Five "novellas" in one cover telling stories about arranged marriages or marriages of convenience. Thing is, I don't think these were novellas, I think they were full length novels. I finished this last night, and I must say that it was a long haul to read this whole thing. One of the stories I'd read before--A Bride's Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana.
The novellas were all pretty good stories, but I think my favorite was Love's Shining Hope by JoAnn A Grote. Pearl has decided to help her friend Jase with his responsibilities since his parents were killed in an accident. He has two younger brothers and two younger sisters to care for, a farm, the house; and he's in over his head. Pearl comes to teach the older girl about keeping a home and cooking while Jase and the boys take care of the outdoor chores. When Pearl's parents come home from a trip, they tell her she is endangering her reputation by being at Jase's house unchaperoned. After two weeks with no Pearl, Jase asks her to marry him, in name only. She agrees and he gives her forty-eight hours to get ready for the wedding. Pearl has loved Jase since they were children, but it takes a while for Jase to realize that he does love Pearl and wants her for his wife in all ways.
The olio has a wide variety of stories to please the reader: all of the authors are quite competent in their craft and they have done well with the stories in this anthology, the characters have depth, the settings are well-suited for the plots, and the plots move at a steady pace that keeps the reader involved.
This is a five star, two thumbs up book, and a cooking lesson for an adolescent girl.
Elaine Bonner--Thanks to a Lonely Heart
Ramona Cecil--A Bride's Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana
Nancy J Farrier--Sonoran Secret
JoAnn A Grote--Love's Shining Hope
DiAnn Mills--Kiowa Husband
My thanks to Barbour Books for allowing me to read and review this book.