Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2017
3.25 stars. 3 stories, all ok, I liked the first and the last story the best.

The Happy Accident pairs Jonathan and MaryAnn, a Lord and a young woman, who meet due to a carriage accident. He "accidentally" spends the night with her and her father instigates a "shotgun" type wedding. It is a very sweet story of their relationship. I didn't buy young MaryAnn's immediate innate knowledge of how to manage a peer's household, but, despite this, the story managed. Almost all of the characters, even minor ones, were sympathetic and the author draws you into their lives easily. The minor intrigue with the sister was handled well too. What I mention below about the last story (this being an exception to novellas in general) somewhat applies to this one also but I felt the last story was better in general due to it being better written. But I just plain old liked Jonathan and MaryAnn' s story better. Archie and Mother Kathleen were also sweet secondary characters.

The middle story, The Disdainful Duke, fell slightly flat. It was ok but I simply didn't feel the duke, the protagonist, was a very sympathetic character. He didn't deserve the lady and I didn't totally buy into his attraction. He seemed clueless about helping the poor (Lady Safronia's passion) which made her seem a delight but he a clueless boor. Lady Safronia was a decent character as was her sister but I still don't see the attraction on HER part either. She simply had little to choose from. But it WAS decently written and ok.

The Invisible Heiress: several reviewers noted favorably on the lessons conveyed in this story. "Learning to Fly" was the theme of life in this and the story was well thought out (plot), well fleshed out (characters) , and well written. It was the story of Belle, the very, very rich daughter of a tradesman (who had passed away) and Colin, an impoverished Earl. Colin rejects young Belle's marriage offer, encouraging her "to learn to fly" on her own, without marriage. The years go by, Belle commits an interesting deception that helps Colin but he doesn't find out for years. In the meantime, separately, sort of, both prosper and she learns to fly on her own. While I may have enjoyed the first story better (see above), this one conveyed an added life lesson that was much better. Many novellas try to go too fast, missing parts and seeming incomplete, especially with characterizations. This one was paced very well and ended well.

One reviewer disliked that the men in all three stories railed verbally against the woman to their faces and their anger, she felt, was unjustified. She stated the men never apologized nor repented. I disagree. I felt Jonathan and Colin (stories one and three) had some justification for their anger (woman's "deception" involved) and did eventually apologize to their woman and showed genuine remorse and repentance. The Duke' s was there also at the end but it seemed a bit shallow in light of his prior actions and attitude and I don't even remembered why he was so callous to begin with. P.s. the women bore some responsibility but MaryAnn' s deception (to protect another) was justifiable, and Belle deeply and passionately regretted hers, almost to the point of missing the blessing that came. I don't recall Safronia committing any deception. It was the duke and his family.

I believe I paid very little for this anthology. It was worth what little I paid (I believe 2.99). It is higher now, not sure why. I would not have paid more but even the middle story was worth a bit and the two other stories were worth the whole 2.99.
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