Thursday, January 21, 2016

Among the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories

Four Southern women are at a turning point in history . . . and in their own hearts.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
The Civil War cost Savannah Darby everything-her family and her home. When Aidan Bedford, an attorney from Boston, buys the Darby estate, he hires Savannah to redecorate. Can she find a mysterious treasure before her job is finished?
An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he's determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother's homestead, he discovers that she is very ill and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.
A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She's in love with one of the freedmen on her family's plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.

All four of these novellas were very well written and kept me enthralled the entire time. I felt like all four showed different aspects of life after the Civil War and reflected how lives were changed in the war's aftermath. I enjoyed the relationships that were developed in each of the novellas, and I thought that all were well done, especially considering the brevity of a novella. A Heart So True is set in the same community as Dorothy Love's Hickory Ridge Romance and includes familiar characters from that series. I enjoyed watching Abigail learn to stand up for her feelings and choose the right path for her life instead of what was expected.
An Outlaw's Heart is heart wrenching and sweet as Russell and his old flame learn how to move past the past and find love together again.
Love Beyond Limits is a startling look into what it means to stand up for what is right and to face the racial prejudices that existed following the Civil War.
I also really liked To Mend a Dream, though I did think that the relationship was the most rushed in this novel. However, I liked how the two main characters interacted together and their eventual trust in one another as they discovered one another's secrets. Overall, I really enjoyed all four of these novellas, and I look to reading more novels by these four authors.

I received this novel for free from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 

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