A January Bride by Deborah Raney

A January Bride by Deborah RaneyA January Bride is a delightful novella that manages to turn misunderstanding into a comedy of missteps while also balancing the growing moments for both Maddie who has been burned by love and Art who is still grieving his first wife. That Maddie is an author was well done, showing some of the difficulties and some of the fun without making her a caricature. Adding a mother in the throes of Alzheimer’s was poignant but not overwhelming, and Alex the cat was a true character. It might sound like a lot of people (and I haven’t mentioned them all) for a novella, but the setup is very constrained so there are few incidental characters to clutter. I am surprised at how much was fit into the novella length, and how well, though. I enjoyed everyone I met, even the cat as mentioned above.

While this is part of a series, it’s clear the rules for inclusion do not include a strict accounting of the type of story. While the first was about restoration and connection with the past, this one is cheerful about fast food. Unlike the first in the series, A January Bride is also clearly Christian fiction with the traditional focus on God’s will. That said, the characters recognize God’s hand in things but didn’t sit back and expect God to do everything for them either.

The way they meet…or don’t meet…offers an enjoyable string of comedic moments, and I loved trying to figure out how what became almost a farce could continue. However, it’s not all jollies, not when you consider Maddie’s very real battle with losing her mother, and her deadline woes. It seems the fates have turned against her, only she never gives in or gives up, leading her to a much better future.

This is a fun read with some serious moments about vulnerability and healing, and worth the read.

P.S. I received this novella from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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