"Three of Christian historical fiction's beloved authors come together in this romantic and humorous collection of novellas featuring prequels to their latest series. New and loyal fans alike will enjoy these novellas previously released only as ebooks. Connealy's "The Boden Birthright" journeys to the Old West, where ranch hand Chance Boden's determination to be his own boss is challenged by his employer's pretty daughter. Hunter's "A Lady of Esteem" follows a Regency-era young lady whose chance at love and reputation in society are threatened by a nasty rumor. Turano's "At Your Request" tells of a young woman who is humbled at her newly lowered status in society when she is reunited with the very man whose proposal she rejected."
Author(s): Mary Connealy, Kristi Ann Hunter, Jen Turano
Length: 288 pages
Format: paperback, hardcover
ABOUT THE NOVELLAS
'The Boden Birthright' by Mary Connealy
"After the death of his wife, prosperous businessman Chance Boden heads west along the Santa Fe Trail with his son to escape the powerful control of his in-laws. He has plans to establish his own ranch, but instead he finds work with Frank Chastain, owner of a vast amount of land.
Chance doesn't want to work for anyone, but Frank's beautiful daughter, Veronica, gives him reason to delay buying his own holdings. With winter coming, no home in which to live, and Veronica's offer to care for young Cole while Chance learns the ways of ranching in the desert, Chance has little choice but to accept the Chastains' offer to stay on.
When Frank is attacked, his last wish is that Chance marry his daughter, but after dealing with his in-laws, Chance doesn't want anyone coming between him and his son. Then, before Frank dies, his precarious hold on the land he received as part of an old Spanish Land Grant forces him to make a desperate choice to save Veronica's inheritance--and also gives the men who attacked Frank a reason to come after his legacy."
'A Lady of Esteem' by Kristi Ann Hunter
"Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian's townhouse, but she's never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants. Quite by happenstance, she's introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed marquis of Raeburn. They welcome her into their world, but just as she's beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony's eye, she's blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors. Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turns its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who've become like family and the man who's shared his faith and captured her heart?"
'At Your Request' by Jen Turano
"After her father lost the family's fortune, Wilhelmina was cast out of the fashionable set and banished to the wallflower section. Taking a position as a social secretary to help support her family, she's mostly come to terms with her new status. But when her old friend Edgar returns to New York society for the first time since she rejected his marriage proposal, she's newly ashamed at how far she's fallen--and how hastily she dismissed him years ago. Her strategy is to avoid a face-to-face encounter at all costs, but he seems to have other plans. Will Edgar take advantage of their now reversed positions and make her regret her refusal, or is there still hope for a friendship between them--or something more?"
What do you get when you cross three of Alysha's favorite authors and paper? This novella collection!
Technically these novellas have been out for years, but by the grace of God and a wonderful publishing house they met paper and made their way to the masses.
I had already read Jen's story before it was printed, and had Mary's & Kristi's stories loaded and ready on my cellular device for my reading pleasure. I then got the news this was releasing and I put a pause on reading the electric version since I am a paperback advocate!
The fun thing about novellas is they are normally little appetizers to a series by the author.
Mary's "The Boden Birthright" was the beginning of beginnings to 'The Cimarron Legacy' series.
We see the love story that shaped the rest of the series, which I CANNOT wait to read by the way.
I have loved everything I've read by Mary, but this one fell really short for me. Chance had recently lost his wife, and was still deep in grief. However as soon as he laid eyes on Veronica it seemed he forgot all about his wife he was "so" in love with. He was struck instantly by her beauty and the rest happened really quick. It was an instant love that wasn't my favorite.
The characters didn't have a ton of character development, there were a lot of aspects that had potential to be great. I feel maybe in a full length novel it'd hit all the right marks.
Mary is a favorite author of mine and will always be one. She can make me laugh and cry , but this one just didn't do anything for me. That being said it did excite me for the rest of the series and I can't wait to read about the Boden children.
I rated this a 3/5 stars.
"A Lady of Esteem" gives us the first ever glimpse into the 'Hawthorne House' series and oh how I loved what I saw. This novella was actually Kristi's debut story and I'll forever be grateful her writing career took off. *insert ALL the heart eyes*
So I've read this series ALL out of whack and as much as that seriously bothers this particular reader I will say it hasn't really affected my enjoyment of these stories. I knew Amelia and Anthony ended up getting married, but I never knew how, well now I know and I love their love story!
I adored Amelia's character, she loved everyone regardless of their station. She became friends with the upper class' servants and these amazing relationships helped her out in a few situations.
Amelia was such a bright, fun character and she made everyone's life better by being her bubbly self.
Anthony was in dire need of some sunshine and bubbles in his life. What can you expect from a reformed rake who hated London society though? Insert a couple purposeful shoves from servants and sweet Lady Miranda and BAM romance!
Anthony struggled with realizing he was a new creature and his past was forgotten when he turned to God in the years he was away. Finally a ray of sunshine broke through those doubts and they got their happily ever after.
I rated this a 5/5 stars.
"At Your Request" is where the 'Apart from the Crowd' series got its start. This was the second time I've read this story, and I loved it just as much this time. I am currently caught up on this series (anxiously waiting for book three's release in July) and it was fun to spot the lead characters of the rest of series BEFORE we see their true selves in their own books. I love seeing the wallflowers burst forth from their shells a bit in this book and even more so in the series.
As you know one of my favorite troupes is 'best friend to boyfriend/husband', this story check off all the boxes for me in that aspect, and in every other aspect honestly. I love Edgar and Wilhelmina's past and how they really just picked up right where they left off. There was banter and sass for days and that just makes me giddy! I just loved it all!
I rated this a 5/5 stars.
Overall I rated the collection a 4.5/5 stars. I'm so happy these stories are now in print, and I loved seeing these authors in one book. I cannot wait to start/finish the series that these novellas prefaced.
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review**I was not required to write a positive review**All opinions are my own*