This is an anthology of three novellas.
The first is by Blackstock and is about going from broke to winning millions. The story itself is weak and seemed a little silly. There is some humor included but it is not very sophisticated. The strength of this story is how money affects a person – either not having enough or having way too much. It made me think about money and my attitude towards it. I might think I'd like to win the lottery. (I know...I'd have to buy a ticket first!) But would I really want all that money? What might it do to me? Could I handle it? It also made me think about true riches, that it is really not about money at all.
The second story by Calvert starts off with a bang. Aimee, a would be culinary rising star, but currently assistant in the kitchen at a hospital, creates a fuss with her black olive “flower” garnish that looks suspiciously like a cockroach. Because of that debacle, she meets Lucas, grandson of one of the patients. That began a sweet romance that made me think about success and what it really means. Is it winning a culinary contest or is it helping another person realize the value of life and the importance of fighting for it? The satisfying ending was a little quick and unrealistic, but then, this is a novella and things do have to move quickly. (By the way, I've made black bean brownies and they are delicious.)
The last story by Warren, Abby and Ross are two college students who have a history. That history includes a glaring painful episode that divided the two. A fund raising fishing contest brings the two together. They are on opposing teams and try as he might, Ross cannot break through the shell Abby has placed around her heart. As in the other novellas, this one centers on a choice. Abby has to choose to open her heart again. I liked the old fisherman who helps her see what she is really fishing for. There was much about fishing in this story, a little unusual for a novella aimed at female readers.
As is often the case with anthologies, the quality of the stories differ. I had a hard time reading Blackstock's story. The rags to riches plot seemed unrealistic. The humor was a little too corny for me. Calvert's story was enjoyable. It contains a good lesson about success and what it really is. Reading Warren's story, I felt like I was in the middle of a novel. There were allusions to many previous events that were essential to the romance. I wasn't really interested in all the fishing either.
All three of these authors are great in their full length novels. I do not think their abilities shine in these short offerings. Each story did include a recipe and they looked pretty yummy.
Terri Blackstock in a New York Times bestselling author. She has been writing for twenty five years and has won numerous awards. She was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms when a spiritual awakening prompted her to change her writing, including faith. Find out more at http://www.terriblackstock.com/.
Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse and author of several medical novels. Wife, mother, and grandmother, she makes her home in northern California. Find out more at www.candacecalvert.com.
Susan May Warren is the bestselling and award winning author of more than forty novels. She served with her husband and their four children as missionaries in Russia for eight years. Now she writes full time as her husband runs a resort on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. Find out more at www.susanmaywarren.com.
Tyndale House publishers, 384 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.