Avon Impulse, $3.99, ISBN 978-0-06-221816-2
Mixed Genre Romance, 2012
This mass market paperback version of For Love and Honor isn’t a very long read, but it is as long as it is only because half of its pages are dedicated to excerpts from the author’s full-length books. Still, I’m not gnashing my teeth because Avon Impulse promised to donate books to Operation Paperback in celebration of the release of this thing. When I read about handsome soldiers in this anthology, I take pride in knowing that, somewhere out there, there are many lonely soldiers keeping warm at night by reading quality literature from Stephanie Laurens and Pamela Palmer.
Cathy Maxwell contributes the sole historical romance story here, The Bookish Miss Nelson and it’s also the worst story of the lot. It’s always the anthology headliner that comes up with the stinker, isn’t it?
Captain William Duroy wants to get that promotion by fighting bravely in the upcoming battle with the French, but because he couldn’t control himself and got into a brawl with the Irish soldiers, he is now sentenced to escort Pippa Nelson, the daughter of a general, to Lisbon where there would be a ship to take her back to London. William behaves like a spoiled and immature child, and Pippa retaliates by running off alone when there are French soldiers on the prowl. The resulting tomfoolery is supposed to teach them that they are truly, madly in love with each other, but I’m just relieved at the end of the day to see the last of these two silly twits. It is a good thing that this story as short as it is, or else there would be painful hemorrhages all over the place.
Lynne Hinton’s Letters from Pie Town is a charming advertisement for her current series with William Morrow. This short story is basically a collection of letters from some characters of those books to Raymond Twinhorse, who was injured while serving in Afghanistan and is now recuperating in a hospital in Germany. Now, if you haven’t read Pie Town, be warned that this short story contains some really big spoilers for that book, including a spoiler that actually put me off from reading Pie Town because it’s that big a spoiler.
Anyway, these letters are heartfelt, funny, cute, and “Aww!”-inducing all at once, and I would be tempted to go pick up Pie Town if, you know, I haven’t been spoiled that awfully by the information contained in those letters. I have enjoyed this author’s works in the past, so who knows, maybe I would change my mind and pick up that book to catch up with her one of these days. We’ll see. For now, this one is easily the best story of the three, and it’s not really a story as much as it is just an advertisement. I don’t know what to think of this, really.
Candis Terry, an author from the Avon Impulse stable, closes the anthology with Home Sweet Home. Lt Aiden Marshall returns to his Texan hometown and his sweetheart Paige Walker can’t wait to jump his bones and shows him the bed and breakfast that she is sure will be the home in which to start their new lives together. Unfortunately, Aiden hadn’t been reading those romance novels Operation Paperback has been sending to the troops, as he believes that his PTSD will make him a horrible husband to Paige. Of course, the PTSD only makes his hot mojo quotient increase, and Paige, along with the busybodies of the small town Sweet, will convince him that he’s worth it in, oh, about ten pages. The party is over before it even has a chance to start.
Maybe I should take consolation in the fact that the excerpt from a full-length book of the author is just four pages shorter than this story?
As I’ve said, the best story here is actually an advertisement, so that says a lot about this anthology. The publisher as well as these authors aren’t doing themselves any favors by treating this thing like some disposable flyer handed out at a street corner. They are charging people money for this thing, so how about putting in a bit more effort in producing an actual anthology for once?