Saturday, November 14, 2020

Review - - The Captain's Midwinter Bride

The Captain's Midwinter Bride
by Liana De la Rosa
Publisher: Author
Release Date: November 12, 2020
Reviewed by PJ

Life at sea sharpened Captain Phillip Dalton into a shrewd and strategic military man...yet none of those skills prepared him for the intricacies of planning his daughter’s upcoming Christmas wedding. His family, most especially his wife, are all but strangers to him thanks to his service to the Crown. But if Phillip finds himself bewitched by his practical, charming, and guileless wife, he does his best to hide his struggles.

Annalise Dalton raised two children and built a comfortable life for herself while her husband of convenience provided for them from afar. But now Phillip's home to stay, and she finds it impossible to ignore his gruff manner, brilliant blue eyes, or the gentle way he looks after her needs. And if Annalise is unnerved by the budding feelings her husband inspires in her, she does her best to hide how they unsettle her.

When past secrets and misunderstandings threaten the tenuous steps they've taken to create a real and loving marriage, can Phillip and Annalise overcome the years they spent apart to forge a happy future together, and for every Christmas to come?

PJ's Thoughts:

If you're looking for a quick (114 pages) holiday romance with mature characters, heart-tugging emotion, passionate chemistry, and a sigh-worthy happy ending, this one's for you.

I really enjoyed the depth of emotion in this novella. Marrying for convenience at a young age, with Phillip leaving soon afterward for sea, and infrequent shore leaves over the course of his career, he and Annalise are more strangers than husband and wife. They've been wed for 25 years and have two children but they've never had a real marriage, never formed an emotional bond. I liked them a lot and was pulling for them the entire way. There are many issues they need to work through; not surprising after basically living separate lives for 25 years. I appreciated how De la Rosa took her time with them, navigating them through the awkwardness, the resentment, and the yearning while leading them to a deeper understanding and appreciation of one another. Leading them to what might just be a forever love. 

I also enjoyed the fact that Phillip's reunion with his entire family, not only his wife, was explored in this story. It was so poignant to watch him learn how to be a father to his adult daughter, on the cusp of a marriage that may not be in her best interests. He remembers the young girl who idolized her father but reality has placed him in the path of a resentful adult, firmly on her mother's side, who does not make their reunion easy for him. I enjoyed her journey as well. 

I don't know if the author has plans for future stories for this family but I'm invested in them now, hoping for a happy ending for Beth and definitely intrigued by Oliver. There are also a few other loose family threads that I'd like to see resolved. I'm curious to know what happened all those years ago, and why, and see justice for those who were wronged. I am not ready to say goodbye to the Daltons. 


  1. Love the cover! A second chance story and protagonists who are "seasoned" are a nice combination. Added to my Holiday reading wish list....

    1. Hope you give it a try, Laurie. It really is lovely.

  2. Sounds good love that dress thank you

  3. This sounds lovely. Thank you for the review.

  4. As always, your review has made me interested in this book. Thanks. Sounds like an interesting story.

    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

  5. Intriguing. Another older couple story, what a gift for those of us of a certain age. It sounds like a series would be an excellent idea. Maybe starting with a book of the "before" when their story starts and they marry and separate. Separations, especially for military families have always been difficult. Back then, they did tend to be longer. Even if the couple is dedicated to each other it puts a strain on the relationship. I saw too many good couples who didn't make it because one didn't like the way of life or couldn't handle the separations. The parent that is left at home becomes independent and runs things their way. When the other partner comes home the adjustment period can be difficult. The dynamics of the relationship change every time. It sounds like Phillip and Annalise never really developed much of a relationship to start with. Will be putting this on my wish list.