Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Review: Timeless Victorian Collection: A Note of Change by Esther Hatch, Nichole Van, Annette Lyon

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing



Can a single note can change a life, start a romance, or drive two people apart?

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch
Now that Harrison Chase has finally made his fortune as a working man, he will risk it all to save his factory workers from starvation. In the middle of his charge to reverse the Corn Laws, his housekeeper helpfully mails a letter she finds languishing amongst his things. A six-year-old love letter. With no other choice, he rushes back to his childhood home on Christine Stone’s estate. If he can’t get his hands on that letter before she does, Christine will discover what a pitiful and pretentious fool he had been. The one thing he hadn’t counted on was the mail being delayed. Now Harrison must decide which is worse—waiting with Christine as he not-so-slowly falls back in love with her, or leaving, knowing once she reads his letter he can never return.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van
Viola Brodure longs for something more from her life. So when that something more arrives in the form of a letter from the renowned Highland Poet, Ethan Penn-Leith, she seizes her chance. After all, Mr. Penn-Leith merits every swoon-worthy adjective Viola can muster. What woman wouldn’t want to be in her shoes? But after journeying to Scotland and meeting the poet himself, Viola faces a difficult question: What happens if you don’t want the thing you thought you did?

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon
As an orphan whose only home has been the Foundling Hospital, Rose is tasked to work in the fine houses of Bloomsbury. She knows her duty—take care of the family upstairs and never forget her place. But her traitorous heart won’t follow the rules, and she falls in love with Oliver Withey, a man far above her station. Though she feels like she’s found a home in Oliver’s arms, his mother has other plans for her oldest son—and marrying a servant isn’t one of them. She’ll do anything to keep Rose and Oliver apart, including making a devil’s bargain that ensures they’ll never see each other again. When a mysterious old woman appears, she seems to have answers to Rose’s past. Could those long-held secrets hold the key to the future with Oliver that Rose longs for?

My Review

Another lovely collection of Victorian-era romances from some of my favorite authors! When these Timeless collections have three stories instead of six, they are each longer and I feel like they have the time to really develop the characters and the story within the novella format.

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch is one of my favorites of this collection- 5 stars! I loved Christine's friendly personality and it's easy to see why Harrison fell in love with her as a youth and did so again so quickly when they are reunited. He doesn't feel worthy of her as a self-made successful tradesman when she is of a higher class in society. Her family's estate is at risk so some complicated dynamics come into play. Her brother who is also Harrison's friend brings some humor to the dialogue and it was a pleasure to read as this meant-for-each-other match overcame the miscommunications and hesitations to find their happily ever after.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van is another 5 star story! The setting in Scotland was amazing and I loved the way the author was able to portray the accents and customs. Viola is a spinster author so she seems to have a measure of independence, but it only extends as far as she follows her father's advice. Their adventure to Scotland to meet a poet she admires- and gives a public "shout out" to in her latest book- quickly spirals out of control when he and everyone decide that they would make an excellent match. It was funny how the author portrayed him with his success but also revealed how his process worked. His brother is the epitome of a manly Highlander and Viola can't help but form an unlikely friendship with the unassuming man who has poetry in his soul.

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon was different than the other stories in that there wasn't as much character development and the focus was more on the plot. The villain of Oliver's mother was the driving force behind the conflict and while I liked the interesting setting, the story fell flat for me when it became rather melodramatic. I think that other readers will still enjoy the story, but it wasn't my cup of tea, especially as a follow up to the first two stories. I would rate this one 3 stars.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the other Timeless Victorian Collections . . .



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