When I review anthologies, I like to touch on a few details in each story that stood out to me. Here's my take:
Unfortunately I could not get into Star of Wonder by Crystal Caudill, so I mostly skimmed through. I did like the historical details and how Aldrich and Celestia's romance played out. Their reliance on God to guide them in love and life was refreshing.
Beauty Bright by Cara Putman was very interesting to me! I've watched the movie Monuments Men that came out in 2014, and loved the film. To learn about those who risked their lives to find and protect priceless artwork stolen by the Nazis just after WW2 was a piece of history I didn't know about. I don't read many war stories, but this one definitely kept my interest! And again watching the romance grow between Charles and Lillian as they worked together and how their faith ground them was a delight. Cara Putman's inclusion of historical details was well researched!
Perfect Light was probably my favorite of the bunch! I loved Angela Strong's novel Husband Auditions so I was definitely looking forward to her story. It's a modern day contemporary romance that hooked me from the beginning. I think what I liked the most was that both Brendon and Lacey weren't flawless perfect characters that had it all together, but rather two imperfect people dealing with some past hurts. The character growth in each one was realistic and had me rooting for them until the end! There were quite a few funny moments to temper the hard stuff along with a faith thread to help them get through. Brendon was my idea of what a hero should be, and through his gentle ways, finally won Lacey's heart. A sigh-worthy romance!
These are three unique stories connected by a single family name chock full of adventure, love and a solid faith theme sure to delight readers this holiday season (or any time of the year really)!
*I received a complimentary copy via the authors and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *
"Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder trivialized the effect separation had on two people"
Setting the stage for the remainder of the book, "Star of Wonder" finds astronomy club members Celestia Isaacs and Aldrich Weise's relationship at a crossroads; what better way to spend time together again than on one of the Weise family's luxury steamer ships . . . unless the man in question has suddenly decided that the turn his life is taking needs to be a solitary one. Could God direct their paths as He had done so many years ago for the magi when He placed a "star of wonder" in the sky? - Star of Wonder, Crystal Caudill
As a Monument Man following World War II, Lieutenant Charles Weise has personal hopes of finding a treasured piece of art, "The Adoration of the Magi", which his grandfather had owned before fleeing Germany. Assisted by the lovely Captain Lillian Thorsen, their efforts are thwarted by the sheer magnitude of their assignment. Could "beauty bright" penetrate the darkness of this war-torn country, perhaps providing a Christmas miracle before it was too late? -Beauty Bright, Cara Putman
Essential oils magnate Brendon Wise has come to a very logical decision, he is prepared to invite his Christmas festival event planner Lacey Foster out to dinner. They've spent countless virtual hours together, so taking matters from a business relationship to a much more personal one feels right to him . . .. but Lacey? Lacey has complications, and they are not the kind that can be swept under the proverbial rug. Can Brendon persuade her to accept the fact that love is a gift . . . "there is joy in giving but also in receiving". - Perfect Light, Angela Ruth Strong
Reviewing collections is always a little tricky, but rest assured, each one of these stories is a poignant reminder that faith requires following the Light, just as the magi did so many years ago.
*I purchased a copy and had no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars
In this Christmas collection, Weise men still seek Jesus--and love
Best-selling romance authors Caudill, Putman, and Strong follow three generations of the Weise family in this third collection of Christmas novellas from Kregel that will prove just as popular as the previous award-winning volumes.
"Star of Wonder" by Crystal Caudill
The Christmas-themed maiden voyage of his family's grand steamer ship was supposed to be Aldrich Weise's chance both to instill investor confidence and to romance Celestia Isaacs. Instead, he must foil a criminal and leave his lady love behind forever.
"Beauty Bright" by Cara Putman
Lieutenant Charles Weise served as a Monuments Man after World War II and now works to restore stolen art to rightful owners. Captain Lillian Thorsen pairs up with him not only to return treasures but also to fix the war-torn lives around them.
"Perfect Light" by Angela Ruth Strong
Essential oils mogul Brendon Wise is drawn to Lacey Foster, the event planner for his huge Christmas lights festival. But when he inadvertently makes a spectacle of her on television, Lacey wants nothing to do with him. Will a chance to give gifts to those in need at Christmas be the key to discovering common ground--and maybe love?