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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Northern Roses and Southern Belles an anthology

Northern Roses and Southern Belles by Caroline Clemmons, Jeanmarie Hamilton, Susan Macatee, Isabel Roman, Jennifer Ross and Mary Ann Webber
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (356 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Wild Plum

In a country torn asunder--from the Canadian border to Texas, from Maryland to Arkansas, from the battlefield of Antietam to the Red River Campaign--brave men and loyal women see their lives turned upside down.

Peril lurks behind every tree and near every homestead, but the hard-fought love of a man and a woman surpasses all.

Six talented writers provide stories of romance and danger centering on Union and Confederate soldiers, spies, blockade runners, renegades, and battlefield nurses during a period of corsets, hoopskirts, and gentlemen callers.

Angel of My Dreams by Susan Macatee
When Civil War re-enactor, Kyle Dalton, keeps seeing a beautiful woman on the battlefield tending to soldiers, he thinks she's another re-enactor. But when she disappears into thin air, he starts to believe he's seen a ghost. Did he have a past life with this woman?

This story truly is magical. Ms. Macatee sweeps her readers off their feet. The story will take you to another time period, you actually feel as if you are living the war all over again…or for the first time? That’s up to you the reader to figure out. It’s a great read. The characters are unbelievable and miraculous. The connection between Kyle and his ghost is unlike anything I have ever read. It’s definitely a short story historical fans and any fan of Susan Macatee will enjoy.

No Decorum by Mary Ann Webber
In a country at war with itself, women of both sides found love sometimes with the enemy. Randolph Newton is a scholarly yankee sergeant and Juliet Burnham is the strong willed southern beauty. But where will these two be when they have no decorum?

This was a great read and a story that really opens up your eyes to how the love and romance went on during the war. Randolph and Juliet are great, strong characters. Especially Juliet and especially for this time period. Again the author, Ms. Webber captures her readers and you feel as though you are in the pages of this story.

Are You Going to the Dance? By Jeanmarie Hamilton
Strong-willed Lexie Perreau must protect her lifelong friends, the Lipan Apache, from being wrongly arrested for a deadly raid.

Clay has led the local militia in times of war and peace and kept his community safe. But raiders have just killed someone. Now he must find the killer and agrees with the men in town that he must catch the Apache raiders responsible.

But beautiful and courageous Lexie challenges him at every turn, endangering her own life and possibly the trust and respect of the one man who holds her heart.

This was, by far, my favorite story out of the entire anthology. I am a huge fan of Jeanmarie Hamilton. And as an avid reader and fan of hers I have expectations from this author. And boy did she ever deliver. Although she only has two books published, she is already an author ahead of her time. I cannot wait to read more form her and to see what else she has to offer us. I just loved Lexie’s character. She is a strong, sexy woman. And Clay of course is sexier than words. He swept me off my feet and I think I’ve fallen for this man. The two aren’t easy going. They challenge each other and fight every turn. But in the end Clay is the man holding Lexie’s heart and Lexie is the woman in love with Clay. It’s a happy ever after that I love to read about.

In the Shadows by Isabel Roman
This was a different read for me from Isabel Roman. I have read a couple of her books and she’s more known for her erotic tales and her hot sex scenes. But this story was different. It was sensual but it was sweet and there was no sex. But Isabel Roman pulled it off. The characters were passionate and seemed like our next-door neighbors. The plot and the scenery were great. I felt like I was in the story, which seems to be common with this anthology. Isabel Roman did a great job. And I look forward to more sweet stories along with erotic stories from this author.

Long Way Home by Caroline Clemmons
Parmelia Bailey crept closer to the Union Army's makeshift corral. She shivered, but not from the cold air. At best, a prison cell awaited her if she was caught. What would soldiers do to a woman of twenty caught stealing back her own horses?

This was a great story to end a great anthology with. Ms. Clemmons did a wonderful job with this great tale. I love the fact that there is suspense from the first page of the story and it lasts until the very end. The characters are tough and unique.

The Colonial and The Cottontail by Jennifer Ross
After Cole and his men perform a raid they flee to Canada. Once in there he learns that his cohorts have been arrested, now it is up to him to find a way to help them escape. Cole finds a woman and her son, who seem to need him more than he may need them. But they are the perfect cover up. In the end can they mend a broken relationship? Can Becca and her son get over the lies?

I learned so much about history and the civil war throughout this anthology. But I learned more from this story than history. I learned the value of a family, how important it is to pull together during a trying time. Really this story isn’t much different than what is happening anymore. We are in war and people are leaning on one another for support and comfort. Becca and her son leaned on Cole during a horrible time for support and comfort. They depended on him to be there and to protect them. When Cole first came across Becca and her little boy, he only thought they would make a great cover to helping his men escape from jail. He never thought he would end up falling in love with both of them.

Jennifer Ross has done a terrific job in bringing her readers to the past. Through her words we can experience the war and the trying times families had during that era. She has shaped a set of characters that teach us all about love and family. This was my first story from this author and I can assure you I will be on the lookout for more to come.

I think all of the authors did a great job with this anthology and so did the editors. I felt like I was involved in every story, I felt like I could smell the flowers and taste the crisp air. I felt the emotions the characters were feeling. It’s a great anthology that any historical fan will love.