See the end of this review for the winner of a signed copy of the “Of Rags and Riches” Novella Collection.
Of Rags and Riches Novella Collection
By authors: Michelle Griep, Erica Vetsch, Susanne Dietze, Anne Love, Gabrielle Meyer, Natalie Monk, Jennifer Uhlarik, Jamie Jo Wright, Kathleen Y’Barbo
As my free-time dwindles, grabbing a novella collection to satisfy my story itch becomes more likely. This is not a collection you will regret reading. (In fact, my life has been so incredibly busy that I haven’t finished all the novellas! Check back later this week for an update of the missing reviews.)
Journey along in nine historical romances with those whose lives are transformed by the opulence, growth, and great changes taking place in America’s Gilded Age. Nine couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build a future together through fighting for social reform, celebrating new opportunities for leisure activities, taking advantage of economic growth and new inventions, and more. Watch as these romances develop and legacies of faith and love are formed.
Since each story is so different, I have included brief reviews of each story.
Union Pacific Princess by Jennifer Uhlarik
In the hell-on-wheels rail town of Cheyenne, grieving Boston socialite Dara Forsythe must choose between her estranged father; Connor, a bigwig with the Union Pacific Railroad; and Gage Wells, a former Confederate sharpshooter bent on derailing the Transcontinental Railroad’s progess.
This was a very cute story that showed a lot of character growth in the course of the brief story. I love Connor and his desire to help the Native Americans and Dara’s hurting heart for her father. The ending felt very abrupt but with a limited word count, the ending couldn’t be dragged out.
The Right Pitch by Susanne Dietze
Guarded industrialist Beck Emerson agrees to sponsor his sister’s all-female baseball team. But when pretty pitcher Winnie Myles throws a curveball that makes him team manager, it challenges his plan to play it safe in life and love.
This was a story I didn’t expect like, but it really surprised me. The sports aspect of it wasn’t overwhelming but intriguing. (You have to understand I almost hate sports.) The storyline was cute and I loved the heart and faults of Beck.
A Gift in Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo
May Bolen offers Same Austin a marriage of convenience. He will get to run the company that drove his into bankruptcy, and she will be free from her father’s rule to travel the world. But when Sam meets May, he knows the offer is too good to be true-or convenient- when hearts become tangled.
The above is a little misleading. The idea of marriage is not May’s idea at all, but a requirement superimposed on both her and Sam but the will of her father. It was an interesting story and the struggle to choose what is right seemed accurate. The ending was a little surprising but felt a little too clean of an explanation for everything. However, I still really enjoyed the story.
For Richer or Poorer by Natalie Monk
In order to bring her starving family to New Jersey, Polish immigrant Marcella Lipski must marry wealth. So she takes Americanization lessons from teh poor-but-mysterious cart driver teaching her English-and loses her heart in the process.
This is a sweet story of a man with a big heart for those less fortunate than him and a girl who is willing to sacrifice her future for what is best for her family. I loved the way Natalie integrated so much fascinating history into her story and the sweet way two people come together to make a significant impact on some very needy children. Her characters are loveable, sympathetic, and Woody is absolutely swoon-worthy. He is definitely a man with a heart that is easy to love.
A House of Secrets by Michelle Griep
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle houseing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau-a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.
Win, Place, or Show by Eric Vetsch
Beryl Valentine, a socialite with a passion for horses, finds herself falling in love with her riding instructor, a man her parents will never accept. Will she follow her parents’ wishes, or let Gard Kennedy ride away with her heart?
The Fisherman’s Nymph by Jamie Jo Wright
The reclusive daughter of a fly-fisherman guide must read the waters for a wealthy gentleman’s sport and send him back where he belongs before he hooks her heart and takes her away from the river she was born to love.
The Gardener’s Daughter by Anne Love
When the nephew of a prestigous Chautauqua resort founder sets his eye on the new library assistance, believing her an academy student, it will take more than reciting poetry for love to bloom when he learns she’s the humble gardener’s daughter.
A Tale of Two Hearts by Gabrielle Meyer
Reputataions and jobs are on the line when lady’s maid, Lucy Taylor, and neighboring footman, Elijah Boyer, compete against each other for a place of honor during the annual community appreciate event hosted by their wealthy employers.