All is Calm / All is Bright is a collection of two novellas written by best-selling author Colleen Coble. These Christmas-themed stories are connected to her popular Lonestar and Hope Beach series but can be read as stand-alones.
All Is Calm (Lonestar series)
Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of his Marine buddies. Now, it seems just the place to spend Christmas recovering from an on-the-job injury.
Lauren Everman first came to the ranch as a foster kid, but now knows it’s the perfect hideout. As the witness to a murder, Lauren needs somewhere to lie low. Her beauty immediately catches Brendan’s attention—but so does her secretive behavior. This Special Ops Intel man knows a woman on the run when he sees one. Can he trust her, or is she putting the ranch at risk? One thing is certain: he’s going to do everything he can to keep her safe so he can see what magic Christmas brings.
All Is Bright (Hope Beach series)
As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friend, Elin Summerall. But when Delilah’s car is forced off the road and into the ocean, she finally has to admit that the strange phone calls she’s been receiving lately may be more than just pranks.
Sheriff Tom Bourne has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. He hopes to win her heart by giving her the surprise gift of a lifetime . . . but first he has to make sure nothing happens to her before Christmas Day.
It’s the season of miracles. But will both Elin and Delilah get the ones they need this holiday season?
Thomas Nelson | October 2015
Whew! That was a long summary 😉
Two of my very favorite Colleen Coble series are the Lonestar & Hope Beach books. So you can imagine how excited I was to read these two novellas that continue the settings and spotlight some secondary characters from the novels.
In All is Calm, much to my delight, Rick’s friend Brendan gets his own story. Brendan popped up here and there during the series, lending his intel expertise when the need arose, and he always intrigued me. All is Bright brings together all my favorite characters from the Hope Beach series – there’s a Christmas wedding to attend, after all! If you haven’t read either of these series, don’t worry. You won’t be lost. But the settings and the characters are much better appreciated when you already have the background in place.
Novellas are by nature short and sweet, but – while both of these are no exception – Colleen Coble has managed to pack a whole lot of punch into such small packages! The suspense is top-notch and the solution to the mystery isn’t obvious. Even though Brendan and Lauren have a bit of insta-love going on in All is Calm, Tom and Delilah in All is Bright are finally acknowledging the feelings that have been building for a while. I actually liked the “case” better in All is Calm and preferred the romance in All is Bright. With the best of both worlds, I was a happy Colleen Coble fan with this collection 🙂
Bottom Line: Both novellas take place around Christmas but neither fall prey to the saccharine pitfall common to books of the season. (Not that I have anything against the sugary-sweet Christmas novel. I’m a fan of those too! These just weren’t.) Fans of both series will appreciate the return of familiar settings and characters, but readers new to the game will easily be able to follow along with no confusion. A perfect blend of romance and suspense, despite the short lengths, All is Calm and All is Bright are a great choice for a fireside Christmas read!
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Enjoyed it!
KissingBook Level: 2.5 / A couple of kisses enter breath-stealing territory
About the Author:
Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com.