Review of THE SECRET ADMIRER ROMANCE COLLECTION: Can Concealed Love Be Revealed in Nine Historical Novellas? by Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Molly Noble Bull, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and Penny Zeller

Publisher: Barbour Books | Published: April 15, 2017 Formats: eBook and Paperback (448 pages) | ASIN: B06Y5YZPHR and ISBN: 9781683221753 | Source: Author Recommendation | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy NetGalley

 

Thoughts:

THE SECRET ADMIRER ROMANCE COLLECTION: Can Concealed Love Be Revealed in Nine Historical Novellas? by Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Molly Noble Bull, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and Penny Zeller uncovers the vulnerability of romance.

Fall in love through history, in spite of the fear of rejection, to gain the promise of hope from beginning to end. Stories will take us from East Coast to the Western Frontier and from 1880’s through early 1900’s to find the desires of your heart. With a sampling inside this review, I will share about two tales where romance dwells, and with the turn of each page, you’ll ponder about each end.

THE COST OF A HEART by Amanda Barratt adds the jolt of an unhappy marriage Lily Montgomery’s life. Her marriage to a wealthy, prominent man leaves her with an empty heart from the love her husband lacks. However, she was not ready to become a widow. In 1897, mourning takes years, but when Lily emerges, she is ready for a life on her terms. The time cloistered in home brought her to closeness with her servants and that would never have been, and she’s grateful for the friendship. Though the norms of socialites would not have such things, with a lack of close family ties, she dares to cross the blurry lines of class.

What if the lines become so blended that one’s place gets lost?

Nathaniel Evans has always been fond of Lily Montgomery, but her horrid husband made it easier to keep his own place in mind. He wasn’t approving of Mr. Montgomery, as his presence was apt to cause his spouse problems. In fact, when he was not around, Nathaniel could see the real smile that would add light to Lily’s face.

With him deceased, her grief was real, but her strength and spine only multiply as does the light that comes back into her beautiful eyes.

His secret feelings for her leads to a change as he struggles to keep his emotions under control until it becomes near impossible. If he would show his care, he will lose everything. No love. No job. He’s a servant. She is not. Does he dare? They have no future, and he has no ability to love another.

Can he stay on as her servant and be no more to her than this?

LOVE FROM AFAR by Penny Zeller begins with a bashful, shy man who was at one time, a sickly, tired boy. Gabe Kleeman returns to Ellis Creek after a few years absence. The young girl he admired from his school days is now a beautiful woman he admires even more than before. However, his shy, awkward stature of years gone by is still here with him today. A younger sibling notices his stares at the woman, and his life becomes more complicated. He can not let his secret be known. She didn’t notice him years ago, and he is sure Meredith Waller would not like him better today.

As two siblings from two different families concoct a plan, the wedding dress maker is taken into their sites along with a brother who stays by himself to set their lives into a tailspin.

Meredith Waller accepts that she will be a spinster. Her talents of making perfect wedding dresses are stretching everywhere in a town where all of her friends either are now married or are getting married. Things are going about on the same course as it has been until an unsigned letter arrives for her in the mail.

Who could be her secret admirer? The scrawl and poetry do not lend a hand to identify the man, and Meredith is setting herself up to know this person for real.

 

 

 

 

***This opinion is my own.*** 

Preview:

Inside THE SECRET ADMIRER ROMANCE COLLECTION: Can Concealed Love Be Revealed in Nine Historical Novellas? by Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Molly Noble Bull, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and Penny Zeller, the risk of romance can be great, but the consequences of staying safely hidden away may become greater!

Facing life’s challenges alone is not easy, but to face them alone while pining for another is heart-wrenching and more difficult with every passing hour.

These novellas bring history inside life on Christian terms but sets out on a road littered with broken people and shattered hearts.