Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nightingale by Cathy Maxwell (This novella originally appeared in the print anthology The One That Got Away)

    Title: Nightingale
    Classification: Adult Fiction
    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Associated Anthology: The One That Got Away
    Print Length: 96 pages
    Publisher: Avon Impulse (August 26, 2014)
    Author's Website:
    Notes:  I received and eARC loan from the publisher.

Life is full of choices. Sometimes they're the right choices and others times they're the wrong. Regardless of which they are, we need to make them and live with the consequences. Ten years ago Jemma made the mistake of choosing to marry the wrong man. Instead of letting her heart decide, she'd chosen the man who could offer her financial security. While she'd made an informed decision, the future doesn't always play out the way one thinks. Now, a widow supported by her brother's generosity, she's about to come face to face with the man she'd once turned down to plead for her brother's and consequently her's and her mother's lives.

Ten years ago, Dane Pendleton was in love. He'd thought Jemma had felt the same until he learned she'd married another man. He had not taken the news well and had attempted to demand an explanation, but she'd refused to see him. Now he finds the woman who made a fool of him all those years ago on his doorstep asking, "What is your price?" For if her brother dies in the duel, she and her mother are as good as dead too and desperate times call for desperate measures.

He's got her right where he wants her, the only questions now is what will he do with her?


When I think of the name Cathy Maxwell in regards to books one word comes to mind-- magic. Regardless of whether her story actually contains magic or not, I find her books enchanting and this novella is no exception. She's created a delightfully delicious story that held me in its grasp from the moment I picked it up. She had me wondering, at the beginning how the two had ended up in the positions they found themselves, and continuing to wonder, till the end where the story would take them. How she can pack so much into novella is magical in itself. It reminds me of a movie I once saw where the grandmother had a bag that couldn't possibly hold all the things she pulled out of it. If my son was making the comparison (and no I don't let my 9 year old read romances--parrish the thought. lol) he'd probably use the Tardis from Doctor Who for the comparison. You know, because it appears bigger on the inside that the outside. *grin*

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. I loved the insight into each character's mindset years ago and in the present. The characters were believable and easy to identify with. The chemistry between the two lept from the pages and was palpable. And, unlike most novellas, didn't feel rushed. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned 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.

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