Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer AILee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, Becca Whitham

I really love stepping back in time to take a peep into a different era.  I recently had a chance to go back in time and visit one of my favorite spots, the fair!  With the help of nine great authors there was so much to see and learn!
The Blue Ribbon Brides is another fantastic collection of great stories from Barbour.  From the back: 
Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?

First, the book is just gorgeous!  You know sometimes you get a book that you just want to have out on display because it's just beautiful to look at?  This is one of those books!  The cover artwork is lovely, inside the cover is this stunning picture of a pie that makes you hungry to look at, and the pages look like they are individually hand torn for a fancy touch instead of a straight cut.  I just thought it was fantastic to look at.  

There are also nine really great stories in the book and every author brought their unique spin to fairs. From quilting to butter sculpting, ballooning to auto polo, farming and food you can find it all at the fair!  Each story had a great cast of characters and really nice story lines but a couple stood out for me and I wanted to give them a special shout. 

In Requilted With Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels:  Michigan State Fair, 1889.  Mistaken identity leads Grant Bentley to help Sarah Richmond with her quilt display at the state fair.  But when he learns that she lost two fiances to accidents, can he dare tell her of his job of a balloonist, or will the revelation of danger cause her to flee from the developing romance? 

From a really good history behind the story to wonderful characters this is the work I've come to expect from Carrie Fancett Pagels.  Sarah's spirit and courage shine through.  Will she trust in God and His rich promises for his children?  Grant was a bit bossy but it was an endearing flaw and added to the depth of his character.  Then you throw in some quirky characters and a surprise ending and you have a fantastic read.  

In Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach: Chicago World Fair, 1893.  With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke Edwards agrees to go to Chicago and manage the mining exhibition all summer with hopes of finding a wife.  But a pretty botanist, who despises the way most mining ruins land, keeps getting in the way of his pursuits. 

This story was just plain fun.  I had a smile on my face through most of the book.  Once again, we have an author who is able to weave history and fiction together so well.  The tension between Luke and Bettina was tangible and you wondered if they would either get together or ring each other's necks!  The matchmaking was sweet and the story had a great ending!  

There are lots of other great stories in the book and each one had their own unique takes yet managed to fit well in this great collection!  So pick up your copy today and come to the fair!  Happy Reading! 

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