Light and Fresh- A Timeless Romance Anthology: All Regency Collection


The blurb reads,

Six brand new regency romance novellas by best-selling authors Anna Elliott, Sarah M. Eden, Carla Kelly, Josi S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon, and Heather B. Moore.

In THE WEDDING GIFT: A PRIDE AND PREJUDICE STORY, an enchanting novella by Anna Elliott, the story opens two weeks before Elizabeth Bennet’s wedding to Mr. Darcy. He has given her the perfect wedding gift, and now she must come up with one for him. But what do you give a man who has everything? Elizabeth soon discovers that the gift of love is more important than any one thing.

DREAM OF A GLORIOUS SEASON, a sweet novella by Sarah M. Eden, we meet Elizabeth Gillerford who envies her sister only one thing—that she’s been intended for Julian Broadwood since they were children. The trouble is that Elizabeth is hopelessly in love with Julian too. When Julian discovers that Elizabeth has been denied a Season because her older sister is yet unwed, he undertakes his own stealthy measures to introduce her to society, only to find himself falling in love with her himself.

In THE MENDER, a captivating story by Carla Kelly, Thankful Winnings takes a sea voyage with her cousin on the Ann Alexander, in a last adventure before she settles down to marry one of her beaus. Unexpectedly they come upon the aftermath of a fierce ship battle, and Thankful is commissioned to help in the place of an injured surgeon on one of the Royal Navy ships. Adam Farnsworth, surgeon, has been at sea for years. Tired of war, but devoted to his post, it takes a resourceful lady such as Thankful to give him the hope of love and help heal his own wounds, the ones that show and the ones that don’t.

In BEGIN AGAIN, a charming novella by Josi S. Kilpack, Regina Weathers gives up on marrying for love the day that Ross Martin walks out of her life. Now, fifteen years later, Ross shows up at a ball and thinks he can woo Regina. But she is set on her lonely path and stitched-up heart, no matter the excuse Ross gives for his years of silence and neglect. When Ross insists he wrote many letters during his military years, Regina discovers a secret long-since buried by her father, and the revelation might be enough to thaw the coldness of her heart.

In Annette Lyon’s endearing story, THE AFFAIR AT WILDEMOORE, Mrs. Ellen Stanhope escorts her three daughters to a ball. As her oldest flirts with a beau, Ellen is reminded of her courtship and early years of marriage with Anthony, before tragedy struck with the death of their infant son. The marriage has faded and dulled. Not until she sees Anthony dancing with a woman he courted years before does Ellen realize how much she misses him, still loves him, and yearns for him to yet feel the same way for her.

In the delightful novella, THE DUKE’S BROTHER, by Heather B. Moore, Mr. Gregory Clark is having an awful day, and it only gets worse when he’s ran over by … a woman. Mabel Russell reluctantly visits her sister in London for the Season, even though she’d rather stay in the country cataloging insects and aphids. When she runs into Gregory Clark, quite literally, she’s afraid to show any interest, especially since he’s a member of the dreaded ton. But getting to know Gregory becomes an unexpected delight.

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This was one of the books which I requested from I Am A Reader Book Blog. And while a few came before this one in the mail, I was in the mood for something light and picked this one.

This book was so fresh. It reinforced the supremacy of anthologies over normal romances, or atleast for me. It was refreshing to read short stories without worrying about whether I left a thread off somewhere or remembering an obscure detail which made sense 100 pages later. Also, this book played to my continued fascination for any story related to Britain. Regency or Tudor stories somehow end up as my favourites. I keep wondering, perhaps all England did was to enforce itself as a supreme nation, or a royal nation among most of the countries in the world. We bow down to the Queen, google the Duchess’s dress choices and wish them well from afar. Anyway, I digress.

The stories in this collection are delightful stories where the main characters discover each other and fall in love, or sometimes fall in love again. They are light and easy to read and endearing. I felt connected to every story I was reading. It never felt like I was reading something too heavy or something which didn’t pull me into a time warp. That was the sheer brilliance of these stories.

So, the book starts with The Wedding Story, which is a Pride and Prejudice story. I remembered the Pride and Prejudice story in brief, but for those who aren’t in touch with it, the story offers a small revision. The story feels like it is happening right in front of your eyes, and you feel so involved, it feels like you walk where Elizabeth walks and see what she sees. This really set the stage for the remaining stories.

Dream of a Glorious Season is my favourite story from the whole book. Julian and Elizabeth are such likeable characters. You can’t help but smile as they fall in love with each other and how the story turns out. This story made my heart burst with lot of love and it made me feel so ecstatic when Julian and Elizabeth come together. This is the power of stories. Even though life can get horribly tough and you may never get what you want, for the little while you read a story, you can believe that your dreams can come true.

The Mender is a story which deviates from the Regent and shifts to the United States of America and how Thankful finds herself a husband while she sets off on adventure. This story was great simply because you could see how revolutionary it was for Thankful to sail in those times. Thankful grows on you, as does the old language and the use of “thee” and such old words.

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Begin Again probably is my least favourite because it felt too forced, somehow the character and the whole injustice that seems to be done to her felt very fake. I didn’t enjoy this one at all.

The Affair at Wildemoore is also a favourite simply because even among the Regency stories, this one dared to be different. After reading so much about different types of couples coming together, it felt so refreshing to see a couple rediscovering the love that they had for each other. In these times, it is even more essential for a couple to talk to each other, discover each other and ensure that they keep up the communication inspite of all the odds. Communication and indeed expressions of love are so important to keep that spark alive. If you don’t remember why you got together, then that becomes the biggest tragedies.

The Duke’s Brother was a really cute story, but by then it felt like I’d read a lot of the same line of stories. Mabel is a wonderful character and her spunky nature is what pulled this story together. She shines brightly like a star.

I hope I will have as much fun reading the other anthologies as I did reading this one. Anthologies made me realise how perfect short stories are and also the effort that goes behind curating and bringing one together. It made me respect the authors even more.

My rating: 4/5

4star

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