Summer Holiday (Timeless Victorian Collection)

Nancy Campbell Allen, Sarah M. Eden,
Annette Lyon

This Victorian-era romance anthology invites one into the lives of three women who refuse to dampen their dreams for society.

 “Breakfast at Sommerpool” centers on Tessa Baker, who is competing in a scavenger hunt to prove she deserves a promotion from her sexist boss. Though her general manager and coworker don’t play fair, Tessa finds support in David Bellini, who is also the new storeowner. This story has great dialogue, a catchy couple, and a heroine that is very realistic. The writer develops Tessa so that she is both strong and practical. The ending feels a bit rushed but all in all, a great read for a short afternoon.

In “However Long the Wait”, Carina Herrick’s heart was broken five years ago when Grant Ambrose left their small town of Rafton and never returned. In an attempt to terrify Carina into a loveless marriage, her parents force her to spend a summer at her spinster aunt’s home. However, where she expected to find misery, she finds Grant and the words left unsaid between them. The reader immediately latches onto Carina. The tension between Grant and Carina feels real and there are several supporting characters that add to the story.

“The Last Summer at Ivy House” is about two servants, Sarah and Jacob, who have loved one another for years. Finally of age, both want to marry, except Jacob is now responsible for his orphaned, illegitimate niece — a secret he is hiding. Torn between Sarah and his niece, family and duty, will Jacob and Sarah’s love triumph? A great story! Immediately, the reader loves Jacob and Sarah’s rebellious spirit is admirable. Where the story fell short is the bombardment of characters within two pages. Still, a nice read if one enjoys a "love pushed to the edge" theme.

Jacey Lee