Harvey Houses, scattered along the railway at the turn of the twentieth century, operated on only the strictest of standards, with women of exemplary character employed as waitress. These Harvey girls are independent and adventures, ready for any serving catastrophe, but not quite expecting the romance they each encounter.
A Flood of Love by Tracie Peterson – Gretchen Gottsacker returns to New Mexico for the first time in years, never expecting to find her old long lost love, now a widower, in the small town. Determined to avoid him, she does not plan on befriending his young daughter—or the romance that flourishes once again.
Neatly written, this novella brings forth a lovely story from start to finish. I liked that the characters were friends in the past, because it made the quicker progression of their relationship more realistic. The addition of a spunky young girl is a great secondary character. I enjoyed learning more about the tiny town of San Marcial, New Mexico as well. Overall, I liked this story!
More Than a Pretty Face by Karen Witemeyer – Rosalind Kemp is determined to escape her past mistakes, accepting a job as a Harvey girl in Texas with hopes of someday transferring to California. She is not expecting a young, handsome, regular customer at the Harvey House to begin to draw her out of her shy shell. However, as Rosalind gets closer to him, her past begins to catch up to her and threatens to destroy all she holds dear.
How is it possible for an author to write such an emotionally gripping story in such a short amount of words? I was so excited to read more about Rosalind, who we met as Abigail’s sister in More Than Words Can Say. She has made past mistakes but has matured into a wonderful young lady. She is poised and pretty but also has gumption and strength that is admirable. There are spiritual themes of forgiveness and mercy that are relatable and applicable to any reader. I really liked the historical aspect of the story and learning more about the Harvey Houses. I also found myself connecting with the characters almost immediately and definitely cried a time or two for Rosalind as she struggled and grew throughout the story. I really, really enjoyed this novella and highly recommend it! The author has penned another winner!
Intrigue a la Mode by Regina Jennings – Willow Kentworth never imagines that she will be caught in the middle of a dangerous situation at one of the elegant Harvey Houses. Even more so, she does not expect that the busboy, who seems to be keeping a secret of his own, becomes a confidant and a friend—and perhaps something more.
What a great read! I definitely read this novella in one sitting, as I eagerly turned the pages to figure out the mystery of the story. Even though this may be a novella, the story develops well and contains quite of bit of content for such a short story. I really liked the characters and their relationship as they become friends, then partners as they solve a mystery, and finally fall in love. I learned even more about the Harvey Houses from the historical tidbits. I definitely recommend this novella!
A Grand Encounter by Jen Turano – Myrtle Schermerhorn becomes a Harvey girl to escape the embarrassment of a broken engagement in New York. She has sworn off men forever—or at least until she meets the intriguing Jack Daggett.
Jen Turano always pens such fun stories, full of wit and humor that are intermingled with true character depth and development. Her great writing style carries into even this short novella! This story had time to develop with twists in the relationship despite its length. I really enjoyed the setting and history, the intermixed bits of spirituality, and the budding romance. I loved this novella and definitely recommend it!
Overall, this was such a fun collection of novellas that seemed to connect with the theme of the Harvey girls in such a unique way! I really liked this book and highly recommend it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Karen Witemeyer. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.