This set of novellas are all second-chance romances, all featuring ‘older’ heroines. I think the youngest is about 31 and the oldest, well, it’s not polite to ask a lady’s age, but I’m going to guess around 50. It’s a really nice theme for a collection, and if you want to read about some older heroines, I’d definitely recommend giving this set a read.
As I always do with collections, I’ll give each story a short individual review and rating, and then an overall rating for the set.
Mrs. Sartin’s Secretary by Wendy LaCapra - a rather interesting twist on an office romance, set in the Regency era, with a female boss! Flipping that trope makes the usually very unequal power dynamic of Regency romances flip around as well. Charming and thoroughly enjoyable, I also liked the fact that the heroine was quite a few years older than the hero. 5 stars.
To Hell and Back by Annabelle Anders - Another one with a flipped power dynamic, as the hero is working for the heroine as her ‘man of business’. Eve is very much in distress throughout this story and Niles does a wonderful job of being her knight in shining armour while ensuring everything that happens is entirely her choice. 5 stars.
A Lady’s Guide to Marriage by Tabetha Waite - Okay, this was the one out of the bunch I really didn’t like, mainly because the hero literally ABANDONED his wife when she was at her lowest point (dealing with empty-nest syndrome and grieving the loss of her parents) for FIVE YEARS and… expected her to get over her depression entirely without his loving support and come back to him when she Felt Better? Honestly, YIKES. 1 star.
Heart of Decadence by Jenna Jaxon - I was a bit confused about just why Amelia’s scandal was So Terrible. She may or may not have slept with her betrothed before the marriage, which was apparently accepted as normal at the time, and then when he died, she was suddenly beyond the pale For Ever? Certainly Lord Ainsley did the right thing in not really caring about her past. As he pointed out, if she’d been a widow nobody would even have blinked. The whole thing seemed a bit blown out of proportion to me. Now, if she’d been suspected of her former fiance’s murder, THAT would have been an interesting story. As it was, I didn’t quite believe the level of Drama in the story. 4 stars.
A Letter From a Lady by Cynthia Sterling - A second abandoned-wife story, but this time the husband was a terrible person. I really liked Adam’s determination to shield Clarissa’s reputation from scandal even though he was obviously hopelessly in love with her. Adorable plot moppets in this one too. 5 stars.
A Lady of Courage by Catherine Tinley - I normally love Catherine Tinley’s stories but… this one fell a tiny bit flat for me because Elizabeth was such a wet blanket. I loved Juliana, her daughter, and actually I’m really keen to read Juliana’s story, which was possibly the point of this novella. I just wanted to tell Elizabeth to buck up a bit and stop feeling faint every time her father was even mentioned. 4 stars.
Overall a very solid collection badly dragged down by one story where I just wanted to smack some sense into the hero. I’ll give it an overall 4 star rating.
Second Chance Love: A Regency Romance Set is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review from a representative of the authors.