September 19, 2023
Hearts Through History Romance Writers
423 Pages
Anthology, Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

A Solstice Promise by Joan Koster

Eithne is a young widow just trying to care for her ailing mother-in-law and avoid marrying the ogre who is determined she will be his. When she discovers a stranger, an enemy of her people, she cannot walk away.

Tolvard has been betrayed, but saved, by one who is considered an enemy, and he finds her beautiful and kind as she risks everything to keep him alive. His brother has promised him to another, but Tolvard knows that Eithne is not a woman he could easily walk away from.

The villagers consider Eithne and her family cursed; while Tovard was betrayed and left to die. Can these two find a love to last through the ages, or will the find their love lost to the pressures of their societies?

Eithne and Tolvard needed each other and the long and winding road to their future was unclear. The writing kept me turning the page to see what happens next.

What the Cat Knew by Doreen Jensen

Sorcha lost her father and now she will become the bride who will provide safety for her clan by marrying. When she goes to the village, she runs into a man who was a childhood friend, but he does not remember her.

Callum has no desire to marry without love, but he is sent to meet a prospective bride whose clan will make his clan stronger. He finds the woman from the village intriguing and tries to entice her to meet him later in the evening.

When Sorcha’s brother is hurt, she is determined to find the guilty one even if it puts her in danger. Callum realizes Sorcha is one he trained with in their youth and, despite his resistance to marriage, he finds Sorcha intriguing and now he must keep her safe from the danger that lurks closer than they think.

I enjoyed the strength of Sorcha in a time when women were expected to be meek and not strong.  The ending of the story was beautiful.

The Lady & The Flame by Ruth A. Casie

Lady Margaret Whitaker has loved Captain Laird Duncan Gordon for so long, but they only get to see each other periodically because he is a man who travels the seas trading for an income. When he comes to Sommer-by-the-Sea they spend all their time together, but something is different this time.

Duncan wants nothing more than for Maggie to become his wife, and when he tells Maggie, he is sure she will say yes. Little does he know another has a different plan, one in which he is not included.

Will Duncan and Maggie find a way together, or will the past and the present come together to destroy their future?

The plot of the story was unsure from the very beginning. The twist and turns made the reader keep reading to figure out where the two characters will end up.

The Snow Stag by Jaylee Austin

Sherlyn Winters is shocked to find herself living in the past in order to fulfill her destiny; however, though she loves history, the dresses women wore were atrocious.

Sir Risteard is shocked by the woman who falls at his feet. He is almost sure she has no place in his future. When he is forced to journey alone and risk death, he lets fate decide.

Sherlyn is assisted by Misty, who tells her she is the only one who can tame Sir Risteard. She also finds out who she really is and is determined to meet her fate and save her man.

The storyline was interesting, but I found it difficult to understand. I enjoyed how the characters were written and the description of the world the characters come from and reside in.

Written in the Water: A Nantucket Love Story by Elf Ahearn

Clara believes she is on the way to marry a man she barely knows. She has no idea there is another plan and she is only wanted for the shield she would be for a man who wants the forbidden. Fate has another plan for her life.

Sequinauk is the last of his people and he has no love for the ones who destroyed his tribe and their way of life. When a white woman washes up near his abode, he wants nothing more than to let her suffer, but something about her diffuses his anger.

Can there be a future for a love that separates two lovers who come from vastly different worlds? Just when they think they can have a future, fate has another twist.

I love the story of Sequinauk and Clara and the idea that people from different worlds can find common ground and learn to love each other. The story moved smoothly and the author provided beautiful visuals the reader can see in their imagination. The ending left the future of the characters unclear, but any romance reader could fill in the blanks.

Jessica’s Christmas Locket by Jo Donahue

Josh is excited because he now has piece of gold to trade for money in order to get the gift he desires for Jessica. He notices there are two who often steal monies from miners, and he is determined they will not get his.

Jessica loves where she lives, especially near the natives who are friends. When her husband goes to town one day but fails to return, she and their son fear the worst. When he is finally home, it is a fight to keep him alive and then the killers show up wanting more.

The robbers thought Jessica and her son would be easy pickings, but they find this time it would not be just her they will face. Can Jessica save her family and friends from the thieves and finally get the gift her husband purchased for her?

I loved this story, especially with the strength Jessica showed in protecting her family.  I also found the characters endearing, especially Charlie who was willing to risk it all for his family.

Snowbound Hearts by Niki J. Mitchell

Morgan lost his wife and daughter due to his own failure. He still blames himself for being alive when it should have been them. He was preparing to pick up supplies to head home when a pretty lady asked him for help.

Isla needs to get to her uncle’s cabin; she knows something is wrong. She convinces Morgan to allow her to go with him as her uncle’s cabin is on the same path as Morgan’s home. She has always thought Morgan handsome, but he married when she young but now he is a very handsome widower.

Isla discovers her intuition about her beloved uncle is correct. The weather takes a turn and forces Isla to go with Morgan to his home. When the blizzard hits, the two are forced to spend time together and feelings begin to build. Unfortunately, a mistake may put an end to their love before it ever gets started.

The story of Morgan and Isla is enchanting. The writing of Ms. Mitchell draws the reader in and makes them want to see a happily ever after even when it seems impossible.

Forbidden by Heather Hallman

Emmy is in a foreign port and her brother is pushing her to marry a man she could never desire. After making a mistake, she confesses her love to the man she truly loves.

Sachio loves Emmy but knows if he was hers, many of his people would lose much. All it takes is a kiss to change everything.

They have been told their love can never be. Will they accept the societal dictate or flee to remain together?

The story of Sachio and Emmy is a wonderful love story. The strength of their love is the only hope they have for happiness in a time where they may never be accepted.

Light of Peace by Opal Iden

Irma has led a harsh life. Her first husband sold her to a man who spent the next years of her life abusing her and his daughters horribly. When her ex-husband shows up at her front door with a man terribly injured, she refuses to help. When she finds he is the man who killed her abusive husband, she brings him into her home and nurses him back to life.

James has no memory of killing a man but is not concerned when he discovers what the man did to the family he should have loved. When he discovers that he only defended himself, he is relieved but still feels the need to do something for Irma and her family.

James and Irma have a past because she saved his life before and did it once again. When James arranges for her home to be decorated for the holidays from her native country, he discovers what he has known all along, she is special. Can these two make Christmas extra special by finding a love to last a lifetime?

I loved reading about Irma and James.  Ms. Iden provides a story rich in love and forgiveness.  The holidays came alive in the writing and the love story is beautiful.

Promises by Starlight by Julia Masters

Celeste is a woman determined to be successful in her field. When she is selected for a project, she is excited until she realizes she will be working with the deplorable Mr. Campbell. She would rather give up the amazing opportunity.

Owen Campbell feels he is the best and that the astronomy field is suited for men only. When he discovers he is to work on the project with Celeste he tries to get her removed. When he discovers it is her or nothing, he changes his mind but the stubborn woman refuses to work with him on the project.

Can Celeste look past Owens deplorable attitude to work a project of a lifetime?  Will Owen give her everything she asks for to keep her working on the project? Is it possible for these two stubborn people to find love in the stars?

Celeste is a strong woman and stubborn to boot. Owen is forced to look inside and maybe find Celeste is worthy of the honor her knowledge affords her. I love these two and their story is the perfect finale to an anthology of love through history.

I enjoyed each story and the characters which brought the story to life. The historical information was a nice touch for the reader who is interested in the historical time and cultures the stories are set in. Each story had wonderful curve balls that left the reader wondering what would happen next.  I enjoyed each one of the talented authors’ stories which came together and provided an outstanding anthology of historical proportions. There were some I failed to follow the storyline but ultimately came to understand the story and the characters. I also felt some of the endings were unclear and the reader would have to decide how they would want the ending to be.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

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