While living in a forced marriage is likely not as romantic as the stories in this collection make it sound, I can’t help favoring these types of scenarios for romance. After all, when God is in it (and He definitely is in these stories), even forced marriages can turn out to be a blessing for all involved.
What was truly astounding in all these novellas was the development of the characters. Even though the space for each story was very limited, the authors did a great job at making each and every character seem real. Complex situations and back-stories were superbly and subtly woven into the plot lines.
And it didn’t hurt that several of my current favourite authors’ works were included in this collection. I love humour and adventure within a romance and this book certainly delivered. From getting locked into a jail cell together to trying to get rid of a herd of longhorns who think they’re pets, the creativity of these authors never ceased to amaze me.
I especially liked Mary Connealy’s novella, a continuing story of the Hardens and their now grown kids, first seen in her novel The Husband Tree.
I also very much enjoyed the story where a practical, rather plain, woman gets a husband from the gallows—making for a dangerously exciting read.
Also, the incongruity of a noble Englishman who’d been living as a card shark in the Western US meeting up with a recent, God-fearing and pregnant widow made for an intriguing novella.
With nine stories in all and a great variety of characters and situations, this is a collection that is sure to please. As usual, my only regret is that the stories were much too short.
Thank you to NetGalley (https://www.netgalley.com/) and especially Barbour Publishing for providing me yet again with a great collection of stories to read and review.