The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection: 9 Historical Romances Begin After Saying “I Do”
By Mary Connealy, Angela Bell, Angela Breidenbach, Lisa Carter, Rebecca Jepson, Amy Lillard, Gina Welborn, Kathleen Y’Barbo, & Rose Ross Zediker
Barbour Publishing, Incorporated, 2016
This a a nice collection of historical short stories about couples who fall in love after they are already married. All nine stories share that common thread, along with characters that grow in their faith. The great thing about these collections is that since the stories are considerably shorter than a full-length novel, it make it easy to pick it up and complete an entire story in an evening, then set it aside until you have time to read again without struggling to remember what happened up to that point when you pick it back up.
All of the stories in this collection are delightful and sweet. Each follows a couple who marry for convenience, to avoid gossip, or through coercion and don’t come to care for each other until after the wedding. The selection in this book is great for the way it covers so many different types of couples in different situations. In some stories the man and woman are strangers when they marry, while in others they have known each other since childhood. There are couples from working class backgrounds, some from socially elite backgrounds, and even a titled Englishman hiding out as a cowboy. A few of the marriages even include a child in the union, so there is a broad range of storylines to keep you interested from story to story. Faith and no time for courtship are all these shorts have in common.
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Though I enjoyed all of them, my top three favorites were The Sweetwater Bride, about a young man who finds a girl who has been isolated from all human contact for years; A Highbrow Hoodwink, about a single mother who marries the brother of her child’s father to provide for her son; and Mule Dazed, about a feisty tomboy who makes trouble at the Mule Day celebration and gets thrown in jail, resulting in her brothers forcing her to marry the sheriff after they accidentally get locked in a cell together overnight. The Sweetwater Bride and Mule Dazed made it on the short list because the writing is so funny. A Highbrow Hoodwink was a little different from the other stories in the book because the groom is very unlikeable at first. The author of that story does a great job of showing how his attitude changes as the story evolves.
Those were my favorites, but there honestly wasn’t a stinker in this book, so I would recommend Lassoed by Marriage without hesitation.