About the book: Around the turn of the century, matches were made for all sorts of reasons–whether to keep a family together or simply to make ends meet. But love has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places! With four historical romance stories in one, this fun anthology will sweep you from the dance floors of aristocracy to the hearths of country living, leading to love through the most unusual circumstances.
My review: This is a really fun collection! I loved the way each of the four stories focuses on a match that was made accidentally, but each of the couples involved eventually fall in love. I'm going to break them down individually because the description of the book doesn't talk about each one individually.
First Up is Ashbrook Abby by Heather Chapman. This one is about Kate, she's an orphan living with her guardian Mr Notley. Kate's parents died suddenly in a storm and she's been living without them for the last year. She'd also love to live in her cottage that she'd lived in with her parents but she can't do that until she's married. Mr Notley has a couple of nephews that he's trying to decide between to leave his own estate to. He asks them to come for a visit and that's when he tells Ambrose that there's no way he'll ever be considered to inherit Ashbrook Abby unless he marries. Ambrose quickly decides that his best chance to get Ashbrook Abby is to marry Kate, it will solve both of their problems.
I really enjoyed reading this story. I loved watching the changes in Ambrose in this one. He goes from being waited on by others to living in Kate's cottage and having to do things for himself. I really loved the ending and the choice that Ambrose makes in the end. So cute!
Next is First Comes Marriage by Paula Kremser. In this one we meet Letty, she's been caring for her niece and nephew, Mae and George, since her sister and brother-in-law died. She's kind of afraid because her brother-in-law's uncle has now had himself decreed by the court as their guardian and she doesn't feel that he would be the best option. Enter her brother-in-law's brother Daniel. He got to Letty as quickly as he could from India, he also would like to care for the children, and he knows that there is no way his uncle and aunt should have them. When he discovers that the likely reason his uncle and aunt would win in a court hearing is that they are married and both Letty and Daniel are single, there's only one thing to do. Get married.
I liked this one too! I liked both Letty and John and the way they both were willing to sacrifice their futures and pretty much everything else for their niece and nephew. I liked the way they both cared for each other but were not willing to say anything to the other because of fear.
Then there's The Price of Her Heart by Mandi Ellsworth. This one's set in Price, Utah in the 1890's. Faye accidentally saw something she shouldn't have and now she has criminals on her tail. Her family sends her away to Utah for her protection and they marry her off to a lawman. Geoffrey has been hoping to be a Texas Ranger, but he's deputy in Price with seemingly no chance to achieve his dream. Until Faye's uncle, a Texas Ranger, asks Geoffrey to marry his niece and protect her.
This one was so much fun! I loved Faye, I loved her spunk! Even though she has these terrible criminals after her, she wants to get married and when she falls in love with her husband, she wants him to care for her too. I loved the way she was trying to get him to hold her by withholding his pillows, these parts were so funny! Especially how Geoffrey was so clueless. I loved the ending of this one, so sweet!
And last, but not least is Beauty and the Beholder by Ashtyn Newbold. Blind man Percy Wellington is tricked into getting married by his cousin to Fanny Clarke. He's told how quiet and shy Fanny is and that she'd be happy to care for the blind man who has been left by all of his servants for his unkindness. Little does he know Fanny is quite the opposite.
If I had to pick a favorite out of the four stories it might be this one. I loved the way that Percy was so hardened in the beginning but under Fanny's influence he begins to change to a kinder version of himself. I loved that this one included a bit of a mystery in it that I didn't even see coming. And Fanny is such a fun character.
This whole book is so cute! I loved the whole thing!
I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the authors: Heather Chapman: Being the youngest of four sisters (and one very tolerant older brother), Heather grew up on a steady diet of chocolate, Jane Austen, Anne of Green Gables, Audrey Hepburn, and the other staples of female literature and moviedom. These stories inspired Heather, and she began writing at a young age. After meeting and marrying her husband Mark, Heather graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and settled down in a small farming community with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Heather enjoys volleyball, piano, the outdoors, and just about anything creative.
Mandi Ellsworth: Mandi is an avid reader, a slow jogger, and disinterested in board games of any kind. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children and no pets.
Paula Kremser: Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for a few years after graduating from Brigham Young University. Several years later when she moved with her young family to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel, “Sophia,” and second, “To Suit a Suitor.”
Ashtyn Newbold: Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family and is the author of “Mischief and Manors.”