Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will.
How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum?
Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance?
This novella collection is unlike any I have ever read before… the bar has officially been raised! I’d say this book should be made into a movie but the Hart Brothers deserve something bigger like a beefed up BBC miniseries, Texas style! These seven authors have created a collection of novellas that are woven together to form one big Lone Star state story.
All the brothers in this tight-knit family are found working and living together throughout the book. I like the way the authors named all the brothers in honor of famous Texans yet for simplicity sake, we’ll just use the name they go by here.
One of my favorite traits of this book is the fact that the authors didn’t simply rely on the brothers’ birth order for their matchmaking timeline. As a matter of fact, the first story belongs to the baby of the family, Hays (brother #7).
There’s loads of fascinating content at the Seven Brides for Seven Texans blog but first here are my brief thoughts on each novella…
First Comes Love by Gabrielle Meyer
Hays is more than a handsome, charming cowboy, he has heart and uses humor to brighten the lives of his loved ones. His approach to securing a wife is creative and resourceful yet Hartville’s new teacher is not impressed.
Emma’s scorn simply fuels his determination. Sometimes a lighthearted man is just the ticket for a focused driven woman!
The Heart of Texas by Lorna Seilstad
Texas Ranger Chisholm (brother #6) is observant and protective. I love the cultural and linguistic element of this story. Caro is the daughter of a Mexican revolutionary and Chisholm’s limited español is a bit rusty.
Their misunderstandings and past hurts make Chisholm’s investigation even more interesting. Fortunately, Chisholm was raised on Mexican cuisine, Caro brings the spice!
The Truest Heart by Amanda Barratt
Doctor Travis (brother #3) is intelligent, compassionate, and fiercely loyal. When his first love Annie finally returns as a widowed single mother, she is determined to focus on her duties as the area midwife and protecting her young son, Robbie.
Their professions force them to work together yet what Doc Trav wants most of all is to heal her broken heart.
A Love Returned by Keli Gwyn
Huston (brother #4) has been finding his own way in California as a successful businessman but his father’s ultimatum brings him back home to the 7 Hart Ranch. His loved ones occasionally call him “Huey” which is completely adorable.
Coralee was crushed when she had to choose between honoring her mother’s dying request and following her heart to California. Huston has to patiently work to regain Coralee’s trust.
For Love or Money by Susan Page Davis
Flashy dressing, hard-working Crockett (brother #5) considers himself too busy with work on the ranch to find and woo a wife. Jane and her brother Ben have unfortunately been taking care of their ranch and their difficult father since they were kids.
When the small family loses their home to a devastating fire, Crockett mobilizes the Harts and the community to step in and rebuild. Although he would like to pursue more, circumstances make it difficult for Jane to accept anything more than an innocent neighborly relationship.
Mail-Order Mayhem by Vickie McDonough
A natural-born leader, Austin (brother #1) decides the most efficient way to obtain a bride is to order one. He (like all the Harts) has gotten his first taste of life with females by interacting with his growing number of sisters-in-law but I doubt anything could have prepared him for the twists and turns his story takes.
Since they are unable to find respectable employment, Rebekah and her twin sister Jenny’s last hope is to find husbands. Unfortunately, the ladies are as different as day and night beyond their appearances and Austin’s careful planning does not pan out as anyone expects.
Love at Last by Erica Vetsch
Bowie is extremely reserved and bears both physical and emotional scars from his time as a soldier. His family doesn’t seem to realize the depth of his pain and sorrow. All the ladies in Hartville shy away from Bowie, although his gruff demeanor would keep them at an arm’s length regardless.
Former nurse Elise has a special place in her heart for the soldier who depended so completely on her care and comfort for a short time during the war. Bowie extends to her the only thing he believes he has to offer, a marriage of convenience. Compassionate Elise isn’t fooled by the walls Bowie has built around his heart.
No doubt, readers will grow to love each of the seven brothers throughout this novella collection! I highly recommend it!
I requested the opportunity to read and review this book through NetGalley and won the paperback in a giveaway. The opinions expressed are my own.
About the Authors
Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances.
She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances.
Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.
Amanda Barratt is the ECPA bestselling author of four novellas published by Barbour Publishing. She fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre.
Since then, Amanda has penned novels set in Regency and Victorian England, and the Gilded Age. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.
These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England.
Her books have won several awards including the Carol Award for her novel The Prisoners Wife; the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for The Prisoner’s Wife and The Lumberjack’s Lady (Maine Brides series); and the 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for her novel Captive Trail (Texas Trails series).
Keli Gwyn is an Award-winning novelist and California native who lives in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her stories transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters and adds a hint of humor.
Keli enjoys taking walks on her local hiking trail, working out at Curves and writing letters the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. One of her favorite hobbies is avoiding housework so she can write, as her collection of dust bunnies will attest.
Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She lives out her childhood dream by penning romances set in the Old West.
Vickie is an award-winning author of more than 40 books and novellas.Vickie and her husband live in Oklahoma. They have been married over forty years and have four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and a feisty granddaughter.
When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, traveling, collecting antiques and doing stained glass projects.
Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four young children.
As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events. Gabrielle writes about her passion for history, Minnesota, and her faith on her website.
Award-winning author Lorna Seilstad has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in Education from Lubbock Christian University.
After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. “I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby’s bottoms, and countertops every day. But at nap time, I wrote.”
Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor. She is the author of the Lake Manawa Summers Series and the Gregory Sisters series, a wife, and a mother of three.