Short Monday: Where I work my way through my short story/anthologies/poetry books on my reading list; and talk about the individual pieces I liked.
Today's short story comes from The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance. (Edited by Tricia Telep.)
I was so excited to find this book, even though I still had some reservations about short stories, I just knew I had finally found a collection I would really like. (I LOVE regency romance.) After skimming over some of the authors and recognizing a few of them, I decided; what the heck. So I ordered it. I've only had time to get two stories in, but I loved both of them. I'm so happy I've finally found a niche of sorts for short stories, it feels good knowing I have something to turn to now when I don't feel like diving into another book.
Desperate Measures, by Candice Hern.
Miss Lydia Bettridge has decided to take matters into her own hands. On a rainy afternoon she concocts a plan with the help of her older brother and one of his friends, to inspire jealousy into the heart of a man she has been pining for for some time. But when her plans go awry when her brothers friend is detained, and the very object of her affection is to take his place, she has to think fast. In doing so, she ends up naming a notorious rake as the object of her scheme for attentions. But Lydia soon realizes, perhaps she can make good of her damaged plans after all.
This being the first story in the collection, I was a little wary of it. The last Mammoth book I checked out from the library I didn't like so much. But then, I'm not really a crazed enough vampire fan to have enjoyed that. I am, however, a crazed regency romance fan. So I wasn't too worried about not liking this book when I bought it. But I digress. Once I realized I did indeed like this story, I sped through it and have since read it twice. It really is sweet and perfect for a regency short story.
I was worried about the plot not having enough depth. Not being able to feel involved enough with the story, or have enough time to like the characters. But those worries were for naught. I loved this story, and it's two leading characters. I loved it so much I prayed it was a sequel to a series. (It isn't. BOO.) But it did give me a new author I want to read more of, and it made me feel better about my purchase.
It was sort of like the best parts of a romance squished into one little story. Except it didn't feel squished together and hurried, it was just right. I really appreciated how nothing was forced or rushed. Especially the surprising confessions that take place. I think Ms. Hern did a great job with the pace and atmosphere that she set. Not to mention the intriguing characters she wrote. (Even if just for this one little story.)
You can read this story for free here. I checked out the PDF version, it is indeed the full story, and it is indeed free. But, if for some reason that doesn't work out for you, you can go to this page on the author's website to look at other resources for purchasing this story alone. (On the Nook it is 0.99 cents.)
Want to get better acquainted with this authors work? I know I do, I think I'll give this book a try.