Some of my favorite authors have written stories about American history and heroes from the past including those who served in the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Each story shows men and women who were dealing with extraordinary circumstances and the research, great settings, and attention to details add a new perspective to the time period.
To Love a Spy by Jennifer Moore is the story of Susannah Partridge whose father and brother have decided to fight for the rebels, and Susannah, a “loyalist” must live with her aunt and uncle and help them with their inn. The local apothecary has caught her interest, though he is acting quite strangely. When an English officer’s important letter goes missing, the views Susannah has always had about the war are tested. Whose side is she really on? And could she really love a spy? I loved all the intrigue and romance in this story!
The second novella is Southern Belle, Yankee Heart by Renae Weight Mackley. Rebecca Steed has just lost her mother, but is trying to take her place by traveling to Richmond to purchase material for her work as a seamstress. Before she can board the train to go home, however, Virginia secedes from the Union and Rebecca is trapped in Richmond! She is drawn to Nathan Hill, a young man who boards at the same boarding house as Rebecca, but with the country being torn apart by war, Rebecca decides it’s not a good idea to fall in love with a Southerner. But sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants. A sweet, slow burn romance of love during war.
The third novella is Where Dreams Meet by Carolyn Twede Frank and it was so tender. Jane O’Shea has immigrated from Ireland, only to find herself stranded and unable to get to Missouri, until a stranger helps her. She meets him again in Missouri, but he is suffering some troubles of his own. The townspeople have turned against him and are trying to run him off his farm that has been in his family since his own grandparents immigrated. Can Jane trust what her heart tells her about him or will she be swayed by the rumors swirling around him? This couple had so many obstacles to overcome, that the ending was especially satisfying.
The last novella in the collection is The Sun, Moon, Stars, and You, by Carla Kelly. Hank Thornton, the son of a Medal of Honor recipient, has been called to the Teddy Roosevelt White House as a military aide. His duties include dancing with the wallflowers and escorting them around town, and Hank isn’t excited about it, wishing he was back on his horse in the Philippines. Minnie Gallagher, another boarder at the boardinghouse where Hank now resides, is doing her best to become a reporter and move up from her current position of correcting copy, but that occupation isn’t really open to women. She’s also a suffragette. I loved their romance and the wit and banter between them. But that’s not all! Hank is assigned to ride and be a sort of bodyguard for Teddy’s Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice, which added a fun element in getting to know some of these historical figures through a fictional lens. Ms. Kelly spins a tale that will tug at your heart and make you want to read it again!
“To Love a Spy” by Jennifer Moore
New York, 1781 Despite her family’s betrayal of the Crown, Susannah Partridge remains loyal to the king. But when she becomes embroiled in the treasonous activities of her charming neighbor, Eli Matthews, Susannah must determine where her allegiance truly lies.
“Southern Belle, Yankee Heart” by Renae Weight Mackley
Richmond, 1861 The Union is splintering, and Northern dressmaker Rebecca Steed finds herself stuck in the South with little money and even less hope. But being stranded in Virginia comes with an unexpected silver lining in the form of Nathan Hill, a man whose opposition to slavery and determination to do what is right quickly win her affection. But how can she give her heart to a soldier who may never come back from the war?
“Where Dreams Meet” by Carolyn Twede Frank
New York, 1892 When Jane O’Shea arrives at Ellis Island from Ireland, she has nothing but a desire to make her way in the world. With help from Peter Dockery, a gentle stranger, Jane embarks on her new life. As the couple faces seemingly insurmountable odds, they discover that adversity is better faced alongside the one you love.
“The Sun, Moon, Stars, and You” by Carla Kelly
Washington, DC, 1906 Nothing could have prepared Lieutenant Hank Thornton for his new post in Washington, DC. As a military aide to President Teddy Roosevelt in the White House, Hank is to be nothing more than a dashing dance partner at various political events. It isn’t until he meets Minnie Gallagher, an intrepid copy corrector at a local paper, that he begins to see the possibilities of this odd assignment.