky Wade Because of You wasn’t for me. (Ran out of space for the rest of the review)
eLynda More than 1 year ago
Before this compilation, I had only read the first two authors. But the idea of a group of connected novellas set around Christmas and a family heirloom proved absolutely irresistible. Okay, I didn't really try to resist. I'm glad I didn't, because this collection is perfect for the season! Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter Ohhhh! I have a bone to pick with Hunter: you are NOT supposed to blindside a reader with tears as she reads a Christmas novella! This beautiful story quickly engaged my emotions and reminded me of why family is such an important part of who we are and makes Christmas more memorable when we spend it with those we love. Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer This novella’s wounded hero is truly heroic and a unique man to cheer on. I love that he wasn’t quite what I expected as I began reading, but I couldn’t imagine the story being told with any other leading man. The secondary characters have some spunk and a spark that serves to brighten the tale and, along with Witemeyer’s humor and some beautifully poignant moments, make it a perfect read with a warm slice of pie. A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas This is my first story by Thomas and very different from the others in the collection, though the continuity is kept by the same brooch working its way through the family line. Fleeta has a unique perspective on life and that made her interesting to me, even as I struggled a bit to relate to her. I liked how family connections were strong; even when the characters made mistakes, love abounded and people were always shown as the most important consideration, even over long-held dreams. Because of You by Becky Wade The final novella is also by a new-to-me author, but only because I don’t often read contemporary stories—her writing is really fun and thoroughly enjoyable. I really liked this sweet story about finding joy and how life is worth living even after tragedy. The characters are loveable and perfect for each other, and the touches of humor added to the festive feel of the novella. I highly recommend this collection to fans of Christmas stories, novella collections, and these authors. I really enjoyed how the stories all connected together through the heirloom, but each one easily reads as a standalone within the collection and among the authors’ series, though fans will notice some overlap with already beloved characters. I received a free copy of this book from the authors and publisher, but was not required to write a favorable review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
aharey More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Heirloom contains four lovely stories centered on a beautiful luckenbooth brooch and Christmas. The stories range in time from the mid 1800s to the present day, which I really enjoyed. The characters are all in the same family line, which I admit delighted me as a family historian myself. The first story, Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter, tells the story of Sarah Gooding, the companion of the elderly Lady Densbury in 1827 England, and Randall Everard, the grandson of Lady Densbury. Randall has no hope of inheriting any of his father's earldom as he is a third son, but has hopes of owning his own farm some day. This was a really sweet story and I really enjoyed Hunter's writing style. The second story, Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer, tells the story of Ruth Fulbright, a widow with a young daughter in 1890 Texas, who has come to to the town of Hope Springs in hopes of starting a new life. There she meets Bo Azlin, the man who owns most of the town but has become a recluse due to a childhood injury. I am a huge Witemeyer fan and this story did not disappoint. I love how her stories flow seamlessly and always leaves me wanting to read more. The third story, A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas, tells the story of Fleeta Brady, a woman who has grown up more comfortable behind a rifle than in a kitchen in 1958 West Virginia. She dreams of being a gunsmith, but lacks the funds to begin. She meets Hank Chapin, a man who is hoping to find a new career away from the timber company he's been working for. This story was different from what I usually read, but I really enjoyed Thomas's writing style. The final story, Because of You by Becky Wade, tells the story of Maddie Winslow in present day Washington, who has had an unrequited crush on Leo Donnelly ever since she meet him. Unfortunately, her best friend Olivia found him first and married him. Now that Leo is back in town after Olivia was killed, Maddie feels guilty for still harboring those feelings. I really enjoyed this story by Wade and will look for her other novels. Overall, this was a great book. I thought that the brooch was a lovely way to tie the stories together and I loved that each was in a different time frame. I highly recommend this novella collection to anyone looking for a sweet Christmas read. I received a copy of this novella collection from the publisher.