I have decided that writing a novella for a collection is one of the hardest things an author has to do. The difficulties include character development and plot movement with fewer words. Done well, the stories are better than a lot of full length novels. Most of the novellas in this olio are tremendous and it would be a long post indeed if I were to review them all. So I will only review my favorite one.
The Caretaker by Kelly Eileen Hake I have reviewed some of Kelly's work before and I panned her once, but in this instance, she SHINES.
Amy Ross is a widow who runs an orphanage with sixteen girls. Tyler Samuels has moved in next door for the sole purpose of watching the orphanage to be sure all the children are treated well. He watched his sister die of neglect and abuse in an orphanage and he wasn't going to allow that to happen to another child. When one of the girls believes he's the caretaker of the house next door, he doesn't set the child straight and continues the ruse.
Kelly has included some really interesting characters, including Amy's mother-in-law, who reminds Amy frequently who holds the purse strings as well as the deed to the house Amy lives in. When Tyler hears her berate Amy one time too many, well, let's just say words get said.
Overall this is a great collection of ladies finding true love while everyone in town keeps a close eye on things--especially the town gossip.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a small town life regardless of where you live.
My thanks to Barbour Books for allowing me to read and review this book.