Novella Feature: Love’s Reward (The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection) by Susanne Dietze

The Most Eligible Bachelor CollectionLove’s Reward (The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection) by Susanne Dietze

Daniel Blair is by all means a successful businessman—to everyone except his father. Making his living as an architect, he spends his days designing homes and buildings all over southern California. Despite his success, however, he cannot seem to earn the respect of his father, a Congressman who hopes Daniel will follow in his footsteps. As the deadline to win a prestigious architectural competition looms closer, this most eligible bachelor finds himself at the center of a different kind of race: one in which the ladies come after him. With the pressure to win both his father’s approval and prestige for his business impending upon him, Daniel will have to find a way to give all his cares to God and win the heart of the one lady who truly matters.

Upon reading the front cover copy for The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection, I was not sure what to think about Love’s Reward with the exception of one statement: the heroine would be materialistic. I did not expect to like Josie Price, and I assumed the novella would comprise section after section of the interactions between the hero and his various amours. While Love’s Reward does include interactions between Daniel Blair and the women competing for his affections, this novella is so much more than a simple romance—and I love it (and Josie Price) for that exact reason. Love’s Reward is a novella rich with romance, as well as thick with lessons of life, faith, friendship, and family. It does not seem possible to pack all of these elements into forty-three pages, but Susanne Dietze has written a novella that is sure to delight readers who love deep historical stories.

Josie Price and Daniel Blair are two characters who immediately jump off the page as individuals and as a romantic pairing. Josie’s zeal for women’s advocacy and her quirks of both tomboyish and ladylike behaviors keep her interesting and appealing. Daniel is one of the most swoon-worthy heroes that I have come across in CBA literature: handsome, kind, generous, a faithful friend, and a man after God’s heart, Daniel has just about all the characteristics any female could want in a man. The two of them make a sparkling pair because they both genuinely care about doing good and right in the world around them. Josie and Daniel are funny, witty, and bring about the best in each other.

More than anything else in Love’s Reward, I enjoyed Dietze’s incorporation of faith, family, and friendship into her characters lives. Josie and Daniel are fierce friends, and Dietze brings other aspects of friendship into her story through instances in which Daniel and Josie have the opportunity to extend their hands to others. As the novella progresses, Dietze drew her characters into their faiths by beautifully demonstrating various ways of handling past hurts. I had not heard of Susanne Dietze before reading Love’s Reward, but with strong writing and themes she has drawn me into her circle of readers. I will most certainly look for her future books and novellas.

Rating: 4 stars

Find Love’s Reward and eight other novellas in The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection from these sites: Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, and Barnes and Noble 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

7834895Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she writes in the hope that her historical romances will encourage and entertain others. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, travel, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.

Find Suzanne at the following social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, PintrestGoodreads, Amazon

Advertisements

Novella Feature: A Bride for a Bargain (The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection) by Amanda Barratt

The past few months I have been blessed to be the recipient of numerous books either from contest wins or authors who graciously allow me to review their books. After a few of these such instances, I noticed a common theme running through the books that came in my mail: many of them were either single novellas or novellas as part of a larger collection. As I have so many books to read and review–but could not fathom the idea of passing up any of these stories–I decided to work a feature into my website; thus, Novella Feature was born! Each novella that I read–either as stand alone or part of a collection–will be reviewed on A Way With Words. Novellas are popular with readers but generally do not garner as much attention as full-length novels. I hope to change that situation by featuring what I find to be enjoyable in the novellas I have given to read and review. From the Love Inspired line (Harlequin) to collections featuring brides and grooms, to stories of Southern charm, surely one of these novellas will fit your reading preferences. Enjoy!


The Most Eligible Bachelor CollectionA Bride for a Bargain by Amanda Barratt

Publisher: Barbour

Collection: The Most Eligible Bachelor

Publishing date: May 2015

Synopsis: Wealthy tycoon, Geoffrey Buchanan is tired of being hunted by women. So when he hires a down on her luck factory girl to pose as his fiancée during a posh house party, he expects nothing more than a business transaction. He doesn’t intend for sweet and stubborn Ada McClane to invade his life and win his heart so completely. But sometimes what we bargain for, and what we truly need, are two completely different things.

REVIEW:

There were many aspects to The Most Eligible Bachelor that first caught my attention upon finding the collection on Goodreads: a beautiful cover, an enticing title, stories from authors that I had not yet read but had heard many good things about. I had every reason already to want to read this novella collection, but in all honesty, the most significant factor that drew me to The Most Eligible Bachelor was the novella written by Ms. Amanda Barratt. While I did not actually meet this young author in person at the ACFW conference last fall, the positive remarks I heard about her writing immediately sparked my interest–enough that eight months later I remembered her and knew enough that I wanted to read her work.

The instinct that told me to hang on for this author’s work was correct: with a writing style that belies her youthful age, a plot that cleverly twists the typical historical romance, and characters with both spunk and charm, A Bride for a Bargain is one novella that I truly wished was longer than its ninety pages. I read this novella in less than three hours–and while I raced through it because I literally did not want to put the book down, the story was over far sooner than I wished. I love A Bride for a Bargain and will definitely re-read this novella in the future.

Barratt’s first published story is one, on the outset, that could come across as typical Christian historical fiction; however, beyond the wealthy bachelor and poor heroine trope, this novella takes on a life of its own. Ada McClane, the heroine, is much more than the common leading lady: while she strives to take care of her ill younger sibling, much like many heroines, Ada has the independence, spunk, wit, and intelligence that could easily carry A Bride for a Bargain all on its own. I found Ada particularly endearing because she was able to hold both her independent streak and her desire for femininity all at once. Barratt blended these characteristics so well that I easily imagined Ada as the type of woman all females would have found inspirational in this time period. Geoffrey Buchanan, Ada’s hero and foil, is the perfect opposite to Barratt’s heroine. Strong and silent where Ada is at times open and opinionated, Geoffrey is the wounded hero that becomes open to love–and subsequently makes all women–fictional or real–fall for him. He is the romantic that all women long for, with his tender and kind-hearted gestures, willingness to let Ada come into her own, and protective nature.

A Bride for a Bargain also shines with its themes of self-reliance and God’s faithfulness. With a wisdom that, again, supersedes her years, Barratt demonstrates that age is not an indicator of how well a person knows God. As her characters find in this first novella, often times it is simply blind faith in God that helps people get their trials and challenges. Ada McClane’s circumstances show the best of sibling relationships, and this heroine’s simple but profound statements of faith will surely resonate with readers as Ada teaches Geoffrey about God’s love. Barratt’s key word in her title–bargain–is brought up in numerous ways: what people bargain for in love, in their faith, in their circumstances, and in their relationships. By the end of A Bride for a Bargain readers will understand that bargains are best left aside because is the one who has our lives in His hands.

I would love to read more about Ada and Geoffrey, but since that will most likely remain a wish, I am content to eagerly await Barratt’s next novella, The Substitute Wife, coming this summer from Barbour’s Most Convenient Bride collection.

RATING: 5/5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amanda BarrattAmanda Barratt is a historical romance author with two novellas soon to be published. The first “A Bride for a Bargain,” will release May, 2015 as part of Barbour’s “The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection.” The second, “The Substitute Wife,” will debut in July, 2015 as part of “The Convenient Bride Collection,” also by Barbour. She has won several awards for her work and enjoys writing about eras such as Regency and Victorian England, and the Gilded Age.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is represented by Rachel Kent, of Books and Such Literary Agency. She lives in northern Michigan with her family, where she reads way too many old books, watches period dramas to come up with new plot-lines, and dreams of taking a trip to England.

Find Amanda at the following places online:

Web: http://www.amandabarratt.net

Facebook: Amanda M. Barratt

Twitter: @amandambarratt