Tuesday, April 10, 2012

“The Last Minute Bride” – All the Power of a Novel – in a Fast Paced Novella!

“The Last Minute Bride”  -- 5-Star Reading Enjoyment from Janet Dean – in Novella Format!

Josie's Wedding Dress -- Victoria Bylin
Last Minute BrideJanet Dean
Her Ideal Husband -- Pamela Nissen
Love Inspired Historical
Print Length: 284 pages

I’m only reviewing “The Last Minute Bride” at this time because Janet Dean is my model for writing ‘crystal clear’ prose and I read everything she writes. (After reading all her books I still have not come across a single sentence I had to read twice in order to understand its correct meaning.)

I’m a Big Novella Fan

I love a good novella – as long as it is really a novella and not just a long short story. A novella should be a ‘little novel’. It should tell a complete story. It should have functional chapters with logical beginnings and endings. A novella should have enough complexity to distinguish it from a short story. It should also be rich enough to be expanded into a full novel if the author so wished.

The Last Minute Bride” delivers on every novella expectation. In fact, because of it’s unique story structure, the reading experience is similar to that provided by a very rewarding full size novel.

I think “The Last Minute Bride” produces an ‘after-image’ of having read a full length novel. This may be because the time, location and characters are also found in the author’s Wanted: A Family”. (Read my reviewof this book here).

My memories of what happened in “Wanted: A Family” were mixed in with the novella’s story line and it made the total reading experience that much richer. I prefer novellas that have companion novels.  Of course, “The Last Minute Bride” makes perfect sense as a stand alone story. I also think this richness alone makes it worth the price of the entire collection.

The Story:

The time is May, 1901 and the location is the Indiana town of Peaceful.  Elise Langley, the heroine, is an unwed mother who was sheltered in Callie's   (heroine in “Wanted: A Family”) home for unwed mothers. While there she was befriended by Dr. David Wellman who delivered her baby. They both believed that they would eventually marry. Then the doctor leaves town for a family emergency. When he comes back he no longer wants to practice medicine or marry Elise.

Dr. Wellman would not even come back to Peaceful except he is going to be Jake’s best man. Jake is the hero in "Wanted: A Family"  -- Jake is going to marry Callie. Dr. Wellman also must help arrange the wedding reception for the entire town. This requires the help of Elise who is also working on the reception. The story is very fast paced. It takes place over two weeks. “The Last Minute Bride” is an ideal novella.

Highest Recommendation!


  1. Vince, thank you for this fabulous review!!! I'm thrilled you enjoyed Last Minute Bride! As always, I value your opinion of my work, and appreciate your support of romance. Thanks for keeping things lively in Seekerville with your wit, poetry and astute observations.


  2. Hi Janet:

    Thanks for coming by and commenting. In a way, I think a novella acts to make your prose shine even brighter. It’s like a perfect diamond in a simple setting. I hope I get to see more novellas from your pen. I’m a real fan of novellas...and your prose…of which I am amply jealous.