Jacob Proffitt's Reviews > A Timeless Romance Anthology: Autumn Collection

A Timeless Romance Anthology by Heather Horrocks
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's review
Aug 04, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, romance, lds, chaste
Read on August 04, 2013

I don't read a ton of short stories, and rating them is a pain (more on that below). But when offered a chance to read this for review, I snapped it up. Romance is always a draw and I've come to appreciate the blend with mystery/suspense.

I'll go through the stories individually and then pull it together for the whole below.

A Hound Dog Named Elvis by Heather Horrocks - 2 stars

The weakest of the stories, which makes me wonder why it's leading the anthology off. The relationship was weak, the heroine kind of clueless, and the secondary characters made little sense (particularly the flighty best friend). The villain was pathetic more than menacing. And it was capped by a kinda lame "one year later" bit at the end. Ouch.

Eye for an Eye by Stephanie Black - 5 stars

The best of the stories, I think, and I don't think that's just because it was through Stephanie that I received the opportunity to review the book. Mallory was both sympathetic and easy to relate to as a slightly older than usual freshman working her way through college. The frustration and panic as her life is disrupted in a way that is both deeply personal and personally terrifying had me riveted to the end. And Darien was a sweetie who was also imminently believable as an unlikely knight in shining armor. I particularly liked how things ended, with Mallory refusing the role planned for her by the bad guys.

First Heist by Heather B. Moore - 4.5 stars

Gripping from the start, but then, how do you not become enthralled by a spy vs. spy opening so charmingly told? Omar was immediately engaging, though it took a bit for me to warm to Mia. Better, though, was that together they ignited the very vivid scenery in a fast-paced adrenaline-laced plot that only slowed enough to make their building relationship believable for the very short time they have together. Indeed, the only weakness is how quickly their relationship grows and I would love to have a next story (or better, book) that shows their next steps together.

Letter for Two by Sarah M. Eden - 3 stars

This was a slow story with barely a mystery and absolutely no suspense. Which wouldn't be a problem for me, normally, as I'm pretty much in it for the romance, anyway. Unfortunately, Sophia and Ethan are kind of empty as characters. Which isn't helped by the backstory of months of being neighbors with daily interaction, each failing to notice that the other is interested in that way. Further, I think Eden made a mistake in which parts of their conversations to detail and which to summarize, as we get lots of pleasantries, but then elide over the interesting bits where actual personality might have shown up. This was headed for 2 star territory, but the mystery turned out to be touching in a really heart-warming way and that redeemed a lot of my dissatisfaction.

Silver Cascade Secrets by Rachelle J. Christensen - 4 stars

I was completely taken up in the relationship between Jillian and Travis. Which is fortunate as the mystery is rather weak. Jillian is just lovely and Travis is such a great fit for her that it was a joy watching them get to know one another. I loved their interactions and Christensen let us see all the best parts so we'd know how very well-suited to one-another they are. I particularly liked how Travis reacted to a momentary (and kind of predictable, really) romantic setback with maturity overcoming his initial impulse. It made me like him and gave me confidence in his being there for Jillian when she'd need him.

Chocolate Obsessed by Annette Lyon - 3 stars

Another really weak story, though at least Whitney and Stephen were fun to hang out with. I really liked the rivalry at the core of their past interactions and how it played out to resolution in this story. The bad guy was your vanilla psycho, though, with a little too much cunning for someone obviously nuts to really be believable. I mean, a loser that deeply delusional shouldn't have had the resources, let alone clarity, to pull off half of what he supposedly did. Still, it gave the two I cared about a chance to spend time together, so no hard feelings.

As always, an overall rating for an anthology is tricky at best. An average just isn't useful and I can't come up with any way to objectively justify anything that combines all this into a single score. So forget objectivity and I'll say this felt like a solid 3.5 approaching 4. I'll round to a 4 just because of how much I liked the top stories.

And I'll end with a thanks to the publisher for getting me a copy of the book to review. I appreciate the opportunity and really enjoyed reading it.
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