About the Book
In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers.
PINNED ABOVE HER HEART by Susanne Dietze
1851 – Pittsburgh, PA
After receiving the Victoria Cameo, aspiring journalist Clara Newton works to expose a smuggler, but reporter Byron Breaux must break the story first or lose his job. Working together is out of the question until they learn secrets that threaten Clara’s father…and her heart.
TAMING PETRA by Jennifer Uhlarik
1875 – Colorado Territory
Trouser-wearing frontierswoman Petra Jayne Hollingsworth has no intention of donning the heirloom cameo, but when a crooked brothel owner steals the treasure, securing its return becomes Petra’s highest priority. Assisting her, Reverend Dustin Owens is appalled to learn the price of its ransom is that Petra must work in the brothel. He may save the woman’s virtue, but can he help Petra regain her cameo and rediscover her faith?
MEET ME AT THE FAIR by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Spring 1885 – New Orleans during the 1884 World’s Fair and Cotton Exposition
It takes a Pinkerton to find a Pinkerton, and Ethan Butler has been charged with finding Elizabeth Newton. Just when he locates her, the cameo he is to deliver is stolen. It appears his previous case has discovered his presence in New Orleans, but he can’t return to that case until the cameo is found. With Miss Newton as a reluctant partner in crime fighting, can Ethan Butler locate the cameo and its thieves without losing his heart?
LENDING MY HEART by Debra E. Marvin
1895 – Pittsburgh, PA
The arrival of a handsome Scottish administrator ruins Miss Bertie Hart’s dream to oversee the new Carnegie Library children’s department. Yet bristly Mr. Russell Smart’s working-class determination and his love of books make him the perfect partner to better the lives of Pittsburgh’s poor. As for a partner in life? Not even her Victoria Cameo can narrow the social chasm he and her father keep between them.
Story #1: “Pinned on Her Heart” by Susanne Dietze
“Pinned on Her Heart” is another sweet and well-written story by Susie Dietze. I found the plot engaging and the characters endearing. And I absolutely love the history behind the cameo and the specific directions for passing the precious keepsake on to the next deserving woman. I adore the story’s timely message that our journeys on this earth are all purposeful. My favorite moment is when Clara realizes that she is loved and supported by God while she journeys the path He has set her on. She finally understands that God does not make us and then leave us. God makes us all for His purpose. I love this message so much because it is easy to fall into the trap that our lives are meaningless. But God, if we choose Him with our whole hearts, will never forsake us because He loves us. This reminder alone makes “Pinned on Her Heart” a must-read novella!
Story #2: Taming Petra” by Jennifer Uhlarik
“Taming Petra” is an outstanding Western novella. I thoroughly enjoyed the highly-engaging plot and found the characters to be perfectly crafted. And, I love the reminder that our origins and pasts do not define who we are. We may all be cracked pots, but God has great use for us, flaws and all. Dusty, the handsome hero, fears that his grossly humble beginnings and past mistakes make him automatically unlovable. But through God’s purposes for him, and his awesome interactions with the sassy, kind, and beautiful Petra, Dusty realizes that he is exactly who God meant him to be, which is a perfectly good enough man deserving of love. Dusty’s story illustrates to the reader that in God’s eyes, we are indeed all good enough.
Story #3: “Meet Me at the Fair” by Kathleen Y’Barbo
What a fun story! And the characters … I love them so much. Elizabeth and Ethan, the heroine and hero, are two Pinkerton detectives. Both are highly capable, intelligent, and quick-witted. I enjoyed watching Elizabeth and Ethan work together on a case even as deep feelings grow between the two. In fact, the chemistry between Elizabeth and Ethan is the best part of this story. It begins in chapter one with a moment that left this reader a bit weak in the knees and builds beautifully and realistically throughout the narrative. “Meet Me at the Fair” may be one of the most satisfying novellas I’ve ever read!
Story #4: “Lending My Heart” by Debra E. Marvin
“Lending My Heart” is a very sweet story about two very stubborn characters. Bertie continually fights the rigid rules and expectations placed upon her by her extremely wealthy parents and her social caste. Russell refuses to step outside of his expected social status even though his heart is screaming at him to do so. This final story kept me turning page after page because I needed to get to their happily ever after. There were moments my heart worried these two stubborn characters might not get what they deserve — each other!
Overall, I highly recommend Cameo Courtships. It is a sweetly satisfying novella collection that has left this reader with a smile on her face. Purchase a copy for yourself today. You will not be disappointed that you did!
I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Barbour Publishing, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.