Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Timeless Romance Anthologies: Love Letter Collection

Published: 2014
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
Rating: *****--5 Stars (for each and every story--does that equal 30?)

I am always amazed that each story turns out so differently from each other, yet has that common thread. They're all so good! I loved that the first three were contemporary and the last three were historical. I loved the idea--perfect for Valentine's Day. Love letters. Who doesn't love to get a love letter?! 


In MAGGIE'S SONG, a charming story by Karey White, Maggie Jensen is part of a trio of best friends with Lucas and Dan. Together, they own and run Wild Country Hiking Tours. When Lucas returns to the company after getting his college degree, Maggie realizes that the crush she had on him as a teenager has now blossomed into so much more. But Lucas still treats her as one of the guys, and Maggie worries that if she tells him her real feelings, their relationship will be damaged forever.

I loved this story! Maggie is such a strong and independent woman, yet she's not very brave--at least when it comes to confessing her love. She can face a tough hike, wildlife, and roughing it, but not her best friend. I loved Barbara and her matchmaking efforts. I thought that Lucas was a great character--he had everyone falling for him because he was that nice. I think my favorite part was all of the hints. That, and maybe hiding on the ledge from the girls. 

In JUST FLY, Krista Lynne Jensen's captivating novella, Wren is faced with the devastating news of her grandfather's death. But when her mom finds a mysterious letter from a woman named Dot in Seattle, Wren decides to visit the woman herself to deliver the news in person. Wren learns of the bucket list Dot and Gramps had put together with the help of Dot's grandson, Seth, and Dot challenges Wren to take her grandfather's place in completing the list. Before the week of adventure is over, Seth has impressed Wren in more ways than one. But is that enough to overcome Wren's fear of losing those she loves?

This story was a little on the sad side, but I loved the message that was given--live for today! Wren was pretty by the book in her life, not really taking chances, and by taking her Gramps's place in fulfilling a bucket list, she really let go and actually seemed to enjoy life again. I loved Dot--I felt so sorry for her in losing a love before she really had him. Seth was very instrumental in helping Wren and I loved watching him fall for her. His bucket list was soooo sweet!

HOW TO REWRITE A LOVE LETTER, an enthralling novella by Diane Darcy, high school teacher Julie Ashburn believes she'll never live the "event" down in which she wrote her true feelings in a love letter to Principal Dane Parker, and he laughed out loud, mocking her. Now that her honors English students want to write love letters for the school fundraiser, Dane turns down the idea flat. Julie tries to convince him that it was her students' idea and not any sort of payback. But when a student writes a fake love letter from the principal to Julie, everything gets even more mixed up, and both Julie and Dane are caught up in a series of misunderstandings that might be impossible to sort out.

I started out feeling embarrassed for Julie. What she went through, putting her heart on the line and being rejected was humiliating! However, I then saw that because of that, she closed herself off, which I can't blame her for. I loved how the students went behind her back and did the love letters anyway and I loved the way all of these misunderstandings played out. It was endearing and entertaining and so swoon-worthy.

In Sarah M. Eden's delightful story, A THOUSAND WORDS, Shannon Ryan has been waiting half a year to be reunited with her fiance, Patrick, with only the letters between them keeping their relationship alive. He finally sends for her after securing a good job with the Sidney newspaper, and she can't wait to be reunited with him, swept up in his arms and thoroughly kissed. And of course, married as soon as possible. But when she arrives at the train station, there is no Patrick waiting for her. Shannon must discover if the man she loves still has feelings for her.

Sometimes time makes things a little awkward. A person wonders if the other one has changed his/her mind and until one gets back into the groove again, it's tough. It was also tough for Patrick because he wanted only the best for Shannon and felt that he couldn't give her what she deserves. This story really showed the difference between the way most men and most women think. It's not always about all those material things--it's about the love. I LOVED the way the two communicated through letters before they could be reunited. Such a creative way to show their feelings and thoughts. Hannah was adorable, too.

BETWEEN THE LINES is a sweet romance by Annette Lyon. Jane Martin is intelligent but extremely shy, especially around men. When the Aid and Cultural Society proposes a letter-writing program, Jane signs up, hoping she can find true friendship. The program doesn't run as smoothly as expected, and unknown to Jane, one of the men in her city becomes her writing friend. Thomas Allred has always known shy and quiet Jane, but reading her letters written to his secret persona, opens his eyes to what an amazing woman she is. The only trouble is, Jane doesn't know that the man who she is falling in love with through letters is also Thomas, the man who is falling in love with her in person.

Thomas is a real man. Jane isn't the most outgoing and beautiful girl in their society, yet he cares more about her feelings and making her happy, than all of that. This story proves that it's not always the instant attraction to someone that makes a relationship work. Sometimes, a lot of times, a person becomes more attractive the more you get to know her/him. I loved the way Jane opened up and blossomed through these exchanges and the way Thomas told her who he really was.

In the enchanting novella, BLACKBERRY HOLLOW, by Heather B. Moore, Lucy Quinn travels to England to inspect her inherited estate. What she doesn't expect is Calvin Bevans, the man living next door. The two families have been divided by a misunderstanding decades old, and when Lucy discovers a set of love letters, she learns the truth. As Calvin helps her unravel the hidden secrets between the two families, Lucy finds that she has more reasons to stay in England than to return to New York. And Calvin is at the top of her list.

Sometimes, two people get together because it's convenient. And other times, they follow their hearts. Hearing about Lucy and her almost-finance, Robert, had me cringing. It was all about appearances to him and there was no passion. All Calvin had to do was look at her or kiss her hand and she was a puddle of melted butter on the floor. I loved the letters Lucy found and the way their relationship developed. 

Content:  All of the stories had kissing and Just Fly had some mild swearing.  

The anthology is being release exclusively on ebook to Kindle and Nook and Kobo, for only $4.99. Readers can visit our blog here:

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