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    Book for readers that like short and sweet romance

    3.5* I've received an eARC in exchange for an honest review One of the key pieces of these stories is the luckenbooth, a jewellery piece that was handed down from generation to generation starting with Finlan. He bought one with amethysts similar to the one his mother originally had in Scotland and gave it to Elizabeth. It is given to women the Blackwood man love, as well as their children on their christening. It’s a fine element of connection between the stories, besides the obvious genealogy. In general, it was a good book, that for me had a few plot points that could have been improved and, bad luck, this was read by someone who doesn’t really like war stories - and even though it isn’t DURING a war, all stories revolve around wars. I would have liked to see stories without so many years apart in the beginning but I can understand that not all authors would feel comfortable with it. This is a book for readers that like short and sweet romances, with connections between the stories. Fans of family sagas will be pleasantly pleased. In A Traitor’s Heart, Finlan Blackwood is sent to the USA after the Jacobite rising, as a traitor to the king. Here, he meets a Quaker, an American part of the Society of Friends. He buys Finlan but above all else, he’s a friend and an employer, not an owner. Finlan’s sentence is for 5 years. After that time, he’s a free man, available to start a new life in America. And it’s near the end of his 5 years sentence that he’s forced to make a decision. Elizabeth, a widow he knows and for whom he did small jobs, has an immense debt and is going to lose her farm. Finlan volunteer to take her to his Scottish relatives far away, where no one knows her, until he finishes his time and meets her. Desperate and without any other options, Elizabeth says yes and the internal struggle they both fight to accept how much they like each other, but both think they don’t deserve one another is very visible. Richard Montgomery, the Quaker, has an important role, which I’m not going to talk about, but everything works the best possible way and Finlan and Elizabeth have their happy ending. The only negative point in this plot was the fact that we didn’t get to see them falling in love, we don’t know a lot about their story, how they met… I thought it was a bit sudden, but apart from that, is a very soft and sweet romance. In A Patriot’s Heart, by Gwendolyn Schuler, we have a story that has a base in the Florence Nightingale effect, meaning the nurse/doctor falls in love with the patient (and vice-versa in this case). It was, despite it, my favourite story. In Wounded Heart, by Martha Schroeder, we also have an interesting story, a plot that involves a family torn apart by war and a young lady who is tricked by her brother. It’s all about family drama, intrigue and gossip that helps the reader to sympathize with the main characters, Charles Blackwood and Tessa. In Heart’s Song, by Georgia Dickson, Ethan Blackwood comes back from war with an amputation and, even though he had a prosthetic and could pretty much do everything, he’s afraid of being an incomplete man for the woman he loves, Serena Jordan, a musician and music teacher. Ethan and Serena get to know each other and the romance blooms, with the help of Ethan’s childhood friend and Serena’s friend Lillie. In Painted Promises, by Kate Welsh, we have a main male character that wanted to go to war but stayed home and helped with supplies for the army, and a female main character that witnessed the war and saw horrors. Meri is an amazing painter who expresses herself through her art. Callum is a young man who’s seen other people deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and doesn’t think he can help Meri but, in the end, he’s the only one with whom she opens up. Carrying on to We’ve Only Just Begun by Cara Marsi, we have Stephen Blackwood, Meri and Callum’s son, back from the Vietnam War – and he’s not the same person as he was before. Stephen meets Elena, a young jewellery designer that is estranged from her family. With several references to the 70’s, the story ended up being a bit repetitive, with several descriptions of the clothes worn at that time, almost as a guide to the 70’s. This story felt a bit short, with a lot of passion but not enough romance. In Finn’s Legacy by Mariah Stewart, we have Finn (Finlan homage, right?), who went to fight in the Middle East and is now back home and has to deal with the decisions he made before leaving. Finn and Sophie are extremely thoughtful and caring grandchildren to Meri and Callum. Finn and Abby new each other and were in love with each other since the seventh grade. They even had wedding plans when he, out of the bloom, decides to go the Middle East and that they should break up. Abby, with reason, is very hurt and when they meet again it’s very hard for both of them. After some effort, they talk it and Abby and Finn get back together and, probably, will live happily ever after.

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