Sophie Stewart’s family has just moved to Chicago to join her brother and help start a church. Sophie is an artist with big dreams, but she feels her parents are pushing her to marry someone like Noah Jackson, a young man from their Ohio hometown. But forgiving the past and recognizing Noah’s maturity and changes may take a miracle.
About the Author:
Maureen Lang writes stories inspired by a love of history and romance. An avid reader herself, she's figured out a way to write the stories she feels like reading. Maureen's Inspirationals have earned various writing distinctions including the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, a Holt Medallion, and the Selah Award, as well as being a finalist for the RITA, Christy, and Carol Awards. In addition to investigating various eras in history (such as Victorian England, First World War, and America's Gilded Age), Maureen loves taking research trips to get a feel for the settings of her novels. She lives in the Chicago area with her family and has been blessed to be the primary caregiver to her adult disabled son.
(Cover photo and description from Christian Book. Author bio copied from book. No infringement intended.)
My Review: 2 stars
Didn’t care for it.
The Gift Wrapped Bride is the fourth book in Barbour Publishing’s The 12 Brides of Christmas series. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t enjoy it much past chapter two. I found the story intriguing when it opened, but quickly lost interest. Ms. Lang did a very good job with the descriptions and details, but the story itself just fell flat. I was unable to connect with the characters and there wasn’t really anything to hold my attention.
Sophie Stewart is one of the main characters and I really wanted to like her, but she seemed so childish. The entire story she denies Noah even the slightest chance, because of all of the pranks he played on her during school. Even though she hasn’t seen him in five years and it is quite evident that he’s changed, she refuses to accept that he isn’t the same annoying boy as when he left. I don’t understand how she could hold such a grudge about something so minor as a few harmless pranks. She ignores him, is rude, refuses to accept his help, and definitely will not allow his courting her.
Noah Jackson is the hero and I felt so bad for him. The way Sophie treats him is terrible and he just keeps coming back, determined to show her the change in him. He is very sweet and kind to her, always looking out for her best interests. I had really hoped for his sake, that he would move on and find someone else.
I expected this to be a sweet romance, but honestly, there wasn’t any romance at all until the last few pages. I have no idea how the characters managed to “fall in love,” because they spent very little page time talking. Sophie did her best to be Noah’s enemy throughout the story, so I’m not quite sure how she had such a startling turn around right at the end. It seemed quite unbelievable that she would suddenly love him, even after realizing that he isn’t the villain she had painted him as being.
The only reason I’m giving this book two stars is because of the spiritual element. The subject was on forgiveness and the Lord’s ability to change people when they come to Him. I really appreciated the importance Ms. Lang put on this and how she used the characters’ actions and reactions to illustrate the point.
I’m truly sorry that I didn’t enjoy this novella. I had high hopes for it, but it sadly fell short of them.
I received a complimentary copy 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.