Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My review: The Advent Bride

New--The 12 Brides of Christmas! You're invited to a Christmas wedding...that is twelve of them! Discover the joy of an old-fashioned Christmas romance with these twelve heart-warming stories. Brand-new stories from renowned inspirational fiction authors will take you into the heartland of historical America. Releasing each week starting October 6, you'll want to read all of them.

#1: The Advent Bride
Melanie Douglas is alone on the Nebraska plains, teaching school to get by. She finds a unique box with hidden drawers to use over the advent season to engage a young boy in his schooling. When Henry O’Keeffe sees a positive change in his son, he has to see for himself what this new teacher is doing.

About the Author:
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of the Wild at Heart series, which recently began with book 1, Tried & True. She is also the author of the Trouble in Texas series, Kincaid Bride series, Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy, Sophie’s Daughters Trilogy, and many other books. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and three spectacular grandchildren. Find Mary online at
(Cover photo, book description, and about the author copied from Christian Book.  No infringement intended.)

My Review: 2.5 stars
I was a bit disappointed.
The Advent Bride is the first novella in Barbour Publishing’s The 12 Brides of Christmas serial series. It follows the story of Melanie Douglas and Henry “Hank” O’Keeffe as they strive to help his son during Christmas. I was very excited to read this, since I’m a huge fan of Ms. Connealy’s, but unfortunately, I was left desiring something more.
The beginning was very promising and I laughed at the very first line, but somewhere around the halfway point, I began to lose interest. A fair amount of the plot revolves around a mystery box Melanie finds and ingeniously uses to keep Simon interested in his studies. I thought there would be a mystery or something surrounding it, but there isn’t really. She finds things to put in the hidden places to make it more interesting for Simon, but there wasn’t anything particularly interesting about it, at least to me. Also, after the addition of it, the story became more of little snippets of days, letting the reader know what was found. That was frustrating for me, because I honestly didn’t care that much about the box. I wanted to know more about the characters, instead.
I did like Melanie Douglas. I enjoyed her spunk and desire to care for Simon, even though he irritated her to no end. She is an orphan and has often felt unwanted or that she was a burden, so she does her very best to ensure that he doesn’t feel that way. She surprisingly comes to care a great deal for the little nuisance and his father, who also drives her crazy. 
Hank O’Keeffe is a wounded hero and would have been very interesting. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel as though I knew him very well and wasn’t able to connect with him. I actually found his attraction to Melanie a little strange, because he only just met her, but it worked okay for the sake of the story. 
I also found the ending quite farfetched. Melanie and Hank rarely spoke throughout the story, so I’m don’t know how they could come to love each other in such a short length of time, especially when they knew very little about one another. I’m probably nitpicking the story to death, so I apologize. I would recommend this story if you’re looking for a quick, Christmas-themed read.

I received a free download of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

If you are interested in checking this book out for yourself and drawing your own conclusions, it's only $0.99 Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and $0.79 on Christian Book.  Here are some links to help you out.


Barnes & Noble

Christian Book

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