It may not yet be December, but a little bit of Christmas cheer is close at hand in Christmas at Barncastle Inn, a Four-in-One Collection of inspirational novellas by Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, Janelle Mowery, and Lynette Sowell.
Each Christmas, the Barncastle family’s Vermont Bed and Breakfast transforms into the historical time period of the guests’ choosing, setting the stage for a fantasy holiday (I confess I wish I had thought of this charming premise!). While each story is a contemporary, the various eras chosen by guests allows each tale to weave historical details into its plot.
In “Love Comes to the Castle” by Susan Page Davis, Jayne Barncastle hopes to woo guests to her family’s B&B by offering Christmas packages tailored to guests’ fancies. The Dillard family finds the idea charming and Jayne creates a medieval holiday for them. What happens when she falls for their widowed son-in-law, Luke?
Lynette Sowell’s “Christmas Duets” recalls WWII-era Yuletides which Marcella Goudreau hopes will rekindle her grandparents’ frayed relationship. Too bad Grandpa invited the biggest problem in his marriage, Sean McSweeney, to the party.
“Where Your Heart Is” by Janelle Mowery has the castle decked out in a pirate theme as nanny Stephanie Minter works to teach her young charges about the true meaning of Christmas. With her old boyfriend helping at the Inn, perhaps God has given her a second chance at love.
Darlene Franklin’s “First Christmas” tells the story of a young unmarried mother, veterinary assistant Waverly Coe, struggling to see herself in light of God’s grace. When Waverly and her boss, Dr. Alec Ross, help out by bringing animals to the Inn to recreate the first Christmas, will she see herself—and Alec—in a new way?
I am a fan of Barbour novellas, which are perfect in length to soothe a spirit or to while away a rainy afternoon. The experienced novelists featured in Christmas at Barncastle Inn weave tightly-crafted stories infused with the holiday spirit. Fans of both contemporary and historical-set stories will find something to enjoy.
I received this book from one of the authors for purposes of review. A positive review was not requested or promised.