Thursday, March 6, 2014

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.

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.

A January Bride by Deborah Raney is a sweet and charming novella that starts off the Year of Weddings novella series in a delightful way. I enjoyed getting to know both Maddie and Art as the story progressed as well as seeing how Ginny would both interfere in and touch their lives. I was highly amused by the complete misunderstandings that arose between Maddie and Art concerning each other's ages and how this confusion played out in their relationship and in the novella. As with all novellas, the romance and plot moved very quickly, but I liked how the author used the notes exchanged between the two characters to further their relationship before they ever met one another. I also was moved by Arthur's worry and concerns about dating after his wife's death and how he and Maddie eventually resolved those issues while trusting in God's sovereign plan. I highly enjoyed this amusing and romantic story, and I look forward to reading more of Deborah Raney's works as well as the rest of the Year of Weddings novellas.

I received this novella from BooklookBloggers and Zondervan Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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