Historical Fiction, Review

The 12 Brides of Summer Collection

The 12 Brides of Summer CollectionMeet 12 adventurous Victorian era women—a beekeeper who is afraid of bees, a music teacher whose dog has dug up a treasure, a baker who enters a faux courtship, and six more—along with the men they encounter while making summertime memories.

Will these loves sown during summer be strengthened by faith and able to endure a lifetime?


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My Thoughts

The Honey Bride by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

New to me author, yay! Katie and Pete grow in confidence and faith through tragedy and hard work. I really like Pete, good solid guy! It’s obvious, at least to everyone except Katie, that he thinks she is the bees knees (can’t help myself!) Pete is an encourager and he takes action to help Katie’s family in their time of need.

Dog Days of Summer Bride by Margaret Brownley

Opposites attract in this humorous story that’s gone to the dogs, leaving two dog owners scratching their heads and chasing their tails. (You can roll your eyes at my punny mood. I might be done now.) Jed is a stalwart sort of fellow, big size, big muscles, big heart. Marilee is a dainty, proper Bostonian who loves music and supports herself by conducting piano lessons. This one made me laugh out loud.

The Fourth of July Bride by Amanda Cabot

Naomi and Gideon come from completely different backgrounds yet they both look forward to their little chats at the bakery. When Gideon’s mother comes to town, he asks Naomi to pose as his fiancee in order to discourage his mother’s matchmaking. Naomi is able to manage the situation to the benefit of her mother’s physical health, Gideon’s spiritual walk, and the hearts of all involved. I would really like to visit the little bakery in the story!

A Bride Rides Herd by Mary Connealy

Yeeeehaw! Mary Connealy is one of my favorites!!!! Mary is the master of interconnecting relationships and hilarious cowboy romance with spitfire heroines. Matt arrives at his brother’s home just in time to see his fearless nieces risk their lives. Betsy knows her nieces are a handful but now that all the ranch hands have left her high and dry, she’s just trying to keep the ranch running and keep the girls alive. (Mary, if you have a timeline of all your books and novellas, I need it!)

Blue Mood Bride by Susan Page Davis

Joe & Ava meet in an exciting journey on a westbound train. Ava is just traveling to visit with her childhood friend but Joe is looking to move up in the world with a career change. His plans derail and he loses his job when the package he was sent to deliver is stolen during a train robbery. Joe trusts in God’s plan for his life and when the dust settles, he is one very blessed man.

The Dogwood Blossom Bride by Miralee Ferrell

Gracie loves riding horses, climbing trees, and seeking adventure, it’s not proper behavior for a lady her age. Will disapproves of Gracie’s wild behavior because of the influence he’s afraid she has over his niece, Laura. Gracie and Will have to learn to communicate and compromise. Will must learn to forgive himself for a past tragedy.

The Lumberjack’s Bride by Pam Hillman

New to me author! Lucy has been raised in Chicago and has a knack for making things beautiful. She is a fish out of water when her family moves to Mississippi to join a lumber camp! Eli’s family has been moving from camp to camp for as along as he can remember. He, his brothers, and even his Ma thrive on the hard work. I love the sharp contrast between Lucy and Eli and the worlds they grew up in. Lucy isn’t afraid of hard work and she’s a fast learner.

The Summer Harvest Bride by Maureen Lang

New to me author! Sally is shy, quiet, and just goes with the flow for the most part. Her small farming community is teeming with energy and excitement after the Daughton family arrives and proposes a plan to build a grist mill for the town. Although the entire town assumes she is practically betrothed to Willis, the mayor’s son, Sally finds herself drawn to Lukas, the spokesman of the Daughton clan. Lukas is a bit of a ladies man but that ends when he meets Sally. I especially enjoyed the setting of this story because it reminds me of one of our families favorite camping destinations at Spring Mill State Park in Indiana.

The Wildflower Bride by Amy Lillard

New to me author! Grace and Ian are instantly attracted to one another when they meet at the wedding of her sister and his best friend. Unfortunately for them, everyone seems to notice. Grace’s family starts scheming to her alone with Ian and show him the joys of pastoring a small town congregation. Their thoughts as they resist and avoid their attraction are very entertaining. I enjoyed the humor laced throughout the story!

The County Fair Bride by Vickie McDonough

Prudy returns to her hometown with a new faith and she is determined to change her outspoken demeanor. Adam has heard the rumors about Prudy’s past behavior but he wasn’t expecting to be momentarily struck dumb by her beauty. Eventually, these two will have to learn to work together and come up with a plan to fund the town’s municipal needs. I admire the way Prudy grows and matures during the story.

The Columbine Bride by Davalynn Spencer

New to me author and one of my favorite novellas in this collection! Widow Lucy Powell and her two small children are heading up the mountain and she is determined to make a go of it on her husband’s ranch, on her own. Buck Reiter is thinking about moving on and finding a place of his own. His widowed sister no longer needs him now that his nephew is grown, married, and capable of caring for the ranch and growing family. Buck is determined to help Lucy whether she likes it or not. This story really tugged on my heartstrings (Davalynn, I’ll be hunting down more of your titles for sure!)

The Sunbonnet Bride by Michelle Ule

New to me author! Sally has moved into town and taken a position as a seamstress in order to pursue her dream of one day opening her own shop. Malcolm works with his family at the mercantile across the road from the small shop where Sally works. When disaster strikes, the community joins together to help those in need. Ah, this book is home to me! Small farming community, hard working man who doesn’t say much, oh yes, I can relate to that!


This is the first Barbour collection I’ve read. These stories made me laugh, cry, and smile at my Kindle a lot! In my opinion, these are all four to five-star stories and I enjoyed every one. This is a great book to savor all summer long and an excellent means for discovering new to you authors!

I requested the opportunity to read and review this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.

Professional Reader

Connect with the Authors

Mary Connealy | Margaret Brownley | Diana Lesire Brandmeyer | Amanda Cabot | Susan Page Davis | Miralee Ferrell | Pam Hillman | Maureen Lang | Amy Lillard | Vickie McDonough | Davalynn Spencer | Michelle Ule

// Well, this is certainly the longest review I’ve ever written so if you’ve made it all the way to the end, I owe you a big hug! Are you a fan of novella collections?

7 thoughts on “The 12 Brides of Summer Collection”

  1. I love these collections! Perfect setting as summer approaches and a great collaboration of authors. I am excited to read a few in here that I have not read yet.


      1. I review the booknas a whole touching on a few of my favorites. With novellas, I’m always scared I’m going to give away too much because they are so short lol. But I likenhowbyou approached it! 🙂


      2. I went back and forth before I decided to go this route. I took notes while reading and that was a first for me.


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