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The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection

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Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?
 


Requilted With Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach
A Taste of Honey by Darlene Franklin
Altered Hearts by Gina Welborn
Better with Butter by Jennifer AlLee
Driven to Distraction by Becca Whitham
First Comes Pie by Niki Turner
Front Page Love by Tiffany Amber Stockton
Competing Hearts by Cynthia Hickey

448 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2016

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About the author

Cynthia Hickey

414 books284 followers
Website at www.cynthiahickey.com
Also www.forgetmenotromances.com

Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She had several historical romances release through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold close to a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters. You can find her on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, two cats, three box turtles, and two Sulcata tortoises. She has eight grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 78 reviews
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 36 books627 followers
November 8, 2016
Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?
1-Requilted With Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1889...North of Lansing, Michigan....Sarah Richmond is hopeful of winning a Blue Ribbon as she enters her quilt in the Michigan State Fair and knows exactly what she will do with the winnings—donating it for a chance at getting better medical care in her home town. Grant is a balloonist - dangerous work - and developing an engine to hopefully make them more steerable. He is more than willing to look after the lovely Miss Sarah and protect her from all the leering jerks at the fair, and also protect her from knowing the truth about his occupation. But what will happen when she discovers the truth? Will she be brave enough to face her fears? And will she win the blue ribbon (and prize money) for her quilt? Will Grant earn enough money selling balloon ride tickets to pay his bills?

My thoughts: Requilted with Love is a cute story set around a quilt that took five years to make... I was a bit confused why she'd want to donate money to a facility that provided such shoddy care, I'd be more wanting to fire everyone and hire competent workers, but it was explained later in the book. Miss Sarah is still a much nicer person than me though in regards to that. She has the gift of mercy and service and is quick to step in. Grant is a dear hero, kind and considerate, though not weak, even when he gives in. I enjoyed getting to know both these characters. Enjoyed the historical information in the author's notes, and that a mutual friend of both Ms. Pagel and I shared was honored by having a character named after her.

2-Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach
Fair in 1893...Bettina is a Chicago native with a degree in botany and she's interested in making contacts. Luke is a mine owner from Montana and all the ladies with him from Montana are searching for a bride for him. Bettina is their first choice. But she isn't even remotely interested in a miner. What is a man and matchmakers to do?

My thoughts: This is a fun story that had some laugh-out-loud moments. I loved this story, and couldn't read it fast enough. It was fun reading about the world fair in Chicago and Luke's efforts to find Bettina after meeting her on the ferry.

3-A Taste of Honey by Darlene Franklin
Spruce Hill, Vermont 1896...Edith Grace harvests honey from the bee hives in the meadow between her property and her neighbor, Mr. Oscar. She is experimenting with the honey in different recipes to come up with the perfect recipe hoping to win a blue ribbon at the upcoming state fair. However, Mr. Oscar's son, Grant has other ideas and they don't include Edith using “his” honey. He wants to plow the land under and use it for crops. Will they come up with a workable compromise?

My thoughts: This story was really cute and fast paced. I enjoyed getting to know Edie and Grant and their different personalities. I loved how things had been worked out between previous generations--and I won't say how so I won't give things away. This story held my interest all the way through and I had to keep reading once I started it. Parts seemed a little contrived, but it needed that to be able to work things out in fifty pages. A really good story. .

4-Altered Hearts by Gina Welborn
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 1908 county fair...Reba has dreams of making beautiful hats and selling them in the city--where she wants to live. Levi loves horticulture, but has a sensible head and is committed to family. Reba is prepared to throw her family over to reach her dreams.

My thoughts: I love hats and always have. Remember going with my mom to a hat shop in St. Louis, though when I was a young girl hats weren't as showy as the ones in this story. I admired Reba for following her dream but wish she wouldn't have crushed so many people in the process. Levi -- I get him. He's like my dad and my oldest son, slow to act but putting a lot of thought into their actions before they decide. I really liked this story...

5-Better with Butter by Jennifer AlLee
Fallon, Nevada 1916... Ella and her father run a dairy and Ella's boyfriend Max used to work there but he sold over to a margarine company. When they meet each other at the fair, sparks fly, especially when new-fangled meets old-fashioned. Will they find common ground?

My thoughts: A cute story. I liked it, I liked Max - and Ella, but I do not like margarine (but will admit it is easier to spread than butter) and I hated that that product threatened the dairy industry so badly. The story ended without closure which really annoyed me and left me confused. But up until then it was really good. .

6-Driven to Distraction by Becca Whitham
Western Washington Fair Puyallup Valley, Washington 1918...Tragedy struck both Jolene Caplan and Robert Montgomery's families a year earlier resulting in anger, bitterness and unforgiveness between the two families. But Robert is back from War and Jolene is being pressured to accept a proposal from a Frenchman. Will happen when Robert and Jolene meet again?

My thoughts: I'll be honest. Auto racing is not my cup of tea. I don't relate to a woman at home in an oil pit. Just me there. And the hatred and anger and fighting -- and Jolene's personality and ... well, this is not my favorite story. It was well-written. And this is all just me. I know other women will disagree. Just as real life auto races give me a headache and make me feel sick, this story did the same. Probably all psychological. And Jolene tends to be very rash and react without thinking...

7-First Comes Pie by Niki Turner
Colorado 1920...Rifle's Apple Pie Days annual festival is coming and Lorelei Boyd plans on entering a contest-winning pie to save her family's sugar beet farm from ruin. Emmett Dewey caught her "stealing" apples but is attracted to the sweet pie-baker. But he hasn't time for a relationship -- he needs to fix up the property and sell it for a profit. Cute Miss Boyd isn't enough to make him stick around -- or is she?

My thoughts: This was a sweet story. Lorelei was a true heroine, kind, gentle and loving, and Emmett a hero- though a bit blundering. I loved the sparks between them, and how Lorelei had the gift of mercy and a servant-ness to her so willing to go out of her way to help others. Lorelei is also really creative and that was fun. I loved this story and it ended with a happy sigh.

8-Front Page Love by Tiffany Amber Stockton
Douglas, Wyoming state fair...Paige Callhan arranges items to be judged in the Agriculture Hall. Paige meets Andrew Lawrence, a reporter from the Denver Post covering important aspects of the fair and sparks fly.

My thoughts; This is a slower moving story, but I enjoyed getting to know Paige and Andy. It was fun the way they "met" the second time. Both main characters were very sweet and kind, and it was a lovely moment when Paige is surprised at the ribbon ceremony. I thought at first her boss didn't like her, but that didn't seem to be the case at the end. Good read.

9-Competing Hearts by Cynthia Hickey
1930 Arkansas...Annie Mae Thompkins enters a quilt and her childhood friend Jonathan Mercer enters his pig. Things don't go as planned....

My thoughts: This book wasn't as out-of-control as most of Ms. Hickey's stories I've read. This one almost seemed calm and quiet compared to her usual style. It didn't like the main characters very well and they weren't as fleshed out as other stories, Not one of the best stories in the book, but I did appreciate that it wasn't as over-the-top as I've come to expect from her.

Over-all thoughts: A good collection with a wide assortment of really top-notch stories. I like these collections and am glad Barbour is doing them. Great cover, too. 4.16 stars for the collection.
Profile Image for Tina Rice.
722 reviews
October 5, 2016
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection: 9 Historical Women Win More Than A Blue Ribbon at the Fair*****
by Jennifer AlLee, Cynthia Hickey, Gena Welborn, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Tiffany Amber Stockton, Niki Turner & Becca Whitham

1-Requilted With Love***** by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1889...North of Lansing, Michigan....Sarah Richmond is hopeful of winning a Blue Ribbon as she enters her quilt in the Michigan State Fair and knows exactly what she will do with the winnings—nothing for herself. She has suffered grief more than once in her young life and has strong feelings on certain things, like balloonists for one—I can certainly understand her feelings and fears. Even though she has decided to live a certain way, God has other plans for her. Will she trust God's guidance?

I love Sarah's spirit, courage and faith. I was hoping she would find peace from her past griefs and love—and a blue ribbon. I love Grant Bentley's integrity and determination, although he tends to be bossy at times...he means well. Like Sarah, he has suffered grief and heartache. He is hiding something from Sarah that may end a budding romance before it even begins. I like his friend, Lee Hudgins, who is a big tease with a southern drawl. Sarah's Aunt Bonnie Swanson is a “character”, and loud—Grant likens her to a “conjured hurricane images and the bane of his existence”, but she is loveable. Bonnie's little daughter, Lila, quickly captured my heart. There are a couple characters I did not like much...one man was a scoundrel and his lady friend a schemer and liar—they were perfect for each other.

This is a fun, humorous, heartwarming and romantic story. There are heartbreaks, grief—some long held grief, forgiveness, reconciliation, second chances, learning to trust and lean on God as He guides, dreams, love and faith and a surprising ending.
(I had the privilege to be one of the beta readers for this story (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review)

2-Seven Medals and a Bride**** by Angela Breidenbach
Fair in 1893...this is a fun story with some humorous moments that had me laughing out loud. I really liked the sweet matchmaking ladies from Luke Edwards' home. Bettina Gilbert is sweet and determined to make a difference for those less fortunate, I think she had a good plan. I was hoping she could find a way to do that and find love.

3-A Taste of Honey**** by Darlene Franklin
Spruce Hill, Vermont 1896...Edith Grace harvests honey from the bee hives of her good friend and neighbor, Mr. Oscar. She is experimenting with the honey in different recipes to come up with the perfect recipe to win a blue ribbon at the upcoming state fair. However, Mr. Oscar's son, Grant has other ideas and they don't include Edith using “his” honey. I really liked Mr. Grant and hoped his son would come to his senses before he did something he would later regret. I like the way Edith doesn't give up and holds to her values and faith. Surprising developments bring a solution that will benefit everyone. Cute and heartwarming story.

4-Altered Hearts**** by Gina Welborn
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 1908 county fair...Reba Diehl creates beautiful hats and wins ribbons for them. Winning ribbons is one thing but what about her dream? Levi Webber loves horticulture but will he be forever stuck on his family farm instead of following his dream? Misunderstandings and heartbreak follow for Reba and Levi, will they find a way to overcome them? Wasn't sure I liked Levi at first as he is a bit presumptuous, but I liked him by the end of the story. I really liked Reba, her determination to make her dream come true and learn from her mistakes. Fun heartwarming story.

5-Better with Butter*** by Jennifer AlLee
Fallon, Nevada 1916...it was interesting how Ella Daniels sculptured with butter and entered her sculptors in the fair each year. Maxwell Sinclair worked at the new margarine company, which put him in conflict with Ella. Can they overcome their differences and forgive? I had hard time getting into this story. Parts of it was interesting but some parts I didn't care for. I did like Ella and Maxwell and hoped they could work out their problems. Cute story.

6-Driven to Distraction**** by Becca Whitham
Western Washington Fair Puyallup Valley, Washington 1918...Tragedy struck both Jolene Caplan and Robert Montgomery's families a year earlier resulting in more anger, bitterness and unforgiveness between the two families. They reminded me of the feud between the Hatfield and McCoys. Jolene and Robert had a lot to deal with and I hoped they could find a way for their families to forgive each other. Cute and fun story.

7-First Comes Pie**** by Niki Turner
Colorado 1920...Rifle's Apple Pie Days annual festival will be here soon and Lorelei Boyd plans on entering a contest-winning pie. Emmett Dewey found himself an apple rustler and trespasser...or did he? I liked the interaction between Lorelei and Emmett, they are fun characters. There is some suspenseful moments when some men take it upon themselves to—not telling. Fun, heartwarming story.

8-Front Page Love**** by Tiffany Amber Stockton
Douglas, Wyoming state fair...Paige Callhan and her best friend Mollie help out in arranging items to be judged in the Agriculture Hall. Paige meets Andrew Lawrence, a reporter from the Denver Post covering important aspects of the fair and her life is changed in a way she had not envisioned resulting in some surprising situations and ending. Cute story.

9-Competing Hearts**** by Cynthia Hickey
1930 Arkansas...this is a cute and fun story with Annie Mae Thompkins entering a quilt and her childhood friend Jonathan Mercer entering his pig. Things don't go as planned, learning to trust God and some surprises for them all and the reader.

I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley, (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
Profile Image for Leah.
1,804 reviews
February 26, 2022
4 stars:
Requilted with Love - Michigan State Fair/1889
A Taste of Honey - Vermont State Fair/1896
First Comes Pie - Apple Pie Days, Colorado/1920
Competing Hearts - Arkansas State Fair/1930

3 stars:
Better with Butter - Nevada State Fair/1916

2 stars:
Seven Medals and a Bride - Chicago World's Fair/1893
Altered Hearts - Turner County Fair, South Dakota/ 1908
Driven to Distraction - Washington State Fair/1918
Front Page Love - Wyoming State Fair/1925

Each story has a happy ending but not all of them are the ending that I wanted. I liked the fair setting. Not all of the stories spent much time there though. Also, each story involved some sort of contest--machine, craft, or food. There was some drama and humor. Some stories had more than others. Also, the religion in the stories varied. By that I mean, some had a bigger focus on it than others.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,956 reviews5 followers
November 4, 2016
"The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection" is a nine novellas by nine different authors. They all are about fairs and strangers meeting strangers and immediate attraction is present. They all have different scenarios but the hero saved the heroine from a mishap. In some cases the hero has the mishaps that made me laughed out loud. Even if some of the mishaps were caused by the hero. These stories are fun and I think I liked them because a Facebook friend that died of cancer is a character in one along with a character named Sarah, my daughter-in-law’s name, another had a coal miner owner, my step father was a coal miner.

In "Requilted with Love" the story line is quilts and hot air balloons. The heroine thanks the hero is something he isn't.

In "Seven Medals and A Bride" the story is a woman botanist and a man who others are determined to find a wife for. There is also facts and history in this story. I really like how this story ends.

In "A Taste Of Honey" the hero and the heroine both want the honey meadow but for different reasons. This story is about compromising for love.

"Altered Hearts" is a story about doing what you want and not doing what your parents do just because they expect of you.

“Better With Butter” has this quote which I love, “I agreed that everything is better with butter.” “But I absolutely believe that everything is marvelous with margarine”. I would love to see the butter sculptures of cows and the peacock. A surprise ending really makes this a super exciting read.

“Driven to Distraction” This story is all about forgiveness, not about the hero and the heroine but their fathers.

“First Comes Pie” Lorelei needs to bake the winning pie for a bigger reason than just getting the blue ribbon. There is a bit of danger for the hero and the heroine in this story. It might be bad for all! There are apple pie recipes at the end of this story.

“Front Page Love” this story is about a journalist and I feel like this story might lead to another story because I feel it ended with this “ They might not have a plan for where they were headed, but he'd make certain they would enjoy the journey on the way there.”

“Competing Hearts” is a story about trusting God to provide.

Oh my favorite of the nine stories is ALL OF THEM! I think my favorite character has to be Annie Mae in “Competing Hearts” because she is a worry wart like me.

I am giving"The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection five stars.

I was given a complementary copy of this book by Net Gallery and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my mine own.
Profile Image for Betti.
895 reviews18 followers
October 5, 2016
Nine authors and 9 different states with a wide variety of things that were considered 'State Fair' worthy. A blue ribbon was the ultimate prize. If a monetary prize came with it, that was even better.
1889 in Michigan begins our 'tour' of state fairs with its lovely quilts. Who would have known that balloonists were called professors? The Colombian Exposition or the Chicago World's Fair introduced the world to all the wonderful things America had to offer - especially as you moved west to Montana with its wonderful flora and minerals. Vermont produced the very best honey - one could almost see the beautiful flowers as you ate it.
The turn of the century brought fancier things forward. Millinery was very new in a South Dakota - after all, when did a farmer's wife need a fancy hat? Butter had been around almost forever but margarine was something new at the 1916 fair in Nevada. After all, margarine didn't need a cow and it had a unnatural color - did it even taste good?
Washington State had auto polo at its fair in 1917. Imagine cars racing towards a large ball in the middle of a field with a man on the running board holding a mallet and trying to hit that ball toward the other goal. Good thing cars did not travel very quickly in those days!
Colorado's Fair featured many lovely baked items, not the least of which was apple pie made from the Colorado Orange Apple. Wyoming was a place where dreams came true - especially with cherry cobbler.
No fair would be complete without animals. Around 1930 there wasn't much to bring to the fair, but in Arkansas the decision was made that the 'fair must go on'! There were all sorts of animals on the farm and many were blue ribbon winners, including the pig in this story.
Having never been to a state fair, this book was really fun to read. I received a copy from NetGalley to read and review. There was no expectation of a positive review.
Profile Image for Rachel.
353 reviews30 followers
November 3, 2016
This is a wonderful collection of stories about strong men and women who are determined to make a difference either in their communities or even to change the world with their ideas. You get to visit small town competitions, state competitions and all the way up to the Chicago World Fair. You get projects that range from quilts to baking to auto polo to butter sculpting and the invention of margarine. It was quite fascinating!

I really enjoyed the determination of each of these women to be her own person and stretch her wings. The men were great hero's who sometimes had to learn to give in a little to these feisty women if they wanted a lifetime to love them. :)

There's real life in these stories - you'll read about families that have lost a loved one, men that have come back from war, friends that have become enemies, businesses that fail, etc. But then you also have plenty of hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, second chances, and sweet romances that will keep you turning pages. And of course, the blue ribbon wins! :) Don't miss out on this wonderful book!

*Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to post a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*
Profile Image for Loraine.
2,881 reviews
December 27, 2016
This is a collection of what I would have to call 9 short stories (each is about 45-50 pages long) rather than even novellas. Several are authored by fairly well read Christian authors and all contain a good Christian thread. They were easy and quick to read. BUT after reading 3 or 4, I began to find them all fairly formulaic and very predictable. By the time I finished, I honestly could not distinguish between them as far as characters and storylines without looking back. For me, it was just too much of the same story in different settings with slightly different problems occurring. I have read collections with 3 or 4 stories that are tied together through the perspective of different characters from the same group and thoroughly enjoyed them whereas this collection started to feel rather monotonous after reading 3 or 4. I did give it a 3 because individually the stories were charming and had interesting characters, but I didn't like the feel of the collection.
Profile Image for Anne Rightler.
1,658 reviews12 followers
September 21, 2016
Blue Ribbon Brides is a delightful collection of stories about romance amidst the county and state fairs all over the country. Authors, such as Carrie Fancett Pagels, Angela Breidenbach, Gina Wellborn, Niki Turner and five others have written novellas set in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Characters are fun, feisty, full of dreams and award-winning ideas in regards to quilts, honey, butter, pies, and even pigs. Readers are drawn into each story as the action includes mishaps and misunderstandings, feuds over land, fire, sabotaged fair entries and auto polo races. Each story has some sort of tension with the would-be sweethearts, whether they be childhood friends or newly acquainted...competition in the fair, blame for things of the past, different dreams for the future or family obligations. And with the disappointments and discouragements that come, faith in God is displayed as the couples-to-be look to Him for help and guidance. Blue Ribbon Brides is an entertaining set of stories that give a little history, are quick to read and remind readers of the sweetness of the first blush of love and romance.
Profile Image for Deborha Mitchell.
139 reviews25 followers
August 18, 2016
Great collection.

What a fun set of stories. If you love State and County fairs, you are going to love this collection. It's filled with stories covering a slew of the wonders at these fairs. This collection is written by 9 great authors....some I already follow and some I will follow from now on. These are simple times and simple stories with very strong characters that will have you smiling and at times laughing. To be honest, I haven't gotten through the entire book, but what I have read already makes this book so worth purchasing. So, I recommend The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection proudly.

I agreed to read this book for NetGalley in return for my honest review.
Profile Image for Melissa Henderson.
Author 6 books137 followers
August 23, 2016
From quilts, pies, butter sculptures, hats, peaches, pigs and more.... this collection of stories brings to life the wonders of the "fair". Each story tells about entries in to the fair and what can happen with each entry. Family loyalty, devotion, artistic expression, winning ribbons and finding love are all found in these stories. I enjoyed reading this book. Read this book and you may just want to attend the fairs in your area.
Profile Image for Yvette.
692 reviews25 followers
November 17, 2017
If you enjoy historical fiction novellas and the romance of a state fair, then this collection from Barbour was made for you. Set from the 1880's to 1930, these nine stories of love found centered around state fairs bring a variety of historical fair competitions to light.

While I read some of these stories quickly, there were others that I ended up skimming through what were probably well-researched scenes related to the specific fairs. Unfortunately, I've found that state fairs just aren't that magical or romantic to me. I did, however, enjoy each sweet romance and learning about some of the more surprising exhibits and competitions (butter sculpting and auto polo!). And as always, I enjoyed the incorporation of the themes of healing, faith, and enduring love.

I do enjoy these novella collections from Barbour and this particular one joins my list of those I would recommend, in particular for those who love state fairs and scones (oh, yes, my Washington State friends, the scones you know and love are in Becca Whitham's Driven to Distraction!).

This review refers to an e-galley copy I requested from the publisher, via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own. Full review previously published at bookworlder.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Julia.
2,328 reviews61 followers
October 13, 2016
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by various is a perfect collection of Christian historical romantic tales. There are nine unique stories in this single volume. Each one is totally absorbing, wonderfully told and each has the feel-good factor. It's a fabulous read and I can highly recommend it.
Requilted With Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels is a wonderful feel-good story to kick off the collection. Carrie Fancett Pagels always writes stories that speak straight to the readers heart. Her talent for describing scenes means the reader walks through the story actively rather than passively reading it.
The story deals with loss and grief and second chances. God is at the very heart. Characters need to seek His guidance and listen to His voice.
A perfectly delightful story.
Seven Medals And A Bride by Angela Breidenbach is a sweet story about surrendering to God's plans. Sometimes we try to push things through in our own strength. We need to let go and trust that God will work all things together for good.
The story shows how belief in God and science are not mutually exclusive. Education and science can be used to improve the lot of people.
The story has a social conscience. We need to all work together for the improvement of all.
A Taste Of Honey by Darlene Franklin is a wonderful tale about harvesting the goods that God has provided. There is much beauty in nature.
The story is also about community. People pulling together to help others.
A real feel-good story.
Altered Hearts by Gina Welborn shows how God gives us all dreams. The story explores what happens when your dreams become your goal, your raison d'etre. When your dreams become more important than listening to God.
The tale also explores what it means to be a Christian. Some people believe being a Christian means you will have a trouble free life. Nothing could be further from the truth but God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. We have a faithful God not a prosperity gospel.
Another delightful tale with a wise message.
Better With Butter by Jennifer Allee is a sweet story about forgiveness and friendship. A little encouragement goes a long way. Love and loyalty abound. And over it all stands God who has plans for each and every one of us.
A real feel-good story.
Driven To Distraction by Becca Whitlam is a wonderful story that focuses on sacrificial love and forgiveness. "Marriage requires hefty doses of forgiveness on a regular basis."
Feuding families have offspring that fall in love. Very reminiscent of Romeo And Juliet.
There is the theme of loss and guilt which ties in with forgiveness. Forgiving others is hard. Forgiving yourself feels impossible.
The story is set against the backdrop of World War I. Images and experiences mean returning soldiers have both physical and mental scars. The condition known as shell shock was only just beginning to be recognised.
A delightful tale of steadfast love.
First Comes Pie by Niki Turner is a delicious offering of apple pie in this tale of forgiveness and second chances. Recipes for apple pie are included too.
The story focuses on the command to take care of the widows and orphans, with references to gleaning at the edges of the field. It also shows the results of poor choices. Situations tear at both the characters and readers heartstrings. Everyone deserves a second chance.
A wonderful love story too.
Front Page Love by Tiffany Amber Stockton is a delightful account of the annual fair where dreams can come true. Everyone has dreams and plans but the best are those belonging to God. Loved ones and friends encourage hopes and dreams.
A fabulous small town feel to the story and a welcoming atmosphere.
Competing Hearts by Cynthia Hickey is a wonderful story of love, friendship and community. A place where dreams can be achieved if one surrenders ones plans to God. The community where everyone helps each other. They don't have much but what they have, they share.
A perfectly wonderful collection of stories that will leave you feeling good about love and life and people and God.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
5,270 reviews
August 29, 2016
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection is a collection of nine historical stories. These stories include:
Requilted with Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach
A Taste of Honey by Darlene Franklin
Altered Hearts by Gina Welborn
Better with Butter by Jennifer AlLee
Driven to Distraction by Becca Whitham
First Comes Pie by Niki Turner
Front Page Love by Tiffany Amber Stockton
Competing Hearts by Cynthia Hickey
Majority of these stories are written by authors I have not heard of or read before. I enjoyed being introduced to them and look forward to more by them. My favorite story of the collection would be Requilted with Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels.
I would highly recommend this fabulous collection!
5 plus stars.
Profile Image for Cathy Cermele.
688 reviews10 followers
September 27, 2016
A charming collection that made me smile and want to go to state and county fairs.
I enjoyed the different time periods in each novella as well as each of the nine young ladies’ talents.
Of course tensions run high and there's some mistrust along the way but that added realism as each character worked long and hard to win the much coveted blue ribbon.
I was familiar with some of the authors and found some new to me authors that I liked quite a bit.
The message of faith is woven throughout each story.
Fun and fast reads that will be enjoyable to readers of all ages.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley for an honest opinion which I have given



2,734 reviews1,724 followers
November 14, 2016

There's something in this collection for everyone. Drama, comedy and plenty of sweet romance. Love the fair theme and readers get to visit them all across the country. Short stories (approx. 50 pages each) still manage to pack a punch and provide a quick reading getaway. You can easily finish a novella in one sitting so perfect as we approach the busy holiday season. In fact, The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection would make a fantastic gift. The book nerd in me can't get over this exquisite book package. Quality paper with deckle edges. Divine! (yes, I notice details like that!) And the photographed end pages. Scrumptious.

My thanks to Carrie Fancett Pagels for providing me with a copy of this book.
467 reviews48 followers
November 7, 2016
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer Atlee, Angela Breidenback, Darlene Franklin, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, and Becca Whitham. This series is a wonderful collection of historical fiction novellas. This collection is full of faith, love, hope, and so much more. This wonderful collection of novellas has women that are competing for the blue ribbon prize in their fair. Each story a delight that will surly capture your heart. Be sure to order your copy of The Blue Ribbon Bride collection today. 5 stars! I received a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion.
45 reviews
October 20, 2018
I don't know if the it was the writing or the editing, but the stories seemed choppy to me. Some were okay, some not.
Profile Image for Sydney.
944 reviews106 followers
December 22, 2016
Nine splendid authors, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Gina Welborn, Jennifer AlLee, Becca Whitham, Niki Turner, Amber Stockton, and Cynthia Hickey come together to create a charming collection with county and state fairs being a main theme in each novella. Each novella is filled with strong and charming characters, as well as an entertaining plotline involving romance at the fair. Readers will be thrilled with each author’s unique and individuality in the various delightful stories. I would recommend this novella collection to readers that enjoy fairs and historical fiction.

Genre: historical, romance, Christian
Publisher: Barbour
Publication date: November 1, 2016
Number of pages: 448

Content Rating: PG
Book Rating: 5 stars

Novellas in the collection:
1-Requilted with Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels
2-Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach
3-A Taste of Honey by Darlene Franklin
4-Altered Hearts by Gina Welborn
5-Better with Butter by Jennifer AlLee
6-Driven to Distraction by Becca Whitham
7-First Comes Pie by Niki Turner
8-Front Page Love by Amber Stockton
9-Competing Hearts by Cynthia Hickey

A print review copy of this novel was provided by Pagels’ Pals. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
1,029 reviews8 followers
November 9, 2016
“The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection” is a group of nine novellas by nine different authors with common historical settings of regional fairs. From the Chicago World’s Fair to small local county fairs, the stories revolve around young women who have strong motivation to win a blue ribbon on her entry. Each story is unique in setting and subject. Often the heroine is compelled to enter the competition in order to help her struggling family financially. Many of the novellas contain humor and some are more poignant than others but whether she seeks it or not, each heroine finds the love of her lifetime by story’s end.

This collection is perfect for long winter evenings. The reader can enjoy just one story at a time or may choose to sit and read all the way through the entire book. Whatever choice she makes, I know she will enjoy this faith-filled collection of stories that are packed with love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Be sure to pick up a copy today!

A free copy of this book was provided for review by Celebrate Lit Publicity Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Rochelle.
324 reviews14 followers
October 21, 2018
Altered Hearts by Gina Welborn 3 stars

I will read anything by Gina Welborn! She has a way of writing that brings her characters right off the page, her world building is also very immersive. This story was not my favorite of hers but it was still a good short story, well paced with well rounded, fleshed out characters. I felt like I was right there in 1908 Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

First Comes Pie by Niki Turner 2.5 stars

This story took place in 1920 Colorado, and I should have been more grabbed by it than I was, but I wasn't. I ended up skimming through the last 1/3 of the pages. The H/H's first encounter was cute but the rest of the story didn't hold my attention.

Competing Hearts by Cynthia Hickey 4 stars

I am a sucker for stories that take place during The Depression. This story transported me right to 1930 Arkansas. The relationship between the H/H was fraught with distress caused by the extreme poorness of the time, and I genuinely related to all of the stress and heartache the characters went through.

These are the three stories that peaked my interest the most at the moment.
Profile Image for Joyful.
561 reviews
November 7, 2016
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection is a collection full of faith, hope, romance, love, and more. Some are written by some of my favorite authors while others are new others that I'm sure will become my favorites also; Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer Atlee, Angela Breidenback, Darlene Franklin, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, and Becca Whitham. This series is a wonderful collection of historical fiction novellas of women competing for the blue ribbob at their state and county fairs during the years of 1889 and 1930. Every story is a delight that I'm sure will capture your heart as these men and women try to prove something to themselves and their communities. But in the competitiveness will they lose the most important thing - Godly spouses? I was given a complimentary copy of this book. I chose to do an honest review.
Profile Image for Rhonda.
516 reviews9 followers
August 16, 2017
Blue ribbons are a coveted prize at county fairs. I remember competing myself with many exhibits in our Five-County Fair. I entered a sweetheart cake, many clothing items I had sewn, and I modeled an outfit that I had sewn. I did win several blue ribbons as well as some white and green ribbons. Our fair also awarded money for each prize, a delightful gift for one who did not have much if any spending money. The nine women are eager and excited participants in the fair.
I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend the novella collection written by nine talented authors.
I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Barbour Books. I was not given any monetary compensation for my review.
Profile Image for Michele Minor.
443 reviews3 followers
July 9, 2018
This book is a collection of novellas about women who compete in different county fairs throughout the country and during different time periods. The romances are sweet and innocent since these are Christian fiction stories but each tell of nine different women and the men that are attracted to them for different reasons. This gives you a look at how competitive women can be even during times when there were few employment opportunities for women. The county fair was one of the few acceptable ways that women could compete with each other. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Lori.
1,652 reviews69 followers
September 30, 2019
I give this book 5 stars.
Reason is I super enjoyed it. I liked it because I got a taste of each authors writing style and each story had a charm all it's own!
I also love reading these because this is how I meet new authors and to see what they have to offer.
Each research is done well with a good plot that is well rounded out even though they are short. Plus you can finish that story and go on to the next or you can save it for another day. That's what I did!!
I strongly recommend this sweet collection of novellas. There is something in here for everyone.
My thanks to Netgalley for this book. NO compensations were received. All opinions are my own
Profile Image for Pegg.
Author 19 books144 followers
December 3, 2018
Another Barbour collection full of engaging characters and fun stories, these all set during a county or state fair. Having spent a good deal of my growing up years at the county fair, then twenty years as a 4-H leader and 4-Her's mom, these stories brought back many fond memories. It's hard to pick any favorites out of this bunch, all of them combine a competitive spirit with the life lessons each character needs to learn. I love that each competition is different, from quilting to baking to farm animals to auto racing ... there is something in here for everyone.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
244 reviews
December 6, 2021
Wow. It took some real determination and willpower to read through this book, unfortunately. Some of the stories in this western historical romance collection were okay. And other stories just drrraaaggged something awful :P I'm looking forward to my next read already. Going to go with something Christmas-y to get into the holiday spirit.
Profile Image for Laura.
128 reviews
July 17, 2018
I purchased this book at Ollie's and it was well worth every penny:-) I hadn't read many of these authors before, & I found several that I really enjoyed! As a country, home canning Mom this was a very realistic series.
March 4, 2020
Beautiful collection

I enjoyed reading this wholesome collection of stories. They were so well researched and gave a glimpse into an era in history when times were hard but people clung to faith and community. An inspiration we can draw on in these difficult modern times.
Profile Image for Jan.
683 reviews17 followers
November 9, 2017
I loved all nine stories. The things they went through to get ready and during the state fair. I could imagine I was there. I highly recommend this book.
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