Book Review: Sincerely Yours (Novella Collection)
Sincerely Yours is a novella collection of historical romances that cover the period from 1825 to 1911. Each story is incited by the arrival of a letter that changes the course of the heroine’s life.
Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes – English woman, Camilla Renfrew, flees marriage to a man who has accused her of theft. She’s determined to reach Albany, New York, before her friend and future employer departs for a trip west. Nathaniel Black, captain of a steamboat headed in that direction, is equally determined to prove he’s not the failure his father expects him to be. He hasn’t time to worry about an intriguing woman who jumps onto his boat as it pulls away from the dock. — From page one, Ms. Eakes creates conflict and acquaints the reader with the atmosphere of river life in this story of finding trust in God and others in order to battle our fears. A great beginning to the collection.
Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey – A love story between a shy, single woman who writes articles giving marriage advice and a piano teacher whose financial and social status leave him with no choice but to admire her in secret, until…. M. M. Bentley receives a request from her editor to attend a meeting. The problem is her editor mistakenly believes she’s a man. Marigold Montgomery Bentley is not anxious to prove him wrong, so she asks her piano teacher, Colin Thackery, to help her, and we all know where that’s headed. — This romance betweens the haves and have nots has a light-hearted feel where love conquers social differences. My only problem with this one was the ending. During the story, Colin tries to persuade Merrie to tell the editor the truth, yet in the last pages, he’s ready to continue the subterfuge they created.
One Little Word by Amanda Cabot – Lorraine Caldwell was trained to be the wife of a wealthy man. In order to receive her inheritance, she must marry by a certain date. Unfortunately, she has no interest in the man being foisted upon her, so when her long-lost brother issues an invitation that contains the word “please,” Lorraine rushes to see him. She meets Jonah Mann, a carousel carver who challenges her to find some way to be useful. — You can’t go wrong with an Amanda Cabot romance and this one is no exception. She has a way of creating heroines that are both strong, yet graceful ladies. And her hero in this one…mmmm. Though the twist at the end was surprising fun, some might consider it a little too convenient—or coincidental as Lorraine puts it.
A Saving Grace by Jane Kirkpatrick – Grace Hathaway goes to extreme measures to save a friend undergoing unconventional treatment in a shady sanatorium. She befriends a doctor doing research at the sanatorium, but has no idea if she can trust him. — At first, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like this one. I think it had more to do with the introduction of the hero than anything. He didn’t have that instant appeal for me. Because the story is not told in the currently popular hero/heroine POV style, I never felt as though I got to know him. It’s strictly the POV of the heroine. But whenever I was forced to put this story down, I found myself anxious to get back to it. To learn at the end that its toes were dipped in historical fact was both disturbing and fascinating.
Generally about a third the size of a full-length novel, a novella is long enough for the characters to come to life for the reader, yet short enough to finish while sitting under a beach umbrella. Like filling that beach bag with only essentials, novellas pack quite a bit into a tiny space–all the essential action with enough descriptive detail to snack on.
Okay, maybe it’s a little early for the beach. However, the temps are rising, so grab a lawn chair and settle in for a couple hours of enjoyable reading at a time with this new novella collection, Sincerely Yours.
So, what do you think of novellas? Are they meaty enough for you? Do you prefer a full-length novel? Or do you find they fulfill your longing for story when you have a short time frame in which to read?
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Revell, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.