Monday, July 6, 2015

Among the Fair Magnolias by Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser

From the publisher:
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
This was a very lovely set of novellas to put together.  Reading through them you get four different views of the South and the different love stories that each represents.  It was a pleasant compliation of stories and authors.
To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander is a novella that has some beginnings in her book To Win Her Favor.  You won't feel lost if you don't read it but I highly recommend you do because of Tamera Alexander's writing.  Whether a full length novel or a novella, she weaves the words together masterfully.
An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray is a story with history so the novella doesn't feel rushed or convoluted.  Instead it feels like the ending to a longer story that you missed the beginning of.  Readers will enjoy the familial and romantic love here. 
A Heart So True by Dorothy Love has two mentions of other characters from her full length novels and readers who have read her other books will enjoy hearing their names again.  But this doesn't detract from the story.  The main love interests in the story seems to have a very formal relationship and yet at the end it breaks through and I liked that break through.
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser packs a lot into a novella.  I am now anxious to read full length novels from her.  This novella is by far the most intense and has a lot of depth to it.  It will challenge how you think and allow you to see the history of the South as you may never have seen it before.  
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and highly recommend it to others.
I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

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