I have been doing a lot of reading lately and I'm so excited to share some of the gems I've found.
First, I'd like to tell you about In Love and War: A Collection of Love Stories by Carla Kelly. Carla is such a master storyteller and takes ordinary people and gives us a peek into their lives. The love stories are the warm, fuzzy kind and I read all four of the stories in one sitting, they were so good. Highly recommended for any romance-lover on your list.
The first story is about a Quaker widow from America who has come to address the British Admiralty for a paper proving her husband's death was during an act of war. Through a series of misunderstandings she meets the brother to a marquess who has come back from Waterloo with an injury and a dismal future. The dialogue between these two was sparkling and I really enjoyed the story.
The second is about a thirty-two year old spinster from a "Quality" family who meets an America sea captain. This story had so many sweet scenes to it and some surprising ones, too. I love how real the captain seemed and it made me smile to see his reactions to the spinster.
The third is about a major who returns to England with a French orphan. He takes her to his friend's wedding and isn't well-received, except for a captain's widow who is also the bride's sister. Hearts are opened and it brought a smile to my face Another great story of ordinary people finding love in unexpected places.
The last is about a veteran who runs a hotel and has a seemingly dull life until one of his guests seems to turn everything upside down. There's even a little twist that I did not see coming and of course a sweet story of love.
Here is the back copy:
Beloved romance writer Carla Kelly shares a treasured collection of stories starring dashing war heroes and the sassy heroines who can't help but fall for them. From daring sea captains to genteel lords, there's a little something for every heart's fancy. Readers everywhere will adore these four regency romances---now available together for the first time in one can't-miss ebook!
The second book I'd like to tell you about is The Timeless Romance Anthology: European Collection. This is a compilation of six historical novellas, each one a little different.
The first one, War of Hearts, was set during a war in Finland and while the setting was well done and the characters well-written, I just couldn't get into the story. It's about a woman who is sent to report on the war and she finds out her ex-boyfriend who just dumped her, is also her photographer.
The second one was The Earl of Oaksey Takes a Wife and it's a little spinoff of G.G. Vandagriff's story, Lord Trowbridge's Angel. We find out what happens to Melissa when there's a misunderstanding with her new husband and she finds out he is penniless and only married her for her money. Working it out has a few surprising twists and turns for the couple!
The third one, Gift of Love, was one of my favorites. It's the story about a man who has lost three wives and cannot even bear to think of loving someone else. His friend Stuart convinces him to marry his sister who has been in a convent all this time, so he has someone to care for his daughter. I loved the tentative understanding between the main characters and how love finally blossoms. I really wish this one had been full length because it was so very well done.
The fourth one was A Lesson in Love. Lucy and Reed seem happily married, but both are upset when they realize that they don't see eye to eye on attending social functions now that they are wed. The extended family steps in to "help" the situation and there are some funny situations that arise. Some really cute scenes and a sweet ending.
The fifth one was An Ocean Away. This one was sigh-worthy. Gina sneaks out to read novels in the garden, but her handsome neighbor catches her. They share some breathless moments until Gina's father finds out who she's been associating with---his enemy! A really great read that I loved!
The sixth one was What Happens in Venice and though it was hard to choose, I think this one was my favorite. Mysterious and romantic with a hero to die for. Evangeline is in Venice with her horrid step-family, but she's trying to enjoy the trip anyway. She meets a fellow art lover and spends some quality time with him. A mini-mystery unfolds with danger and villains rearing up to meet our hero and heroine at every turn. Love, love, loved this story!
Here is the back copy:
Amazon #1 Bestselling series in *New Release* for Clean Romance
Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless
Romance Anthology: European Collection. Readers will love this
collection of six historical romance novellas set in Europe, all with
one thing in common: Romance.
In War of Hearts, Annette Lyon’s exciting novella, Anna, a
journalist, is desperate to escape the magazine where Pete, her
now-former boyfriend, also works. Heartbroken and still in love with
him, Anna snags an assignment to cover the Winter War in Finland. She
arrives at a snowy Finnish battlefront only to discover that Pete is
already there—as her photographer. She’s determined to be professional
about the situation until a battle breaks out in camp, putting her and
Pete in harm’s way and putting their love to the test.
In G.G. Vandagriff’s enchanting novella, The Earl of Oaksey Takes a
Wife, Melissa Burroughs is the new Countess of Oaksey. Her whirlwind
romance and subsequent elopement was worth every divine moment, even if
her parents did disapprove. When Melissa learns about her new husband’s
apparently empty pockets, she wonders if the intimacy they’ve shared is
only the ruse of a fortune-hunter. Melissa is devastated and determines
to live a separate life from her new husband. But the Earl has other
plans, which do not include staying away from his wife.
In Michele Paige Holmes’ charming story, Gift of Love, Ethan
Mooreleigh knows he’ll never love another woman after the loss of his
beloved wife. Yet he needs a male heir to inherit his vast fortune.
Ethan’s best friend, Stuart, has an idea and retrieves his sister,
Amelia, who has been living in a convent since the tragic death of her
parents. Amelia only agrees to enter into the contract marriage because
there’s a child involved, Ethan’s neglected three-year-old daughter.
When Amelia meets Ethan for the first time at the altar, she realizes
that the last thing she wants her marriage to be is loveless. But
winning a man whose heart is still broken may be impossible.
A Lesson in Love, a delightful novella by Sarah M. Eden, captures
the uncertainties of newlywed life. Lucy Stanthorpe arrives for the
London Season, planning to attend every ball and musicale with her new
husband, Reed, only to discover he has no intention of taking part in
the social whirl. Spurred on by their family and friends, Lucy and Reed
each formulate increasingly outlandish plans to teach the other a lesson
in appreciation. Their battle of wills threatens to pull the young
couple apart unless they can both soften their stubborn hearts.
In An Ocean Away, Heather B. Moore’s captivating story, Gina Graydon
knows the last thing she’ll attract on her holiday in France is an
eligible bachelor. Tall, outspoken, and with a weakness for laughing at
the wrong moment, not to mention being much too occupied with reading
gothic romances, Gina decides she’d rather live in her fictional world.
Besides, the only man who pays attention to her at the resort hotel
happens to be her father’s worst enemy. And that is far from romantic.
Reading in a secluded garden, and dreaming about the perfect kiss, all
keep Gina much too busy to consider Mr. Edmund Donaldson any sort of
Nancy Campbell Allen’s entrancing novella, What Happens in Venice,
follows Evangeline Stuart as she determines to enjoy her vacation in
Venice—her first and likely her last since she lives under the strict
confines of her step-father’s control. When she meets the mysterious and
romantic Conte Bellini, who happens to be Italy’s most eligible
bachelor, she decides he is all part of the dream of visiting Venice.
It’s impossible for her to believe that his interest in her is anything
more than kindness to a foreign visitor. But when he discovers the true
betrayal of her step-father, Evangeline learns the Conte may be the one
person with the power to restore her happiness.
The third book is G.G. Vandagriff's new regency, The Baron and the Bluestocking. Vandagriff's books always feature strong heroines and a hero that is flawed, but someone you want to cheer for, and this one is no different. Christian Elliott has opened an orphanage for girls and he meets Miss Whitcombe who is a teacher there. She has some shocking feminist ideas and is rude to him whenever he is around her. But there is a reason for Helene's feelings and when Christian finds out, he wants to help, but she definitely wants to stand on her own two feet. There are some fun misunderstandings, danger, mayhem, and romance all thrown in to make a wonderful story. A great afternoon read.
Here is the back copy:
In the world of the Regency, Christian Elliott, Baron Shrewsbury has it all. Helene Whitcombe has nothing except a prickly slate of feminist principles and a job as a schoolteacher in Lord Shrewsbury’s Orphanage for Girls. Pride on both sides separates them, but that doesn’t stop the fierce attraction that builds between this unlikely pair. Can the penniless vicar’s daughter humble the haughty baron? Or will her uncomfortable principles and his high place in society prove to be insuperable barriers to love?