Well, I think I am finally on the downswing of my fluffy reading binge. Or just not grabbing books from the library (still randomly) that completely tickle my fancy. Yuletide Baby by Deb Kastner bypassed Thanksgiving right into Christmas.
I have a couple loves with this one – the name of the town – Serendipity, Texas; the name of the abandoned baby in the church – Noelle. Who wouldn’t want to live in a town named Serendipity and if you know anything about my baby name choices (Emanuel, Echo, Trinity), well Noelle fits right in on that one.
Now for what I had trouble with – this is another foster parent book. As mentioned previously a baby is abandoned in a church in the Christmas creche. There is a history of abuse with the female main character Heather and both she and the male lead Shawn (part time pastor full time rancher) hold onto guilt for situations they could not control.
There really is not much of a focus on the people in town around the two main characters, possibly because they are really both two wrapped up in their own emotional turmoil. You get a lot of back history in this story on both sides and most of it is tragic. This has caused a strengthening of faith with one and almost a fear of the church and God with the other.
The ending has a rather dramatic climax that includes Heather’s foster children (and myself a tiny bit confused as to where Noelle was during all of this). The ending is lovely and wraps everything up with a Christmas bow. This is a seasonal contemporary Christian romance with a bit of a gritty under belly. In reading the author’s note to the reader I realized there are multiple books set in the town of Serendipity so the potential is there for more faith journeys in small town Texas. I think I simply prefer my light reading a little less angst filled.
I don’t usually read historical romances… at least not ones NOT based in the Regency Era but Amazon had this one up for free on Prime. I am glad that I did in this case. Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart is a sweet romantic story about a young woman who has had no luck in love following a wagon accident that took her eyesight and her parents’ lives.
Noelle is living with her aunt, uncle and 2 cousins after the death of her parents and broken engagement. She is dependent on her family as she continues to find her independence without the help of her sight. Strengthened by her belief in God and her teaching piano to the local children, Noelle is content with her life… that is until the snow falls and once again she is the passenger in a wagon gone wild.
When Noelle and her Aunt are saved by a stranger old memories and loves are brought to the surface and Noelle questions her life, choices and future. When the identity of the stranger is discovered we begin the journey of his return to faith and the healing of his broken heart. We learn more about their shared history and the parts each of their parents played in it.
This gentle romance pairs up two journeys of faith with a long ago time period of horse and buggy (or sled) and the beginning of steam powered train. I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. While definitely at a disadvantage due to her lack of sight Noelle does not constantly slip into a pity party. Instead we get a glimpse into the conundrums that come with being disabled in a society without a lot of the resources we now have at hand. If you are on the look out for an inspirational historical romance this could be the book for you!