When Amber Holcomb reached out on Instagram looking for volunteers to read and review a short-and-sweet historical romance novel, I knew I had to jump at the chance!
So let me share with you a little bit about the book:
Once upon a time, Rose was a barefoot dreamer, carving whimsical creatures from the driftwood she found on the beach. However, after the death of her father, Rose finds herself cut adrift. So she decides to answer an advertisement to become the bride of a blacksmith in Sweet Briar, Colorado, bravely leaving behind the coast of Maine and her beloved sandy beaches.
Living in the shadow of the Rockies, Emmett Southerland is a bit of a hopeless romantic—and always has been. He’s been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the dark-haired beauty in the photograph he keeps over his heart. However, once Rose arrives, he finds himself snowed in with her during the worst storm Colorado has seen in twenty-five years.
This sweet mail-order bride romance very loosely reimagines the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, complete with a satisfying happily-ever-after. Sweet Briar Rose is a short novel of approximately 42,000 words.
LENA GOLDFINCH is the Amazon-bestselling author of sweet historical western romance, inspirational romance, and books for teens. She’s always been a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests.
Are you sold yet? Because I was. Let me get into the review and break this book down for you. If the summary didn’t sell it to you, I will!
I received an e-copy of this book in mid-February, which made it extra fun to read because as I was sitting, curled up on the couch underneath a heap of blankets with the bitter cold wind hitting the side of my house, I was easily able to imagine Rose (the main female character), just as uncomfortable during a blizzard in the 1800s. The book captivated me and I was able to be instantly transported into their world as soon as I turned the page.
It’s a short book, lighthearted, and a quick read. Perfect to get into if you’re looking for a sweet, bubbly romance with all the feels to flip through in your spare time. I think the book had a slow, natural build. It didn’t feel rushed, which is great. That is, up until the moment about 70% of the way through when I couldn’t read the words fast enough!
The ending, absolutely satisfying, had an almost When Calls the Heart feeling about it. I should at this point remind you that while this book is not Christian fiction, it is clean historical fiction with a few faith references, but not a lot of deep faith content. It’s also a mail-order bride story; a trope that I’ve never previously explored, but enjoyed this time around and would recommend as an intro to the genre.
Heartwarming, sweet, sincere, and pleasant! Rose was very relatable for me, as she too is a creative individual who struggles from feeling blocked or uninspired. The romance between her and Emmett, while not without it’s clichés, was tender and sentimental. There were moments that made me laugh, moments that made me smile, and on occasion, moments that really had me exasperated and emotionally invested in the characters and their development.
While I was sent a copy of this book, I can honestly attest to the fact that all thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. The fact that I received an advanced copy has not, in any way, swayed or biased my views.
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Thanks again, and I hope to talk to you another time soon!