Meet nine men from bygone days who have all the qualities of a true hero and who all the single ladies wish to court—though some are unassuming and overlooked until their worth is revealed. The socialite, the architect, the doctor, the masked vigilante, the missionary, the postmaster, archaeologist, the wealthy widower, and the heir can have their pick of brides, but which one will they choose?
1) "A Bride For A Bargain"- Amanda Barratt
Poor Ada McClane agrees to be wealthy Geoffrey Buchanan's pretend fiance. She desperately needs the money for her brother's medical treatments. How much longer can they keep pretending? A darling story. Geoffrey is a dear and Ada is a hoot. I enjoyed getting to know this couple and seeing how things would work out. Ms. Barratt is a new author to me, but I would not be adverse to reading another story by her. 4.5 stars.
2) "Love's Reward"- Susanne Dietz
A prank advertisement makes architect Daniel Blair the most eligible bachelor in San Francisco, but he's always had one girl in mind to end his bachelorhood. A story that has some laugh out loud moments. Some of the story is rather stiff, but there were other times the author let the words come out and play. I enjoyed getting to know Daniel and seeing how he loses everything. Ms. Dietz is good at making the characters hurt. As with the first story in this collection, Ms. Dietz is a new author to me, but one I would consider reading again. 4 stars
3) "A Doctor's Agreement"- Cynthia Hickey
To drum up sales for her father's newspaper, a young woman places an ad for a most eligible bachelor lottery to find the town doctor a wife. Little did she know she would be one of the candidates! I have to admire Ms. Hickey's ability to put stories out quickly and get picked up by publishers. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this story. Zeke was likeable enough but seemed a bit wishy-washy and able to be dragged around by a nose ring. And Sadie was just plain immature. The writing is good enough. The story, not so much. 3 stars.
4) "The Highwayman"- Shannon McNear
Set during American Revolution, an innkeeper's daughter becomes enamored by a masked crusader the locals called the Highwayman. An apprentice wagon master wishes he were the object of her affections. Who will she choose? This story seemed terribly familiar, but I can't remember who I read the similar one by. An innkeeper's daughter, harassed by an "outstanding" citizen's son and a masked man (the Lone Ranger type) who rides in and saves her... multiple times. But while the son asked for a kiss (admittedly he was prepared to force it), the masked man also ... took... without asking. I wasn't impressed by this story, a romance born out of deceptive measures, especially since she wouldn't give the man behind the mask a second glance... until she knew. 3 stars.
5) "Four Brides And A Bachelor"- Gabrielle Meyer
A missionary minister has five days to choose a wife from a group of four missionary teachers in an 1852 Minnesota mission. Will sensibility or his heart win out? Okay, so far, this has been the cutest story in the bunch. I couldn't help but fall in live with the sweet, funny, dear Sarah. I wasn't sure how I felt about Luke. He was judging on the outside appearance and not on the heart. The story is beautifully told and I loved the happy ending . 5 stars.
6)"The Most Ineligible Bachelor In Town"- Connie Stevens
Set in 1885 Kansas, a shy postmaster has an unrequited love for a preacher's daughter. Will she ever notice him? Another dear story. Micah was a real dream. Shy and quiet, working behind the scenes and not realizing his own worth. Gabby was a dear too, and Micah loved her with all his heart but was so scared to speak to her. But then her ex-fiance returns, as well as his much more outgoing cousin... I loved this story about how Micah had to discover his own worth in God's eyes. Beautifully told. 5 stars.
7)"Archeologist's Find"- Erica Vetsch
Max is an archaeologist who has no interest in matrimony until he meets Ally, an aspiring artist. This one is infused with lots of exotic Egyptology background. This story started a bit stiff. I wasn't sure I could relate to Ally or Max. But once we got past the first chapter, the stiffness left and it turned into an absolutely wonderful read, one I didn't want to put down! I enjoyed getting to know Max and Ally and would love to travel along with them on their adventures. A beautiful story. Faith message is rather weak, but as a whole, a good book. 4.5 stars.
8)" Baker's Dozen"- Gina Welborn
Irie has always been in love with Duke, the wealthy son of her mother's employer. Unfortunately, Duke doesn't even notice her. When she's asked to help him find a wife, will her heart be able to withstand it? This story was cute. Duke is a true Texas cattleman, emphasis on man. Unobservant. Except when it comes to cattle. When his father decides to invite 12 women for him to court for three weeks to find a bride for Duke and a mother for Duke's daughter Duke is forced out of his comfort zone. A bunch of high-society women, deemed suitable by his dad... but he is too blind to see. A lovely story. 5 stars.
9)"The Final Baker Bride"- Kathleen Y'Barbo
Set in New Orleans, wealthy Octavia Derby runs away from an arranged marriage. She meets an equally marriage-shy Merritt Baker. Another charming story! I loved the fun Tavia and Rit. Such a fun couple. I loved the secretary ruse and the fact that neither of them saw it coming. A great story! 5 stars. I loved most of the stories in this collection and highly recommend it. 4,33 stars for the collection.