Danelle Harmon, $1.99
Historical Romance, 2013
Thanks to how comparatively simpler and cheaper it is nowadays to go the indie route, sometimes it feels like I’m back in 2000 here. The Admiral’s Heart is Danelle Harmon’s new work in eleven years, and reading this short story, it is as if the author didn’t go MIA in the last ten or so years.
This is a short story, of only four chapters and – let me check – about 16,000 words according to the Smashwords page. There is hardly any room for emotional complexity here, but for what it is, this one packs a pretty neat punch.
Ten years ago, Lady Philippa Hatfield was a young girl unsure of herself, and she felt that she was the luckiest girl in the world when Elliott Lord returned her affections. Alas, she broke off their thing when… well, the reason is a spoiler so I won’t get into that here. Pippa married another man and he eventually became a renowned admiral, with their paths never crossing until today, when they meet again at her cousin’s party. She’s now a widow, and who knows, a second chance at love may be on the agenda.
This is a cute story. The heroine broke up with the hero ten years ago due to a reason that may at first seem like something only romance heroines would find reasonable, but when I think about it, if I were Elliott and was put in a position that Pippa deliberately avoided putting him in, I’d choose the other thing over her. So Pippa was definitely on to something when she broke up with him ten years ago, heh.
This one gets plenty of goodwill from me for having a rather unusual reason for the first break-up, and it’s icing on the cake that the story manages to feel as complete and satisfying as it could be under its length constraint. It’s nice to see the author back in action, and let’s hope this is just the prelude of good things to come.