By Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson--FICTION
Publication Date: 10/6/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Two Christmas Novellas
All Is Calm
Brendan Waddell needs a place to recuperate. Lauren Everman needs a place to hide. It's going to be an unexpectedly romantic Christmas at Bluebird Ranch.
Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of his old Marine buddies. Now, recovering from an on-the-job injury, Brendan thinks the ranch is the perfect place to spend Christmas healing up.
When Lauren Everman was a seventeen-year-old foster kid, Bluebird Ranch was the safest place she knew. Now it's the perfect hideout for a woman on the run. As the witness to a murder, Lauren needs somewhere to lie low, and her skill with horses means she'll be able to lend a hand with the troubled kids at Bluebird—without answering too many questions.
Lauren's rich hair, high cheekbones, and dark eyes immediately get Brendan's attention—but so does her secretive behavior. This Special Ops Intel man knows a woman on the run when he sees one, and he's not about to let her put Bluebird Ranch at risk.
But as Brendan and Lauren get to know each other, their suspicions evaporate and romance starts to sizzle. But this would-be couple has more to worry about than each other—there's a killer on the loose who wants Lauren kept quiet.
All Is Bright
A romantic, Christmas wedding at her seaside hotel gives Delilah a chance to shine with her unique gifts. But will her light be snuffed out before the bride and groom say “I do”?
As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friends at the grand hotel overlooking the ocean. While picking up still more twinkly lights and some last-minute groceries for the reception dinner, a huge truck runs her off the freezing, wet roads into the dark night. Her car stops just short of an enormous tree and the truck speeds off into the night. Delilah escapes with her life and has almost convinced herself the whole thing was an accident, but then she begins to receive threatening phone calls. With the wedding just hours away, she's distracted and anxious. Then Sheriff Tom Bourne stops by the inn and volunteers to help.
Tom has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he's determined to protect her. But he is pulled away by a bizarre Christmas stunt that has the neighborhood reeling, and Delilah is attacked again.
Will Delilah have to cancel the Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn? And will Tom's protection be enough to save Delilah from the shadowy figure looming in the background?
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson--FICTION and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Talented storyteller, Colleen Coble delivers two delightful Christmas holiday novellas in one charming book, All is Calm (Lonestar Series) and All is Bright (Hope Beach Series) —packaged with a beautiful holiday cover, to add some spice to your holidays. For fans of both intriguing mystery, and romantic suspense--with holiday settings.
I tend to pick a few Christmas books for the holiday-- with a mix of mystery, romantic suspense, and thrillers, to get you in the mood for the upcoming season. I read the novella back in October; however, with holiday books, I typically wait and post my reviews in December, to keep them fresh in reader’s minds as we approach the season.
All is Bright
As a big Colleen Coble fan, I have read all the books in the Hope Beach Series (highly recommend), --was excited yo catch up with familiar characters at the coastal Tidewater Inn, from previous books included in All is Bright.
Both stories are equally intriguing; however, I probably enjoyed this one more, due the bed and breakfast, the beach setting, the mystery, as well as enjoyed seeing Tom and Delilah finally get together. Even though this is a novella, the suspense and mystery is as captivating as a full length novel. Also a sneak peak for readers of Seagrass Pier (Hope Beach #3) A great story of Elin and Marc.
There are many surprises awaiting for Delilah. Bittersweet, she has to face her fears from the past, in order to move on with her future; while allowing others into her personal life.
As always, Coble writes with vivid descriptions, drawing you into the picturesque setting, with a nice escape to this coastal seaside town for the holidays and an upcoming wedding. In addition, she includes a reader’s guide and discussion questions for both stories.
All is Calm
All is Calm was a great introduction for me, not having read any of the Lonestar Series. Also set in an idyllic setting – a ranch in Texas and a haven for many lost souls. We we meet Lauren, who is trying to escape danger (a witness to a murder). She decides Bluebird Ranch is a perfect choice, especially close to Christmas time.
She had spent a life-changing summer there twelve years ago when she was seventeen. It was a terrific ranch that paired abused children with abused horses. When she was a foster kid, the place had been the one bright spot for her. There was always a place there for a good horse and a hard worker. She grabs Angel, the horse and leaves.
Special Ops, Brendan Waddell always considered the Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven, as the Christmas lights welcomes him. He was visiting his old friends - always Uncle Brendan for the children, and offering him some time to recuperate with his injury.
Both Brendan and Lauren are looking for a safe haven. He is spending time with an old friend; however, he senses Lauren is running from something. He sees the darkness in her eyes and suffering. He has to find out what is going on. Being in the law enforcement business he has a way of finding out people’s past.
Soon he discovers Dustin’s death and the events surrounding Lauren's situation. Lauren just wanted to get Angel away. However, the two hit it off with their own tragedies, for a budding Christmas romance at Bluebird Ranch. A mystery is uncovered with a happy ending.
Highly recommend for holiday gifts, or your own guilty reading (double) the pleasure! If you have not read Colleen Coble, an author to follow, and one to add to your reading list.
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About the Author
Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her Website