Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Release Day Review of For Love and Honor (Anthology) by Cathy Maxwell, Lynne Hinton, & Candis Terry

  • Title: For Love and Honor
  • Classification: Adult Fiction 
  • Genre: Historical & Contemporary Romance (3 Stories)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (June 5, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062218166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062218162

This is an anthology containing three different short stories (novellas) about men in arms. Perfect timing with its release being right around Memorial Day. I'll break it down into three parts then give an overall rating to the anthology.

Historical Fiction - 1812

"You are hot-headed, Duroy. An officer under my command controls his temper. I want level heads around me. So, I'm going to have you cool your heels by undertaking a special mission." Medford placed his hand behind his back. "You will organize a small party of your men to escort our envoy to Spain's daughter back to Lisbon, here she'll be sent home to England."

Captain William Duroy has been reprimanded. Caught brawling with his men against some Irish soldiers, he was the highest ranking officer involved and so the blame for the incident had fallen upon his shoulders. Now he's been asked to escort, Pippa Nelson, aka Bookworm Pippa, to Lisbon. With the French nearing, it wouldn't be long before a battle would ensue between the French and British. William had been hoping the battle would lead to his advancement in the service, but now it appeared he wouldn't get the chance.

Pippa Nelson is her father's only child. Sir Hew, her father, dotes on her and takes her with him whenever he can. On his latest mission he needed to leave her behind and left her in Colonel Medford's capable hands. With an imminent battle only days away, Colonel Medford had decided it would be safest for Ms. Nelson to go back to England. The only problem with that is that Pippa hasn't ever really lived in England and doesn't really consider it home. When Captain Duroy comes to escort her he insists they leave her precious book collection behind. That doesn't sit well with her. If he'd known her better, he'd have been more wary of her compliance and would not have insisted she leave them behind. That small decision will lead to a grand adventure which will change both their paths.

This was a very cute story which had me grinning and wishing it had been a full blown book. I loved both the characters and enjoyed watching their relationship go from one of mutual dislike to mutual admiration and respect. Plus, there was plenty of action and suspense as they encounter some close calls. If this is a good representation of Cathy Maxwell's writing, then I will definitely need to read her books. Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one got a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

Contemporary/Realistic Fiction

Raymond Twinhorse's home town of Pie Town, New Mexico is attempting to put together a care package with gifts and letters for the injured soldier. Raymond is presently recuperating in a hospital in Germany and the package is to let him know he's thought of and cared about. Trina and Raymond came to know each other via emails and letter and are now in a long distant relationship. She's the one organizing the care package. This short story is really a series of letters from friends and family in Pie Town to Raymond.

I have to confess, I've read stories with a lot of letters in them and loved them, but this one got a little boring after the third letter with no interaction. If I was already familiar with the people writing the letters, I'd probably have enjoyed it more, but this is my first book by Ms. Hinton. Overall, I gave it 1 out of 5 roses. The author did nothing wrong, I just felt the letter format didn't work for me. Thankfully, from the sneak peek of her upcoming novel, which was included in the anthology, the book looks like it will be most enjoyable. I'm forgoing a romance rating because there was no interaction between the Raymond and Trina, hence no romance.

HOME SWEET HOME by Candis Terry
Contemporary Romance

Lieutenant Aiden Marshall served in Afghanistan. He was not the only one from the small town of Sweet, Texas to serve. His two best friends had enlisted, as well, and they had managed to stay together and fought side by side. Unfortunately, he was the only one to make it back. When a soldier comes home sometimes they bring more back than just themselves. Sometimes they bring the ghosts of what happened in combat. Aiden was haunted by guilt. Guilt that he was the only survivor of the trio. Guilt that it was his miscalculation that caused their deaths. Guilt that he had to leave another friend he'd made there behind--the dog he'd raised from a pup for the last 2 years.

Paige was the girl he'd left behind when he'd enlisted 2 years ago. She'd patiently waited for his return, but he wasn't the same man he was before he left. Now he was determined to break things off with her because she deserved better than him. As Paige would note when she saw him, 'the smile in his eyes had vanished.'

This was a sweet story, and I wouldn't mind reading a longer version. Ms. Terry packed a lot of emotions into this short story, and I liked both of her main characters. I felt she captured a glimpse of what can go in a soldiers mind when he returns home from war. I know my grandfather was haunted until he died by the things he endured and saw in WWII. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to have all hell break loose around you and not be able to do anything to stop it. I can't help but believe that anyone living through it would have to be altered by it in some way. 

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses.  I loved how Paige and the town rallied around Aiden in an attempt to make him feel welcomed and loved. A short but sweet story that left me with a smile on my face. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one got a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Overall, I gave this anthology a 3 out of 5 roses. I really liked two stories, but another just didn't tickle my fancy. 

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