Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England...
Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love....
Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago.
Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism.
Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans.
Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret.
Esther is empowered to choose between two men.
Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash.
Jamie and William face a daunting London season together.
Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford?
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales. These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and through her website amandabarratt.net
Novelist Angela Bell is a 21st century lady with 19th century sensibilities. Her activities consist of reading voraciously, drinking copious amounts of tea, and writing letters with a fountain pen. She currently resides in the southern most region of Texas with pup Mr. Darcy and kitty Lizzie Bennett. One might describe Angela’s fictional scribblings as historical romance or as Victorian history and steampunk whimsy in a romantic blend. Whenever you need a respite from the 21st century hustle, please visit her cyber-space parlor www.AuthorAngelaBell.com where she can be found waiting with a pot of English tea and some Victorian cordiality.
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her online at www.susannedietze.com and subscribe to her newsletters at http://eepurl.com/bieza5.
Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com.
Nancy Moser is an award-winning author of over twenty-five novels that share a common message: we each have a unique purpose—the trick is to find out what it is. Her genres include contemporary and historical novels including Love of the Summerfields, Mozart’s Sister, The Invitation, and the Christy Award-winning Time Lottery. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. www.nancymoser.com.
MaryLu Tyndall, a Christy Award finalist and bestselling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but open people’s eyes to their God-given potential. MaryLu is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves books and history, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, an avid museum patron, and wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul mate. Erica loves to hear from readers. You can sign up for her quarterly newsletter at www.ericavetsch.com
And you can email her at email@example.com or contact her on her author Facebook page.
Read an Excerpt
A lady never sallied forth unchaperoned. Least of all to a place with the reputation of Vauxhall Gardens.
For most of her seventeen years, Charity Stanwood had considered herself a lady. Yet the term could carry with it a most inconvenient mantle. Ladies sat in the parlor beside their mamas, embroidering or talking of new ball gowns. Ladies did not court scandal, venturing out by way of bedroom windows to seek the company of gentlemen with less than spotless reputations.
But then, no young lady of her acquaintance — that she knew of, anyway — had ever found herself under the spell of Percy Browne.
Clutching his arm, moving through the elegantly — and not so elegantly — dressed crowd, Charity's nerves fairly sizzled with the excitement of it all.
"It's wonderful, Percy!" She lifted a hand to ascertain that the diamond comb securing her hair remained in place.
"We've only just begun to taste the delights tonight has to offer." Resplendent in regimentals, Percy cut a figure handsome enough to flutter the heart of even the most demure female. He leaned toward her, overwhelming her with the scent of mandarin.
Thank goodness Charity had ceased thinking of herself as demure. The barest inhale was enough to send scorching heat eddying through her body. And they hadn't even begun to sample the arrack punch, a beverage known to make even the stodgiest matron giddy as a schoolgirl.
A giggle leaked out as she playfully disengaged her arm from his and sidestepped away. "Oh, Percy. You say the most shocking things."
He reached out and captured her waist. "I do apologize. Vauxhall always addles my brain. Must be something in the air."
In the novels she furtively read when no one was watching, many a passage described the way a gentleman's eyes smoldered as he gazed upon the object of his affections. Charity drew in a breathless gasp. At that moment, looking down at her, Percy's eyes utterly and undoubtedly smoldered.
"'Tis only the air that affects you so?" She dipped her chin and fluttered her lashes — another novel-learned tactic. Novels were really all she had to rely upon for advice on how to attract a man. Other than her secret meetings with Percy, her knowledge of the male species was limited to dancing a quadrille while chaperones looked on or allowing herself to be escorted into dinner by some potential suitor handpicked by her papa.
"Little minx." The warmth of his hands seared through the scanty muslin of her gown. "You know full well the power you have over me."
Power. What a delicious word. And he'd admitted it. She, debutante, held power over Percy Browne, soldier and well-known rogue!
"Do I indeed?" Her voice emerged as a breathy whisper, her heart beating in time with the jaunty music coming from the direction of the pavilion. No gothic novelist could have written a better beginning to a proposal. For surely such words as his could only be followed with a declaration.
If her mind wasn't so muddled by his intense gaze, she'd have turned it to deciding which young ladies of her acquaintance would make the best bridesmaids.
"Shall I prove it to you?" Without waiting for her answer, he maneuvered her away from the brightly lit pavilion. Lamps hanging from stands and on trees lit the air with shadows, and the lapping of the River Thames lent magic to the balmy summer night.
Excitement thudded in her chest as they turned down one of the secluded paths, placed in convenient isolation for those wishing to find privacy amidst the cacophony of fellow guests. She clung to his arm, hurrying to keep up with his strides. Her eyes widened as they passed other couples in the throes of behavior sure to elicit a fainting spell should the redoubtable matrons of London discover their newest debutantes' whereabouts.
Did people really do such things in public? Here she'd thought that simply accompanying Percy to such a place reached a dizzying height of scandal.
A hint of trepidation snaked through her. Perhaps there were some bounds when it came to propriety. But despite Percy's reputation, he was a gentleman at heart. She was sure of it.
Yet why would a gentleman take her here?
He stopped. Fireworks exploded overhead, sending a shower of stars cascading across the night sky. Charity's breath caught at the brilliant display — golds and reds and blues melding together in shimmering arcs of color.
She glanced at Percy, her back bumping up against a row of tall bushes. He didn't seem at all enamored by the celestial show, his gaze riveted on her.
Sweet victory. What were trifling hesitations and simpleminded proprieties when this man looked at her with such ardor? Nonsense. Errant nonsense, that's what. A tempting smile found purchase on her lips. The sizzling heat of his pursuit far exceeded that of any simpering milksop found at the side of her fellow debutantes.
"I do declare. Vauxhall is certainly a —"
Her next words were cut off as his lips descended upon hers, just as another explosion suffused the sky. A gasp escaped as his hands skimmed down her shoulders, settling on her waist.
She might be a master when it came to flirtatious glances and coy words. But in this, he possessed the experience, and she was far out of her depth. His kisses bred fire within her, evoking sensations as delicious as they were foreign. Head tilted back, she surrendered to his caresses, senses swimming as his hand moved to the collar of her gown —
The voice produced a jolt similar to a tub full of ice water being tossed upon a drunkard. Percy spun 'round. Charity's gaze snapped up.
And landed upon disaster in human form. Lady Drucilla Blackthorne stood, rooted to the spot, a jeweled lorgnette held up to one squinting eye.
"Lady Blackthorne." As if by rote, Charity's knees dipped into a curtsy. When she stood again at her full height, she scanned the darkened pathway.
Percy, her dashing soldier hero, had disappeared.
"Charity Stanwood! You will come with me this instant. This instant, I say!" The enormous feather atop her coiffure jiggling royally, Lady Blackthorne stormed forward and grasped Charity, nails digging into her skin like a trap closing in over a frightened rabbit.
Caught with Percy by Lady Blackthorne, London's most notorious gossipmonger.
Though Lady Blackthorne's claws would surely leave bruises, Charity scarcely heeded the pain as the woman hauled her along the path.
Physical pain could be borne.
It was nothing compared to what society would do to her when word of her ruination leaked out and reached their ears. Society liked nothing more than to make a meal of others' misfortunes.
Tonight, she'd given them plenty to feast upon.
Luke Warren opened the door to his father's study and stepped inside. Rand Warren sat behind a mahogany desk strewn with papers, books, and writing utensils. He looked up from his hunched-over position and flattened both palms on the glossy surface.
Luke crossed the carpeted floor. Whatever his father wanted, Luke hoped it wouldn't take long to conclude. Tomorrow morning, he would be leaving to join his ship, and his mates were waiting for him down at the Red Lion for a send-off, a finale the likes of which he doubted he'd enjoy when once again ensconced in strict military discipline — though since he joined the ship as captain, some leeway would surely be allowed him.
A rule-maker instead of a dictate-follower. Finally.
"You wished to see me, sir?"
"I did." His father lit a cheroot, infusing the air with the scent of smoke. "Care for a brandy, Son?" He gestured with the cheroot to a side table near the desk, atop which rested an array of decanters and glasses.
Behind his back, Luke's hands clenched and unclenched.
Just get on with it, old man. And the quicker the better.
"No, thank you. What was it you wished to discuss?"
"In a hurry, eh?" His father's eyes — the same dusky blue shade as Luke's — lit with a knowing gleam.
"Somewhat, sir." Luke lifted his mouth in a sheepish grin. Father would understand Luke's desire for a night with his friends. Father had once been young too, after all, and would soon finish the conversation and let Luke get on with his evening.
He shifted with anticipation.
"I'm sorry to spoil your fun, but you might as well send 'round a note to whomever you were planning on meeting." Father took another drag, smoke wisping through the air above his head, expression neutral as if oblivious to the wet blanket he'd just dropped upon Luke's plans for a jolly good evening.
Luke's jaw hardened. Blast the man. What could be so deuced important to warrant ruining a night's pleasure?
"I'll get straight to the point, so as not to take up more of your valuable time than necessary."
Too late for that. Luke resisted the urge to roll his eyes.
"When you were a schoolboy, we, the Warren family" — Schoolboy? What was this, a rundown of his father's entire life story? Honestly? Chet and Granby would roar with laughter when they heard what had kept him — "possessed a comfortable amount of prosperity." A frown knit Father's forehead. An unexplainable tightness cinched Luke's middle. Something about the man's expression boded ill tidings.
"Since then, however, we've run into some difficulties. Not large ones, at first, but they've become increasingly so."
"What are you saying?" Luke drew in a deep breath. Somehow, he sensed he'd regret asking this question.
"We've got debts, Son. Creditors. Our mine holdings in Cornwall — well, we haven't discovered any more copper in a good while. The old Jenbrugh load has failed us, bled dry it seems. And you know as well as I do that mining has been the lifeblood of this family, kept your sister in gowns and fripperies, paid your navy expenses, and allowed us to keep on a number of staff. At times, I confess, I've been close to despair, wondering how, when the day comes, I'll tell Harriet we can't afford to foot a dinner for five and twenty. But today, something happened. Something that could pull us back from the brink and get us back on the road to a new start."
"And this something concerns me?" Why hadn't Father told him things were so dire? Luke could have done something. Delayed the purchase of a new riding horse, spent less time at the card tables and more time with his family. He hadn't known. Hadn't suspected even a scrap.
Well, Father had told him now. Now, on the eve of his departure to serve again in His Majesty's navy after taking a three-month leave of absence. Now, when he could do nothing about it. The twist of events was as bitter as it was unexpected.
"It does. In fact, it concerns you more than anyone else. I need your help, Son. You can go a long way in saving us." Father's gaze pierced him, and Luke couldn't help but stand a little straighter. Now that he had attained his two-and-twentieth birthday, Father had at last begun treating him like a man, instead of a stripling playing at seafaring adventures. Pride drummed in his chest. He wouldn't trade this for Chet and Granby's sendoff, nor for anything.
"Just tell me what to do."
"A man came to me this afternoon. John Stanwood, the creditor to whom I owe the most. Three years ago, I took out a loan from his bank, one that came with a substantial amount of interest. Since then, I've only managed to pay the interest, while continuing to take out a further loan at an even higher rate. Today, he paid a call and brought along the promissory note." A gleam lit Father's gaze. A gleam of hope. "He offered to pay the debt out of his own pocket, in full. The debt amounts to ten thousand pounds."
Ten thousand pounds! The vastness of the sum was staggering. Father, under such an obligation? It might as well amount to ten million. But John Stanwood had offered to cancel it, just like that. Something deeper was at play here. Luke's scalp prickled.
"And what does he expect in return?"
Father rubbed a hand across his forehead, shadows from the roaring fire in the hearth accentuating the gray at his temples, the haggard hollows under his eyes. "He wishes you to wed his daughter, Miss Charity Stanwood."
"What?" Last week when Chet had imbibed one too many cupfuls of arrack punch, he'd begun waving his hands wildly and talking as if his dead nanny and old schoolmates stood in front of him. It made reasonable sense, hearing things when under the influence of strong drink.
But Luke hadn't touched a drop all day. Which meant he wasn't hearing things. And that Father spoke truth.
"I know it sounds ridiculous. But it seems the young lady got herself into an entanglement that has led to rather a lot of gossip. Her father wishes her reputation to remain above reproach and feels that having her wed will stay the wagging tongues." He made a weak gesture toward the papers littering his desk. "We each have something the other lacks. Stanwood wants respectability for his family, while we are more than a bit short when it comes to ready capital at the moment."
Luke paced back and forth across the carpet as if his life depended upon traversing from one end of the room to the other. Suddenly, a dram of brandy sounded like a very good idea. But he wouldn't risk muddling his senses. Not when he needed them crystal clear.
He halted in front of the fireplace, facing his father. "You're telling me that John Stanwood expects me to wed his daughter because she got herself into a muck befitting a trollop? The man is outrageous! Besides, I'm leaving tomorrow at first light."
"I told him that. He's already arranged a special license, and the marriage will take place at her home in approximately two hours." He levered himself from his chair and moved to get a glass of amber liquid. Apparently, Father wasn't burdened with reservations about pouring a drink. Luke's fingers itched to do the same.
"I'll say one thing for him. He's not one to waste time." Luke swiveled to face the fireplace while Father downed his drink. Marriage was for staid bachelors who'd had plenty of time to enjoy the freedom of a single life. Not for Luke, hours away from embarking upon his career after years of slogging away as a cabin boy, midshipman, and lieutenant. Though he enjoyed a flirtation well enough, liked making ladies blush and twirling them 'round the dance floor, he was by no means interested in taking a wife. Why, a songbird in a cage possessed more freedom than a married man.
Footsteps sounded behind him, a touch rested on his shoulder. Luke turned and found Father at his side, one hand holding his empty glass. "I wouldn't ask it of you if things weren't so desperate. Goodness knows I don't like the thought of you wed to a woman we know so little of. But I can't help but think what release from the debt would bring to our family." The man's shoulders sagged as if weighted down by all the copper the Jenbrugh load had ever produced. "I'm not asking you, Son. I'm begging you."
Physical battle was a thing Luke welcomed, thirsted after even. Yet the emotional battle warring within him made him long to shake it off and rid himself of it the way one would an uncomfortable coat at the tailor's.
He'd met Miss Charity Stanwood. Once, at a ball. It had been the sort of introduction typical of such evenings — how-do-you-dos and all that nonsense. Even though it had been only a few weeks ago, he could scarcely remember her face. Nor any other distinguishing features about her. She was a typical debutante, dressed in white muslin as they all were.
So she'd gotten herself embroiled in scandal? Well, what did one expect when most girls of his acquaintance possessed naught but air where their brains should have been?
Not exactly the sort of woman he wanted to bind himself to.
But he wouldn't have to do more than sign the marriage certificate, at least not for a good while. His duties in the navy would occupy him for a year, perhaps more. Then after he'd tangled with whatever enemy ordered him by the British military, he could better decide what sort of life he would lead. He wouldn't have to see her. Not much, anyway. They could have a paper marriage, nothing more. It was what the chit deserved, getting herself into a heap of scandal.
And in marrying her, his family would be given financial footing otherwise denied them. He couldn't, in good conscience, turn his back on their needs.
He lifted his gaze, meeting his father's straight on. Man-to-man they faced each other, silence hanging for the space of a few seconds. Luke drew in a long breath of air that smelled of smoke, ink, and raw tension.
"Consider yourself freed from debt, Father." The swords of reason and desire filled his mind with their clash and clang, evidence that the battle had not been won, only subdued. He needed something, anything, to alleviate the deafening noise. For there was no way he'd manage the wedding otherwise.
"Thank you." Father gripped Luke's hand, a look of trust, of gratitude full on his features.
"Don't thank me." Luke returned the handshake. "Just pour me a brandy."
Excerpted from "The Regency Brides Collection"
Copyright © 2017 Amanda Barratt.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This collection was set in England from 1807 to 1819, during the Regency period and I do enjoy reading this era. I like when the stories are clean, romantic, inspirational and with characters you can relate with! Some second chances a few marriage of conveniences for noble purposes always makes some good reading. I enjoyed each one! I requested a copy through NetGalley and was not required to post a review. My review is voluntary...
Seven different authors wrote seven novellas from Regency England. Overall, I enjoyed this collection. In First Comes Marriage by Amanda Barratt, Charity and Luke marry to save her reputation and erase her father's debt. He is angry about the marriage and leaves for the British navy immediately and they are apart for three years. Now he's back -- and she's upset at him. -- I mostly liked this story, especially after the three years when he's found Christ and tries to be a changed man and right past wrongs. Warning for more conservative readers, the hero does drink -- to get drunk. It also feels unfinished with hero's issues with his dad and sister. In Masquerade Melody by Angela Bell, Walter and Adelaide are brought together in secret for a musical. But Adelaide must risk it all if she's to help and Walter has lost his muse. I greatly enjoyed this story, though the black moment seemed obvious from the beginning. Three Little Matchmakers by Susanne Dietz was the sweetest story ever with three little matchmakers and a grandma who eggs them on. I loved how the children tried to recreate Caroline's and Henry's childhood by releasing a sheep in the mansion and cutting flowers.... Adorable. I loved this one. The Gentleman Smuggler's Lady by Michelle Griep reminds me of Robin Hood with Isaac stealing what is rightfully his and using the money to help the poor. Helen has the power to ruin him--but doing so will also ruin herself. I enjoyed this surprising tale. When I Saw His Face by Nancy Moser, Esther is widowed and her step-daughter has recently married, leaving Esther with an empty nest. She enjoys her freedom, but her neighbor Chester has been pursuing her, as well as another man leaving a delicious love triangle for the reader to unravel and enjoy. I enjoyed this story. The Highwayman's Bargain by MaryLu Tyndall. I discovered Ms. Tyndall by her pirate stories which I loved. This is not a pirate story, but was just as good. I enjoyed this regency by a well-known and loved author. The hero and heroine were well-developed and real In Jamie Ever After by Erica Vetsch, young maidens Jamie and Polly are presented for the London season. Polly’s brother Walter, is hiding his war injuries along with his heart though he loves Jamie. Through a series of events he finds them married - but will they find love? Regencies seem to require tea so grab a teacup or a glass while you enjoy this collection. I won a copy in a giveaway and all opinions are my own.
Seven delightful novels written by seven talented authors! I truly enjoyed reading each of these novellas. All of them had a twist of their own. I love how Barbour publishes these books, and how the authors collaborate to the make a wonderful book of storytelling! And if you haven’t seen a print copy, you should! Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Another “collection”. I guess this teaches me a lesson after the second collection in a row – yes I do like them! And I will continue to request them. As you’d expect, these all are set in the 1800’s and involve high society, the ton, coming out, in England. That’s where the expected ends – all are quite original and interesting. There’s a lot to like – an enjoyable read right to the very end. Is there ever a sequel to a romance collection? It might be time! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Barbour Publishing - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
“First Comes Marriage" - Amanda Barratt London 1811 Charity Stanwood, age 17, has been well trained to be a lady. But now she has a crush on Percy Browne. Walking with him in Vauxhall Gardens, she gets caught kissing him by Lady Drucilla Blackthorne, a known gossip, who is shocked at her behavior. Luke Ware has been summoned by his father for a talk to inform him that they have huge debts, mostly owed to a man named John Stanwood. The man has offered to cancel the debts if Luke agrees to marry his daughter, Charity, who recently became the subject of gossip. Although he is furious at his father’s request, Luke agrees. Charity is also against the marriage, but agrees to an immediate wedding. Shortly after the wedding, Luke joins the Navy and leaves town. Now 3 years later, Luke is back and he and Charity must get to know one another. Will they be able to have a real marriage and learn to care for one another? This is an interesting story and I enjoyed it. I gave it 4 stars. “Masquerade Melody” - Angela Bell Brighton - 1819 Lady Adelaide Langley, daughter of the late Lord Geoffrey Langley, Earl of Doveton, is the cousin and companion to the spoiled Lady Lydia. They are heading guests of the Prince Regent at his Pavilion. Tonight, the guests will enjoy the works of the Italian composer, Rossini, followed by singing from some of the Prince’s guests. Colonel Walter Glenmire, a talented composer, is trying to forget Waterloo and its atrocities. The Prince has asked him to compose an aria to be performed at Season’s end glorifying the Waterloo victory. Adelaide has to try hard to keep the conceited and arrogant Lydia happy. That night, the Prince chooses Lydia to sing while Adelaide prays he will not ask her to do so. Watching Lydia drink too much champagne, Adelaide is trying to remove her from the room when the Prince asks her to sing a song. Although terrified, she sings beautifully and Walter knows he has found his soprano for the aria he is composing for the Prince. Walter introduces himself to Adelaide as Colonel Lord Walter Marlowe, Marquess of Glenmire. They touch one another’s hearts with their meaningful music. But, Adelaide has to be careful that Lydia does not discover what she is doing or the girl’s father will dismiss her. Sharing their pasts helps Walter and Adelaide to heal. Will she be able to perform without Lydia ruining it for her? This was a fairly good story. I gave it 3 stars. “Three Little Matchmakers” - Suzanne Dietze Staffordshire - 1817 Caroline Dempsey is a governess to three children. They have arrived at Marsden Hall, home of Henry Graves, the Earl of Marsden, and uncle to the children. The children’s parents have passed away. Caroline was a childhood friend of their mother, Esther, Henry’s sister. Caroline and the children will now be living at Marsden Hall. As a child, Caroline lived in the parson’s cottage nearby and fell in love with Henry many years ago. He had also fallen in love with her back then. When Henry says the children should be sent away to school, Caroline is shocked. The children need a family. Now, the children want them to marry so they can be a family and they won’t have to be sent away from school. Soon, the children start playing Cupid. However, Henry’s past treatment by his father makes him think it is best to not get to close to someone. But, can the three children show them the path to love? I think this is a delightful novel. I
Fans of Jane Austen, Poldark and anything British will want to read this lovely new collection of stories, all set in England from 1807 to 1819, during the Regency period. The stories all have a charm of their own, some with action and risk, others more gentile and tender, but all quite good. An interesting cast of characters in each of these stories, representing nearly every level of society: musicians, wounded soldiers, highwaymen to noblemen, widows to young debutantes, a vicar's daughter and governess, to gentry. All of them had some inspirational aspect, with themes of faith, grace, redemption and forgiveness, trusting in God and looking to Him for guidance. A few marriage of conveniences for noble purposes, to some second chances at love, all with a tender, clean romance, and some with definite swoonworthy moments. "I love you, more than life and air." Sigh. If I must pick a favorite, it would be Michelle Griep's story set in Cornwall. Move over Poldark! Have to admit that all of the wounded gentlemen returning from war earned a soft spot in my heart too, especially the ones in MaryLu Tyndall's and Erica Vetsch's stories. Recommend for readers who enjoy clean historical romances with faith. Enjoyable reading for any time of the year. 4.5 stars (An e-book was provided me by NetGalley and Barbour Publishing. All opinions are my own.)