The Texas Brides Collection

Title:  The Texas Brides Collection (9 Romances from the Old west)
Authors:  DiAnn Mills, Darlene Mindrup, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Michelle Ule, Darlene Franklin, Lynette Sowell, Tamela Hancock Murray
Pages:  448
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Barbour Books
                Here we have a collection of short stories that are set in Texas during the mid-1800s.  Some of the stories have the uniqueness of Texas Rangers added to the spice of romance.  Serena’s Strength by DiAnn Mills weaves the story of a girl coming into womanhood.  She is a daughter of a ranger, who wants more for his daughter than marriage to a ranger.  When Serena finds herself falling in love with Chet, what will it take to change her father’s heart so he will let her go to discover what God has in store for her?
                The Reluctant Fugitive by Darlene Mindrup is a new author to me.  The story includes characteristics of frontier danger, romance and bank robbery.  April has been a dressmaker since her parents passing.  Her brother, Ted, has not been around in a while and when he shows up, she finds herself entangled in a dangerous situation.  On top of that, the Ranger who comes to track the robbers and April is the best and begins to battle his heart as to April’s innocence.  There is a mystery involved here plus whether the past will determine the path of faith in the lives of the main characters. 
                Saving Grace shows how much love a woman has for her ranger husband and the children they had together.  Suddenly, finding herself a widow with a third child on the way, the business her husband had started may not survive because the boat captains don’t want to interact with a woman.  Then, right after a time of prayer, a ranger rides into her yard, but he has no idea what is to come and neither does Grace.  Kathleen Y’Barbo writes a wonderful story that shows the way God answers prayer may not exactly be the way we expect.
                An Inconvenient Gamble by Michelle Ule follows a man named Charles Moss, who, after the Civil War, travels the state of Texas surveying with a former colonel.  A young widow, Jenny, is caring for her mother-in-law and two remaining brothers on what was once a thriving horse farm.  With surprising twists and turns in the story, the reader will love the way the author ends this story by showing the hope that can come from leaving behind reminders of the past.
                Angel in Disguise tells the tale about a poor young woman named Rosie, who loves the Lord.  Rosie has a criminal record that causes some women in society not to trust her.  Owen is a Ranger who is longing to return to duty, but can’t until the doctor releases him.  Written by Darlene Franklin this story of hope, forgiveness and truth is very enjoyable.  It also gives readers a message to contemplate.
                Rueben’s Atonement by Lynette Sowell explores the theme of believing in the grace of God and His complete forgiveness versus trying to work for one’s own atonement.  Here is a story of brothers who made a choice that changed the lives of many folks in the town of Raider’s Crossing.  A young lady is heartbroken and wants to believe in a future filled with family fun.  Will Rueben learn to receive God’s grace as he seeks forgiveness?  Will the brothers come together to work the family land as their Pa had hoped and find forgiveness in the Lord as their Ma prayed they would?
                DiAnn Mills second story in the book is titled, The Peacemaker.  This tells of how a young widow learns to take over her husband’s ranch after his death.  It also is about Colt, who is released from prison and bent on seeking revenge on the man who put him there.  When he rides to his destination ready for carrying out revenge, he ends up finding way more than he ever bargained for including a future he thought would never be fulfilled.
                Outlaw Sherriff written by Kathleen Y’Barbo shares an entertaining western romance about an outlaw who the Lord saved and an adventuresome woman named Lydia.  Both Caleb and Lydia arrive in town with different hopes and vastly differing pasts.  So, how do these two people discover what the Lord has in mind and what His will is for both of them?
                To conclude this collection is story written by Tamela Hancock Murray titled, A Gamble on Love.   Left with a saloon girl for longer than expected, Benjamin has retained a lot of his virtues.  Pearl is leaving the saloon to go and take care of ma on the ranch where she grew up.  Now they have realized feelings for each other never before recognized and not spoken of plus Pearl’s ma is quite a character.  What happens here is sure to be a surprise!
                These stories are very enjoyable and entertaining when sitting outside with a soft drink, some shade with some time on readers’ hands.  They each are faith-filled as well as unique in some ways, but there is something else that ties them together.  To know what that is you need to read the book.  Don’t feel you have to read the book in one sitting.  I enjoyed pulling out the novel and reading a whole story or just a couple chapters at night to ease the mind before bed.  Each story reminded me of different aspects of God’s character and His ways being something of a mystery to mankind.  I hope you enjoy reading each story and finding the tie that binds them all together.
                My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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