When Booksneeze offered me the chance to read and review A January Bride (for free!), I jumped at the chance. I had already read A December Bride, a gentle romance and this one did not disappoint.
Madeleine Hunter, novelist, has temporarily moved into her sister's house in the small town of Clayburn, Kansas, to housesit while the house is undergoing renovation and finish writing her latest book. The chaos makes writing difficult, so her elderly neighbour Ginny offers the use of a friend's house. This 'house' is, in fact, an inn, closed for the winter season. 'Annabeth's Inn' is a beautiful haven, which Maddie has to herself while the owner, a widower, is out at work during the day.
And so the romance begins. Arthur Taylor, whose young wife Annabeth died of cancer three years previously, leaves a welcome note for Maddie. She replies, and a sweet correspondence begins during which the two start to form a deep friendship. However, each assumes - erroneously - that the other is elderly since they both know that the other is a friend of Ginny's. Deborah Raney weaves a fabric of charming misunderstandings back and forth until, half way through the book, Arthur realises that Maddie is the same beautiful young woman he has already met and been attracted to at the local post office. He introduces himself to his visitor and the two begin their romance.
Yet Arthur is still grieving for Annabeth. We walk with Arthur and Maddie as they examine their feelings for each other, wondering if they can risk possible rejection and hurt. There is, of course, a happy ending for the two of them together.
I enjoyed this charming book - reminiscent of Jean Webster's classic 'Daddy-Long-Legs' - and found it almost too short. Yes, I know it is a novella, so what else could I expect, save that I did not want to leave Maddie's world so quickly. Now, it is onto 'A February Bride'...