04 August 2017

Review: Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Christian historical romance
Format: Free digital ARC via NetGalley, offered in exchange for an honest review
Publication date: 01 Jul 2017
Heat level: None

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The full title of this book is Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection: Nine Stories of Poverty and Opulence During the Gilded Age, and that mouthful gives the reader a good idea what she is getting. For those not familiar with the term "Gilded Age", it refers to the 25-year-period of US history (give or take a few years) following the American Civil War that is characterized by the extremes of booming economic growth and widespread social injustice. These novellas take the reader back to the days when inventions like the railroad and the automobile were new and exciting, but there were also people trying to escape poverty and disease.

I've mentioned in the past on this blog that I am a fan of Barbour Books' novella collections, and this one lives up to the standard of the others that I have read. The Gilded Age is one of my favorite eras for historical romance, and these stories didn't disappoint me. There were a few stories that I wished were fleshed out more, but only because I enjoyed the characters and premise so much that I wanted to spend more time with them.

As I have come to expect from Barbour Books, there is nothing in this collection (such as sexual content or violence) that would make me hesitate to hand it to a conservative relative. Some romance fans object to stories where the heroes are overly macho or where the main couple seems to fall in love instantly, but there isn't any of that in these stories, either. I don't think secular readers would find the Christian content intrusive.

Picking a favorite story from the collection was impossible because there were several that appealed to me. Even though I am not a sports fan, I enjoyed the fact that "The Right Pitch" was centered around a female baseball team. "Win, Place, or Show", a story about a socialite falling in love with her riding instructor, was written well enough to make me forget it was a novella; nothing felt rushed or left out. "The Gardener's Daughter" was an intriguing story about a resort town caught up in a trend of intellectual self-improvement that made me wish that the author had been given a few more pages.

A novella collection like this is good to have on hand for those times when you want to start and finish a romance in an afternoon. If you've had your fill of Regency romance and want a different setting, give Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection a try.

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection on Overdrive
Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection on Book Depository

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