Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review: Old West Romance Anthology

Today I want to tell you about the next installment of the Timeless Romance Anthologies with the Old West Collection.  This is a charming collection of romantic stories set in the Old West.  I am a big fan of several of these authors' other works and they did not disappoint.  I think the thing I liked the most was how different each story was---the style of each author came through, and even with the similar themes, they were all very individual.

I loved the romance and how each hero had issues to work out.  For example, in Carla Kelly's story, the hospital steward, Colm Callahan, can't seem to admit he's in love with Ozzie Washington, the lieutenant colonel's maid.  The inner dialogue for these two, as well as the colorful character of Lysander Locke made me laugh.  Really well done.  And then there are the romantic heroes like Douglas Cooper.  So swoon-worthy.  I could go on and on.  Sarah Eden's hero, Gregory Reeves, has come to help the sister of his best friend killed in action, but finds himself caught in a lie that he can't seem to fix and you can't help but feel for the guy! Heather Moore's story and Annette Lyon's story were life lesson stories that really struck a chord with how well they were told and how realistic the characters seemed.  Marsha Ward's story was particularly well done and made me want to go out and make sure I own and have read all the books she's written.

Each story had great heroes and extraordinary heroines.  I love that time period and read a lot of historical fiction, so this was a sweet treat for me.  Of course, I always wish they were longer, especially with my favorites, but I really enjoyed the stories in this collection.

Here's the back copy:

About the Anthology
A Timeless Romance Anthology: Old West Collection

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Old West Collection. Readers will love this collection of six historical western novellas, all with one thing in common: Romance.

In Break a Leg, a charming story by two-time Rita Award winner Carla Kelly, hospital steward Colm Callahan is ready to move away from army life at Fort Laramie. His only regret is leaving behind exotic Ozzie Washington, easily the prettiest woman on the post. As a maid to the lieutenant colonel's wife, Ozzie is no wilting flower when it comes to hard work. When the post surgeon leaves for an extended week, Colm must handle several medical emergencies on his own. He pleads for Ozzie's help at the hospital. While they spend long days and nights working together, Colm, a shy man, realizes he can't hide the truth of his feelings for Ozzie. He needs a little help, though. Enter from stage left, Lysander Locke, Shakespeare tragedian on his way to Deadwood.

The Soldier’s Heart, an enchanting novella by Sarah M. Eden, follows Gregory Reeves has fallen in love with a woman he’s never met. Her brother’s dying wish is that Gregory checks on his family, and after the war, Gregory is only too happy to meet the woman he’s been dreaming about. Helene mistakes him for a hired hand and sets him to work immediately. As time passes, Gregory finds it more and more difficult to reveal his true connection to her family, fearing that a woman who loathes liars will turn her disapproval on him.

Hidden Spring is an enthralling novella by Liz Adair, in which Susannah Brown is just getting her life back together after becoming a widow. She still misses Wesley with a fierce longing, but when she meets his half-brother, Douglas, she learns her heart is not completely dormant. Over the next several weeks, Douglas helps Susannah with repairs on her small ranch in exchange for supper. The exchange becomes more and more meaningful as Susannah realizes that Douglas might be the one to finally heal her heart.

The Silver Mine Bachelor, by Heather B. Moore, is a sweet romance between an unlikely pair. Lydia Stone has a checklist for men who qualify as the eligible bachelors in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. Her new boss, Mr. Erik Dawson, is about to be struck off the list when she sees him coming out of the town brothel. Lydia doesn’t know that Erik Dawson’s sister has been living the brothel lifestyle for years, and he’s set on redeeming her soul. When Lydia discovers Erik’s secrets, she learns that life is not as black and white as she thinks.

In Annette Lyon’s delightful story, The Sweetest Taste, Della Stafford hates being a farm girl in the tiny town of Shelley, Idaho. She’ll do anything to live in a big city and experience real city life. Her only regret is that she’d have to leave Joseph behind, the young man who makes her heart flutter. But she's convinced that moving away is for the best; her dreams and Joseph's dreams are too dissimilar. Then Della takes a job as a maid in Los Angeles and must face the truth that what she thought would make her happy and what really will are totally different things.

In the captivating novella, Faith and the Foreman by Marsha Ward, Faith Bannister is forced to travel west to earn a living as a school mistress in Arizona Territory. Faith soon learns that living the frontier lifestyle of a single woman has many harsh challenges. But when she meets Slim McHenry, she discovers that life doesn’t have to be so lonely. Unfortunately the dangerous Rance Hunter stands between her and Slim, and she must act with courage before everything is lost.


Marsha Ward said...

Thank you for this lovely review, Julie. It's much appreciated!

Carla Kelly author said...

Thanks, Julie. I do like writing short stories now and then.


Debra Erfert said...

I enjoyed these stories very much! Good review!