Thursday, August 13, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias- A Novella Collection

My Rating:  3.5 Stars

Description:Four Southern women are at a turning point in history . . . and in their own hearts.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander

The Civil War cost Savannah Darby everything—her family and her home. When Aidan Bedford, an attorney from Boston, buys the Darby estate, he hires Savannah to redecorate. Can she find a mysterious treasure before her job is finished?

An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray

When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers that she is very ill and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love

Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser

Emily has a secret: She's in love with one of the freedmen on her family's plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.

My Thoughts:

A Heart so True~ This novella is set in the same area as some of Dorothy's other novels, with main characters making an appearance as tertiary characters here. It is a short story about one woman's speed-bump to love. While the story was sweet, I did not see much in the way of a theme or message. I would have said that the theme was to marry only for love, yet Abigail states that she will marry whomever makes her mother happy. In the end, I believe she made the only decision which I could respect her from.

To Mend a Dream~ I have previously read To Win Her Favor, the novel precluding this in which Savannah was a secondary character. Thus I was well acquainted with her background and was interested in what Savannah would be able to discover in the box left by her father. While I'm not much of a fan of insta-love, the idea worked well for the length of this story and gave Savannah a perfect happy ending.

A Love Beyond Limits~ A Love Beyond Limits is less of a romance and more of a snapshot of history told through the eyes of fictional characters. The story was heartbreaking and bittersweet, if not really romantic in anyway. I think this is a story I would have enjoyed far more if it had been a full length novel, as there was so much more I would have liked to have seen with these characters.

An Outlaw's Heart~ This final novel felt the most complete, if a little rushed toward the end. It was an emotional read with broken characters who learn forgiveness. Like A Love Beyond Limits, I think it would have done more for me as a full length novel, yet it was still a good read.

Overall this is a cute collection of stories, showing off the authors' skills and abilities. I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped or as I have other novella collections. Unfortunately, the stories did not feel like they were meant to be told in such a short page length, and instead felt like writing samples rather than full stories. But if you get the chance, they are still worth the read.

I received this book through Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

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