The Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love Through the Generations – Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, Becky Wade – Bethany House Published – Published 2 October 2018
In Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.
In Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart,” widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.
In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s “A Shot at Love,” Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.
In Becky Wade’s “Because of You,” Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?
The Heirloom is a collection of four delightful novellas. While each are set during Christmas, there is nothing to stop you enjoying this collection all year round. From a story set during the Georgian era to contemporary story, these four novellas span many generations of women following their dreams and their hearts.
Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter
This is the first of Kristi Ann Hunter’s works that I have read. I don’t usually read books set during the Georgian era, but I found Legacy of Love was one of my favourite novellas in this collection. Legacy of Love sets the heirloom’s legacy into motion. Sarah, the main character, is a companion to Dowager Lady Densbury. When in front of the Dowager’s wider family, Sarah plays the role of meek, boring companion, yet she is a strong and forthright young lady. When she speaks out against the family to protect her mistress, Sarah captures the eye of the Earl’s third and youngest son. As Sarah and Randall work together to ensure the Dowager enjoys her Christmas, they find they have more in common then they first realised. Legacy of Love is a sweet, romantic and charming story. I loved Sarah. Loved her strength, gumption and desire to stick up for what she believes in. If Hunter writes all her protagonists with the same fire, I can guarantee that Legacy of Love will not be the last of her works I will enjoy.
Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer
I adore everything that Karen Witemeyer has penned and her novella Gift of the Heart was the major draw card for me to pick up this collection. A story of a second chance at love, of children, and acceptance, Gift of the Heart is set in America just after the Civil War. Ruth Fullbright has already known love and tragic loss. Now she and her young daughter are relocating to Hope Springs to start a new life. With limited funds, Ruth must convince the biggest businessman in town, Beauregard Azlin that she is reliable and worthy of an advance in her rent. But Bo is not the aloof and harsh businessman he at first seems, and before long Bo finds himself drawn to the strong and principled Mrs Fullbright and her vivacious daughter. Full of laughter and love, Gift of the Heart was my favourite novella in this collection and a delight to read.
A Shot at Love – Sarah Loudin Thomas
Thomas’ books have been on my to-read list for a while now but A Shot At Love is the first time I’ve read anything by this talented author. A Shot At Love is a fun novella, with a fantastic lead character. Fleeta would much rather be out hunting or designing guns than ever donning a fancy gown or trying to capture the eye of a gentleman. When her aunt gives her a family heirloom rumoured to bring the beholder true love, Fleeta couldn’t be more skeptical. But when a friend of a friend is passing through town, she (through a bit of healthy competition and a shared love of fine weaponry), finds herself just a little bit drawn to the charming Hank Chapin. But Fleeta is determined not to let attraction get in the way her chance to finally follow her dreams of becoming a gunsmith. While there were a few loose ends at the end of A Shot At Love, it was impossible not to be drawn to Fleeta and her dertermination to love her life on her own terms.
Because of You – Becky Wade
Chocolate, unrequited love, Christmas shopping and happy endings. Maddie Winslow has loved Leo Donnelly since she first met him. But he started dating, fell in love with and married her best friend. For years, Maddie watched from afar and tried to get her heart under control. Leo, now widowed, and his young son have moved back to town and he and Maddie are paired to work together on the church’s Christmas mission project. Spending time together might be a challenge for Maddie, but for Leo it is an eye-opening experience that his second chance at love might be right in front of him. While I didn’t love this story as much as I have enjoyed books by Becky Wade in the past, mostly because I just didn’t click with Maddie, I did enjoy Leo’s side of the story.
While each of the four novellas are part of larger series, they can each be read as standalones. Perfect for fans of each of the writers or for readers looking to discover new authors, The Heirloom is a delightful collection.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian romance.
Themes: Romance, family, ancestry, relationships, marriage, heirlooms, Christmas, historical, contemporary.
Published: 2 October 2018 by Bethany House Publishers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 384 pages.