Occasionally one of our counterparts in non-fiction will come across a fiction book they can’t wait to tell everyone about. This happened recently, and we decided to start a new series of blog posts. Please enjoy this collaboration…
The back cover promises a heroine possessed of strong opinions and intelligence, as well as a hero who needs to work to win her over, and for once it wasn’t exaggerating. Though they share a past together (presumably mentioned in another book), and the hero is no slouch himself in intellectual matters, they start off the book on the wrong foot. Seeing them gain a deeper appreciation of each other is the main attraction here, though the hero’s dog is definitely a major player.
Note that the heroine is involved in providing a safe place for street children and suffers from some trauma due to one of them ensuring she could not interfere with the murder of the nightmare figure who abused a number of them. The living antagonist in the story is also a man to whom others are there to be used, and he does attempt to kidnap and rape the heroine in revenge for the hero and heroine making sure he could no longer easily cheat at cards and fleece people of substantial sums. She manages to successfully fight back and humiliate the villain, so it is ultimately a triumph, but not something all readers are able to read.
Available through MyMediaMall, this set of three novellas linked by a shared beginning and ending offer a lighter romance overall than Ashford’s most recent book. All three of the sisters are tossed into situations rife with potential problems and instead find comfortable, pampered lives for two of them – and even the middle sister’s theoretically disastrous heartbreak and departure from her job is salvaged by the loving interference of her sisters and their unlikely fairy godmothers (no magic, here – just wealthy, kindhearted women who use their privilege to do good). Some readers may find the final hero’s exasperated comment to his fiancee to cross a line of ungentlemanly behavior; others may be fine.
Technically a juvenile book (you’ll find it in our Youth Department), this Newberry winner is nevertheless an excellent crossover read for those who enjoy fairy tales, villains who get their comeuppances, and happy endings. There’s plenty of magic and foreboding, along with multiple points of view, but kindness and caring win the day in the end against a most insidious and selfish evil-doer.