My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
Come along on a romantic journey jam-packed with all the angst of marriages founded upon practical choices as well as coercion. Meet nine couples who barely know each other before they find themselves suddenly married—to please family, to stem the tide of gossip, to save the land—and joined for life. But can love grow when duty comes before romance?
Marriage of convenience is one of my favorite fiction themes, and here is a fabulous historical collection chock full of them! All the stories had vibrant characters with great chemistry, realistic settings, and well-rounded plots that wrap up nicely for the length of a novella. The majority I would rate 5 stars, a few would be 4 stars. My favorite was "The Sweetwater Bride" by Mary Connealy, focusing on Tanner, the son of Silas and Belle from her earlier book The Husband Tree. He is scouting his land in the harsh mountains and discovers Debba McClain, living alone on her family's hidden ranch, forgotten and completely isolated from society for five years. His protective instincts immediately creates a bond which takes a romantic turn as they get to know each others strengths and their attraction develops. Unfortunately, Tanner comes up with a creative way to get her off her land to meet his family, which puts him in hot water not only with Debba but also his mother when she finds out his methods. I highly recommend this collection and will definitely be reading it again.
(Thank you to Barbour Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)