We’ve made it to the last book for the 2020 Challenge.
Thanks so much for sharing this journey with me. Next week, let’s wrap up the
year, and the following week, on to the 2021 Challenge!
A Timeless Romance Anthology: A Regency Collection
by Anna Elliot, Sarah M. Eden, Carla Kelly, Josie S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon,
and Heather B. Moore fulfilled the category “An Anthology” for the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. It
is my last book for the challenge.
This book had six novellas all set in the Regency
period (1790-1820). It contained a Pride and Prejudice story, a friends
to marriage tale, then a novella featuring American Quakers, a reunion story, a
rekindle tale, and an unusual match. The novellas spanned many of the tropes
and storylines found in historicals. For those wondering if you might want to
dip your toes in the historical romance pool, this is the book for you.
I loved the diversity in storylines in this
anthology. Not all of them were a Jane Austen retelling. I say that with a
grain of salt as the first book, The Wedding Gift, was basically a Pride
and Prejudice fanfiction. The author imagined Eliza and Darcy’s life after their marriage
(or right before) and told a thrilling tale of suspense. P&P is my all-time
favorite book, and I enjoyed how the author kept true to the characters.
Another of the novellas I enjoyed was The Affair
at Wildenmoore where a husband and wife must rekindle. I loved the idea of
restarting a love story for an older couple. Unfortunately, the whole plot
problem could have been solved with a conversation. But that being said, it was
a lovely story, and I routed for the wife.
If you force me to choose a least favorite, which I
am hesitant to do, I’d
have to say The Mender, the Quaker tale. Not because it was about
Quakers, Americans, or how different their lives and culture can be from the
average Regency story. I questioned much about the tale because it broke many
norms of Regency social behavior. A woman was allowed to go off with her cousin
and sail across the Atlantic in a ship full of men. Hmm. Then she boarded another
ship without her cousin as escort/chaperone and helped a medic deal with
wounded sailors. I was like, “Nope, her reputation would be ruined beyond
repair.” But would it? I don’t know about Quaker culture and if that would be
okay or not. I was very confused and might have caused me not to see the love
connection. I couldn’t figure out who the hero was.
It was nice to take a break from modern problems and
modern relationships with this book. For instance, Dream of a Glorious
Season, where the man Elizabeth loves is promised to her sister. In a contemporary,
this would not be a problem. But for Regency, where women had so many social
obligations and being alone with a man dammed their reputation. It was
enjoyable to think, here’s
a story where they can’t even talk or write letters because of social norms.
The level and problems of relationships were very different, and I loved
falling back on a “you cannot touch my hand, sir” kind of story. I’m not a huge
historical reader, but give me a Jane Austen any day.
I give A
Timeless Romance Anthology by Anna Elliot, Sarah M. Eden, Carla Kelly,
Josie S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon, and Heather B. Moore Four Secret Rendezvous
with my Heart’s Desire.