Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: Timeless Romance Anthology

I was so excited to see new novellas offered by some of my favorite historical fiction writers all in one place.  The Timeless Romance Anthology offers six novellas by six best-selling authors.  My favorite Regency romance author, Sarah Eden had the first story, The Road to Cavan Town, and it did not disappoint.  She has a way of completely engrossing me in the setting and time period while making me love the characters.  Sarah has a new book out this month, too, and I will be first in line to get it.  Her story in the anthology is about Alice Wheatley who walks to town with Isaac Dancy as he's courting the beautiful Miss Sophia Kilchrest.  Alice has come to appreciate and admire Isaac as they walk and talk together about their dreams and hopes for life and she knows that he deserves someone better than Sophia.  But does he see her as anything more than a friend?  Isaac looks forward to his time with Alice, and knows she is someone special.  But can she be someone special for him?  A sweet romance that really starts the anthology out on the right foot.

It Happened Twelfth Night by Heidi Ashworth was next and it is about Luisa and Percy.  Percy is the son of a baronet and Luisa is the daughter of the gatekeeper at the estate, but despite their differences in station, they have fallen in love with each other.  Percy makes her promise to wait for him to come back from his trip abroad and Luisa does, but when Percy comes back everything is different.  Her heart is breaking until a mysterious stranger takes an interest in her.  From that moment on, Luisa knows her life will never be the same.

An Unexpected Proposal by Annette Lyon is next.  Annette has been well-known for her historicals and she paints a vivid picture of a wood camp in 1880 Utah.  Caroline is there to help with the cooking and serving to help raise money for her sick sister, but one of the men takes an interest in her that she does not share.  When events get out of hand and his interest turns to to an incident that leaves Caroline reeling, she can only turn to her childhood friend James who is also at the camp.  It becomes obvious that James has feelings for her, but Caroline doesn't know if she feels more than friendship for him.  A story of love and friendship and where the line blurs.

The fourth story is Carols on the Green by Joyce DiPastena.  Joyce is my favorite medieval writer and I loved this story of Isabel and Lucian.  I sincerely hope she does a full story of them since the characters were so well done it left me wanting more, even when the story wrapped up.  Isabel has told her father she will choose a husband by Epiphany and has several suitors to choose from.  None are as dashing as Lucian, however, but he is definitely off-limits until the incident at the oak tree forces Isabel to take a second look at this dashing knight.  Love, love, love these two!

The fifth story is A Winter's Knight by Donna Hatch.  I don't think I'd read anything by Donna Hatch before and this was a sweet romance. Clarissa has never been to Wyckburg Castle but she has heard the stories of how it is cursed and how all the earls murdered their wives.  When Clarissa and her Aunt Tilly are caught in a storm and must take refuge at Wyckburg, Caroline has the opportunity to get to the bottom of all the rumors of curses and murder, especially when she finds out her own family has a pivotal role in the curse over Wyckburg.  But will the current dashing earl accept her offer of help or will he see her only as an enemy?

The last story is A Fortunate Exile by Heather Moore.  Lila has created a scandal for her family by falling in love with the wrong man and she is sent away to her aunt's until it blows over.  Her aunt is quite severe with her and Lila doesn't know if she will ever be able to go on living there until Peter Weathers steps in to help.   Peter is kind, but has his own worries.  They lean on each other for support, but can Lila trust her judgment when it comes to men?

I liked these stories because while they are all different, they all are romantic and easy to read.  It's like a little pick-me-up to leave a smile on your face in just a short amount of time.  I usually don't read novellas because I always want more, but in this case, overall, it seemed just about right.  My only complaint was there was one story which needed one more editing pass. There were extra words in the sentences, easy fixes for things like, "she forgot to breath," "his nostrils flaired" and "his hand threated through her hair."  I think the only reason this issue stood out is because all the rest were near perfect and this one had a lot of errors which took me out of the story a bit.  It could be the review copy wasn't the final edited version, however, and I hope that is the case.  Other than that one thing, I thought this anthology was truly well done and one for my rainy day shelf.  (Those are my favorite books I save for rainy days when I want to sit and snuggle and read all the best parts again.)  A great gift for all your romance loving people in your life.

Here is the back copy:

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed brand new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection. A collection unlike any other, readers will love this compilation of six sweet historical romance novellas, set in varying eras, yet all with one thing in common: Romance.

The Road to Cavan Town by Sarah M. Eden, set in 1864 Ireland, combines Eden’s sense of humor with her signature sweet romance. Alice Wheatley walks each weekend into town, accompanied by Isaac Dancy. And while Alice finds herself falling in love with the gentleman, unfortunately he has his eyes set on the belle of the town, Miss Sophia Kilchrest. Alice must find a way to turn Isaac’s eyes toward her.

Regency author Heidi Ashworth’s delightful story, It Happened Twelfth Night, set in England 1812, follows Luisa Darlington who discovers the man of her dreams, Percy Brooksby, isn’t in love with her as much as she thought he was. When Percy’s friend, the mysterious foreigner, Mr. Flynn, visits for the twelfth night holiday, he promptly sweeps Luisa off her feet, quite literally. Luisa is left catching her breath in more ways than one.

An Unexpected Proposal by Annette Lyon is a captivating romantic novella, set in remote Wood Camp, the snowy canyon of Logan, Utah, 1880. When Caroline Simpson is forced to thwart the aggressive advances of Mr. Butch Larson, she discovers that her long-time friend, James, has genuine affection for her. But as stubborn as Caroline is, she minimizes the feelings he’s awakened in her, and it takes almost losing James to admit her true feelings for him.

In Joyce DiPastena’s charming medieval story, Caroles on the Green, we enter England of 1151, in which Lady Isabel has a dilemma. She promises herself that she’ll marry the man who sent a ring hidden in her pastry since the man she truly loves, Sir Lucian de Warrene, has proved to be impossible and exasperating. To forget him, Isabel sets her eyes on other eligible men, only to face another confrontation with Lucian—who isn’t about to back off and leave her to her newest plot.

Donna Hatch’s enchanting novella, A Winter’s Knight, begins when Clarissa Fairchild’s coach just happens to break down in front of the most forbidding estate in the county, that of Wyckburg Castle, a place where young brides have been murdered for generations by their husbands. Clarissa is horrified yet curious all in the same breath. When she meets widower Christopher de Champs, Earl of Wyckburg, she must decide if she should flee or uncover the greatest secret in the county about her handsome rescuer.

In Heather B. Moore’s exciting turn-of-the-century story, A Fortunate Exile, Lila Townsend finds herself the victim of a broken heart—broken by the most notorious bachelor in 1901 New York City. If that isn’t bad enough, her father sends her to Aunt Eugenia’s remote farm where Lila must wait for her father’s anger to subside and the gossip columns to find new fodder. When Lila meets her aunt’s boarder, Peter Weathers, she discovers a man who isn’t afraid to stand up to her formidable family and take a chance on a woman with a sullied reputation.


Heather B. Moore said...

Thanks for the review! And thanks for the corrections!

Debra Allen Erfert said...

I bought this for my Kindle the moment it became available. Thanks for reviewing it!

Heidi said...

Thanks Julie! And thanks for your lovely review of Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind and Has Her Day. :)

Laura Fabiani said...

I should get this for my Short Story Reading Challenge. It also includes some authors I really like!

Rachelle said...

This sounds like so much fun! I love these authors.