The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection by Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green, and Maureen Lang | Christian Romance Review

The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection by Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green, and Maureen Lang

Book review disclosure.

Romance Collection
Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes,
Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green, 
and Maureen Lang

The Distant Tide
Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God's plan for her life?

A Song in the Night
Amanda Dykes
1715: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she'd see again.

The Forgotten Hope
Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect--and his love?

A River Between Us
Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive--and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.

The Swelling Sea
Joanne Bischof
1890: Coronado Island, California
After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman's yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.

My Thoughts

What a wonderful collection of authors and stories! I've enjoyed the works of the individual authors so I was pretty sure that I was going to have an interesting read before me. I was right!

The prologue begins in a monastery in Northern Ireland in the year 834 AD. That is where the bronze bottle first appears and the stage is set for a wild adventure involving that mysterious bottle. Each of the stories that follow take us through time and travel. While the individual stories are unrelated the bronze bottle appears in each.The epilogue was a fun ending in present-day California and it neatly tied the whole thing together.

I really like that the stories were stand-alone titles. It's hard to keep a continuity of character traits and voice when different authors are writing for the same characters. By changing stories completely it made the book a delightful collection that could be read over several afternoons. With five different novellas the book as a whole is quite hefty but the layout makes it reader friendly.

I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite story. I liked each one of them in different ways. Each of the stories had a strong message of faith. Due to the talent of each of the authors the characters really came alive. I was left wondering about what happened after the story ended. How did they live out their happily ever after? That's a nice feeling at the end of a good book.

The genres in this book are a mixed bag. Romance winds through each of them but there is history and mystery mixed in as well. I believe it would appeal to a wide audience. 

Disclosure of materials.

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