Rush to California after the 1848 gold discovery alongside thousands of hopeful men and women. Meet news reporters, English gentry, miners, morticians, marriage brokers, bankers, fugitives, preachers, imposters, trail guides, map makers, cooks, missionaries, town builders, soiled doves, and more people who take advantage of the opportunities to make their fortunes in places where the population swelled overnight. But can faith and romance transform lives where gold is king?
**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
Sometimes, I’ve found that these novella collections can be a bit hit or miss. Many of the stories don’t have enough length to remain entertaining or there is too much that is trying to be packed into one story. But I was impressed with this collection. While I don’t know if it will be a standout collection for me, it was fun to use these stories as a changeup once in awhile from reading novels. Most every story was entertaining and well written. Overall, it is a collection that I would reccommend if you are looking for a decent set of novellas.
THE PRICE OF LOVE by Amanda Barratt
I love a good tale that involves a stubborn female protagonist. This little story certainly had that. This was certainly a strong first story to this collection. While there were a few moments that they story felt a bit rushed (and I think this story idea really could have been a novel on its own), I was still swept into the gold rush and loved every moment of it.
THE BEST MAN IN BROOKSIDE by Angela Bell
This particular story did not feel nearly as goldrush-y as the rest. But I enjoyed it. It was one that will certainly stand out as it takes place in England (don’t worry, gold still plays a bit of a role). But this was a cute story and I really enjoyed it.
CIVILIZING CLEMENTINE by Dianne Christner
I honestly felt this little story was downright funny. Maybe a bit over the top at times, but every once in awhile those types of stories are fun to read. And honestly, there were a couple of interesting twists in this one that I didn’t expect. The story worked well for it’s shorter length and didn’t ever feel too short or too rushed.
THE MARRIAGE BROKER AND THE MORTICIAN by Anne Greene
This story was quite interesting for me. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a novel with a mortician as a main character… and honestly, I loved it and catching a glimpse into what that job would have been like during the Gold Rush.
THE LYE WATER BRIDE by Linda Farmer Harris
For whatever reason, this story read very disjointedly for me. Everything was there for a good story, but at times I just felt like the storyline jumped around a bit out of order or something. I had a hard time following it.
A SKETCH OF GOLD by Cynthia Hickey
A Sketch of Gold was a sweet story about a woman who travels with her father. To keep her safe, she ends up cutting her hair and dressing as a boy. But a newspaperman discovers her secret and also decides to win her heart. The story was a fun read, and quick.
LOVE IS A PUZZLE by Pam Hillman
I adored this story, and it was probably one of my favorites form this collection. Everything from an interesting premise (a girl trying to solve the puzzles her father left to find him) to the characters, I was charmed.
THE GOLDEN CROSS by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
I found this story to be very unique in this collection. Starting in China, it follows the tale of an impoverished woman and her uncle as they make their way to California to find enough gold to survive. While the story relied heavily on dreams from God, I did overall enjoy this tale.
GOLD HAVEN HEIRESS by Jaime Jo Wright
Gold Haven Heiress made a wonderful ending to this collection. This particular story read almost as an allegory to the message of salvation. For it’s short length, I found that it packed in some wonderful themes wrapped in a simply sweet story.