Have you ever been in situation where what you thought was going to happen didn’t and suddenly, the direction you expected to be going has evaporated? Now, your life has taken on a whole new direction in a way you never expected it to go. That’s exactly where DeLynn Straynar finds herself in Courted by Time. Her courting year comes to an end with no man in sight so she embarks on a new adventure by enrolling in college. Little does she know, her greatest adventure is yet to come.
With her courting year over and no men on the horizon, DeLynn Straynar decides to do something different with her life and signs up to attend college in Longdale an hour away. Her first day there, she runs into Zachary Styles, the school’s single chaplain and feels attracted, but quickly tries to convince herself she feels nothing for him. Until they meet again and again. With school taking up so much of her attention, she tries to focus just on it, but ignoring the gorgeous brown-eyed man is difficult and she’s not sure she wants to.
Zachary is twenty-five and working toward his doctorate in divinity. While aware of Hyacinth, he never imagined he would physically discipline anyone, until falling for DeLynn. She thinks getting courted will be the hardest part, but their courting year turns out to be fraught with trouble. From her best friend running away from home, to trying to figure out who she is in an environment so unlike the one she grew up in, the entire year is filled with stress. She keeps hoping that in time, everything will work itself out.
Unfortunately, time can only fix so much and as her anxiety goes through the roof and she finds herself in a manic mode she cannot stop, it doesn’t take long before she realizes that while sometimes she needs to figure things out on her own, there are also times she needs to hand the reins over to someone else.
About the series “In Hyacinth” by Bree Cariad:
Hyacinth, Washington is all about old-fashioned values. In Hyacinth words like trust, honor, and kindness aren’t just buzzwords. Hyacinth is a community built on tradition and trust, where men are the head of the home and women are encouraged to follow their lead.
Each story in the series is of a young woman (18-20) and her struggle to figure out who she is in this little town while at the same time going through Hyacinth’s old-fashioned courting system. On their way to meet, get to know, and finally marry their princes, these heroines grow in ways they and their town never expected.
“How was your final?”
“Good. I think. Is Karen all right?”
Grimacing, he shook his head as he guided her into his office. A hot pizza sat on top of his desk, beckoning her. “She’s just had a bit of an upset and needed to talk about it. Are you ready for three weeks of no school?” he asked, changing the subject.
Knowing that in his position he couldn’t really talk about the stuff people told him, she nodded. “I am. Are you ready to move?”
Moaning, he nodded. “I’ve been packing like crazy and for the last three nights I’ve been living out of my suitcase. It will be wonderful to get everything unpacked.” Grabbing a couple paper plates he handed her one as he took two sodas from a mini-fridge he kept under his desk. “And I’m very excited to get to know my new town. What happens around Christmas? Do they have a lights-out ceremony for the unlightable tree?”
Giggling, she curled up in her chair as she took a bite of pizza. “Oh, exciting stuff. And the lights started working two nights later. It was in the paper.”
“Front page news?” he teased, making her laugh aloud.
“Four of the churches have Christmas pageants and most everyone goes to all of them. There’s the food drive, caroling which is a huge event on Christmas Eve, and,” she said, knowing her eyes were twinkling as she could hardly wait to see his reaction to this one, “There’s the Spank the Santa party.”
He began to cough as he had just swallowed and it took a couple minutes before he could breathe again. “Come again?” he said before taking a long drink of his soda.
“Spank the Santa. I don’t know who originally named it—it must be way back as even the elderly laugh about it. Anyway, it actually has nothing to do with its name,” she admitted, grinning. “But it’s a huge sweets night. Happens on winter solstice and it’s by invitation only. It’s the event of the season.”
Laughing loudly, he grinned at her. “You’re putting me on.”
“No, really! The McCauley’s host it. I’ve gone every year since I was nine. Everyone makes something to share and meets up at the McCauley’s barn which they heat just for the occasion and you sit on hay bales and munch on all sorts of high-calorie goodies. Every year they have a band play and some of the folks dance and Mr. McCauley reads about the history of Winter Solstice. It’s fun.”
“It sounds like it.” His smile changed and something about it set off butterflies in her stomach. As she looked into his brown eyes, a throat clearing made her jump. Zachary started to laugh. “Nice timing, Mum.”
Bree enjoys good books with great characters. While she may be an adult, her favorite memories are from her teenage years reading inspirational romance with girls just like her and strong heroes. That’s one of the reasons she’s written In Hyacinth, a series of Courting Romances.
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