collection of novellas written by an A-list of authors. Unfortunately, the novellas were B-list at best.
Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes is the best of the bunch, in my opinion. I have never been disappointed by Laurie Alice's work and this novella doesn't disappoint either. Taking place at the opening of the Erie Canal, this story details the flight of Camilla Renfrew from false accusations and her desire to meet up with her friend to work as a housekeeper. The captain of the boat Camilla boards does NOT want her around, but has a grudging respect for her pluck and her plight.
Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey is a story that has been told before, though Ann does bring a fresh perspective to it. Merrie Bentley is writing a marriage advice column for a magazine, and has signed her articles M M Bentley. The editor has assumed she is a man and she does nothing to disabuse him of the notion. When he requests a meeting with Mr. Bentley, Merrie has to do something to keep the ruse alive and enlists her music teacher for the job.
One Little Word by Amanda Cabot again tells a story that has been told before. Louisa needs to marry quickly to keep her wastrel of a cousin from squandering her inheritance. When she finds that her brother is still alive, she journeys to see him and meets Jonah Mann, the architect of the new carosel for the resort where her brother is head chef. She does not realize that Jonah is Jonah Manderley, a titled Englishman who needs to go back to his family's estate to take his rightful place. Jonah doesn't realize that Louisa is a Manderley that will make her eligible to be his wife. All they both know is that they love each other but think their families will not accept the choice of spouse.
A Saving Grace by Jane Kirkpatrick wraps historical events into her novel and makes it a more compelling story. Grace responds to a plaintive plea from her dearest friend's daughter. She needs to rescue her friend from the clutches of unscrupulous "doctors" who are systematically starving their patients in order to inherit their estates. This part of the novella is based in fact, and lends credulity to the tale. Jane does a superior job of weaving history into her writings and making the history an integral part of the story.
I truly enjoyed all four novellas, but at the same time, I was a bit disappointed. There was something missing, some oomph, some spark, some intangible ingredient that grabs the reader and doesn't let go until the last page is turned and the book is closed. Four stars.
The galley for this book was provided to me by Baker Publishing House through NetGalley.com for my honest opinion. There was no compensation given for my review.