New Zealand readers will guess why I chose this novella collection to review: Rainbow's End is a popular theme park. But these stories are centred around Rainbow's End
Geocaching is like a treasure hunt with GPS devices. Participants are given GPS locations for caches, and, in these novellas, they also receive clues in the form of poems. The idea is to find as many caches as possible and leave a small memento to prove you were there. I’m not sure this is my idea of fun, but the four authors in this collection certainly manage to inject the challenge into their romances, which all take place over the same two-month period.
In Topaz Treasure by Valerie Comer, Lyssa Quinn is soliciting sponsorship for the Rainbow's End Treasure Hunt being organised by her church when she meets Kirk K, her ex-college professor, who is helping run his brother's new shop. Although she recognises Kirk immediately and remembers his very anti-Christian stance, he does not remember her and does not understand why she is so antagonistic towards him when he asks her out. My favourite part of this story was the point at the end about how we are all parts of the same body, and not all of us are called to be the mouth.
Beneath the Surface by Annalisa Daughety is the story of Madison Wallace, who has returned to her home town in time to enter the geocaching contest with her sister. However, an accident means that Madison is soon working on the geocaching competition with the home town boy next door, who is everything she never wanted, and who seems to disapprove of her too. But spending time together forces them both to overcome their preconceptions about each other.
In Welcome Home, Love by Nicole O’Dell, Hadley Parker has returned to Osage Beach after thirteen years to take part in the geocaching competition. She is flattered to be asked out by handsome Brad, partly because that takes her away from Noah who she liked as a teen. This story had a couple of loose ends that meant it didn’t work as well for me, but it still illustrated an important principle in that we need to ensure we are following our own calling in life, not trying to live someone else’s.
My personal favourite was the final story, Love’s Prize by Cara C. Putman, because it had a suspense element and I really enjoy romantic suspense. Reagan Graham is spending an extended vacation with her brother, Gerard, and his new college roommate, Colton. They have come to remote Osage Beach and the geocaching competition to escape a stalker who has been plaguing Reagan. But they might not have managed to escape after all. I liked the development of the romance in this, and I especially liked the twist at the end that I really didn't see coming.
With the exception of Topaz Treasure, these were not so much Christian romances as clean romances with Christian characters, but they were still enjoyable. I find the Barbour 4-in-1 romance novella collections are always a light-hearted and easy-to-read, perfect for a lazy afternoon when I want a short read with a happy-ever-after that will leave me with a smile.
Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.