Go to Homepage   Jo Beverly, Cathy Maxwell, Jaclyn Reding and Lauren Royal: In Praise of Younger Men


Crescent Blues Book ViewsSignet (Paperback), ISBN 0-451-20380-1
Normally, anthologies give me the jitters -- a result of reading one too many compilations of stories with underdeveloped characters and undernourished plots. Likewise, May/December and December/May romances usually hold no favor with me.

Book: Jp Beverly et al, in praise of younger menThat said, I must admit that I became smitten with In Praise of Younger Men from the first of its four stories. That adoration lasted until the final page. Although not mentioned on the cover, the anthology features two historical romances set in Scotland and two in England -- locations I consider particularly appealing.

Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the lead story of "A Man Who Can Dance" by Cathy Maxwell (an author previously unknown to me) offers a tender twist to a case of unrequited love. Reading about a "underdog" who gets the man, for once proves to be an entirely fulfilling experience. After sampling Maxwell's wares, I will look for her books in the future.

"Forevermore" by Lauren Royal, set in the village of Cainewood, England, September 1667, also inspires hope for a woman passed over by luck when it comes to men. As a single mother with a child myself, I particularly enjoyed this tale of a woman who finds a man who loves and accepts both her and her child. My list of authors to discover more about grows!

Jaclyn Reding, one of my favorite romance authors, sets the stage for the anthology's third story in 1816 Galloway. While the premise in this one rang a bit odd (Harriet loves Tristan but won't admit her love for fear he will be cursed and die), I so enjoyed the escapades of these lovable characters.

Last, but not at all least, "The Demon's Mistress" by Jo Beverly takes place in 1816 London. I particularly enjoyed this tale, as from the onset the heroine set out to save the hero, rather than vice-versa. Having seen Jo Beverly's name around before, I enjoyed getting a taste of her talent for storytelling and would welcome the opportunity to read other offerings.

As a result of In Praise of Younger Men, I can appreciate the value of the anthology which allows the reader to sample authors before buying complete works. In addition, it's invaluable to be able to pick up a good story, enjoy it, and finish it in one sitting. I only hope that other anthologies prove as satisfying.

Lynne Remick

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