A WYOMING SUMMER by Carla Kelly, Christine Sterling, and Heather B. Moore
SERIES: Timeless Western Collection #4
GENRE: Historical/Western Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: Mirror Press
RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2023
A Wyoming Summer is the fourth book in the Timeless Western Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories ask if true love can survive the changing seasons?
“Ellen Found,” by Carla Kelly
Set in location of Old Faithful Inn, 1903-4. Working in a discouraging café, Ellen escapes an awful situation in rough and tumble Butte, Montana, and goes to work as second in command to a wary cook in the shell that will become Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone Park. She meets Charles Penrose, head carpenter on the massive project of Old Faithful Inn, which is being finished in a harsh Wyoming winter. Will it really open June 1, 1904? Can Ellen start to trust the other workers? What will she learn about the other employees? And Charles. He’s a widower with a young daughter there, too. Like Ellen, he wants more.
“The Widow of Daybreak,” by Christine Sterling
Doris Whistler is learning how to survive in a town taken over by outlaws. When the leader of an infamous gang murders her husband, her choices are to tuck tail and run, or stand her ground and make Daybreak as promising as its name. It proves to be a difficult task with the good citizens in fear of the corrupt mayor and godlessness that abounds. What she doesn’t expect is the support of a traveling lawman who believes in her and the tiny town she loves so much.
“May I Kiss the Bride,” by Heather B. Moore
Viola Delany is not happy about being sent to the middle-of-nowhere, small town Wyoming. Yes, it will be good to let the gossips find something else to talk about other than her failed engagement. And yes, it will be nice to spend the summer with her Aunt Beth. But as Viola sits on the train heading for Wyoming, wondering how she’ll ever occupy her time in such a small town, none other than a real-life cowboy sits across the way. She can’t help but take peeks at him, noting that the condition of his unpolished black boots and scuffed rawhide jacket seem to be authentic . . . All right, so he might be tall, dark-haired, and handsome if a woman doesn’t mind green eyes and a dangerous-looking scar, but this man certainly has nothing to do with her. Besides she’ll never see him again. What are the chances he’s traveling to the same middle-of-nowhere small town?
Other Books In This Series
Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Romance Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.
advanced praise for A wyoming summer
5 STARS – “…my new favorite of the Timeless Romance Anthologies.”
— Maria Thomas, Goodreads
5 STARS – “Another wonderful collection from the Timeless Romance Anthologies…A perfect read for your summer enjoyment that just might have you planning some trips to Wyoming or another western historical feeling location. ”
— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads
5 STARS – “A clean, fun, well-written collection by three talented authors.”
— Lorieah, Goodreads
I’m a big fan of the Timeless Collections from Mirror Press, as I’ve said before. I’ve read – and loved – books from their Romance Anthology, Georgian, Regency, and Victorian series. But I didn’t realize the Timeless Western Collection existed until I found A Wyoming Summer… which means more great reading in my future! (PS – if you haven’t read any of the Timeless collections yet, you’re in for a real treat no matter which era you start with. They always contain quality novellas.)
In “Ellen Found” by Carla Kelly, our heroine Ellen seizes the opportunity to leave her miserable job at a seedy cafe and work as a cook for the crew who is building the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone. I found this inside look at the construction of a historic hotel that still exists (with its original structures as well as expansions) to be really intriguing, especially given the perilous conditions of the winter. The romance between Charles and Ellen is super sweet as well – he is the sweetest and most considerate hero in this collection, a cinnamon roll hero if you will – and I loved that we get a peek at his POV through his journal entries. For that matter, all of the supporting characters in this novella are layered and engaging … including Plato who earns the dubious distinction of being the first cat to ever make me cry. I appreciated that the romance is given time to blossom between Charles and Ellen over the course of the construction, establishing their friendship around their mutual attraction.
Christine Sterling’s “The Widow of Daybreak” brings us into Doris Whistler’s life in one of her worst seasons. Her husband has just been killed by the gang of outlaws that’s taken over their Wyoming town, leaving her with two young girls to raise and a general store to run – all while dodging the advances of the evil man who killed her husband. This novella has a very clear line between the good men & women of Daybreak and those who are driven by wickedness, and it’s into this brewing battle that one of the absolute best of all good men arrives on the scene. I loved the strength of Doris’ character in spite of her grief and worry, and I enjoyed Buck as the hero, too. We definitely get to see more of Doris’ inner layers though, and I wish we could have seen more depth to Buck’s character and less ‘instalove’ between them. This novella has the most ‘western’ feel of the three stories and in fact is a nice companion read to Mary Connealy’s current Wyoming Sunrise series as it deals with similar themes (though with different styles).
The collection wraps up with “May I Kiss the Bride’ by Heather B. Moore, and this one made me chuckle the most. It’s not a comedy, per se, but it does have some amusing moments – particularly with the men of Mayfair who are vying for Viola’s attention and then Sheriff Rey’s subsequent consternation. Viola is another strong heroine, with goals and dreams that go beyond her parents’ high society sensibilities. I absolutely loved watching Rey fall in love with her, and I grinned at the role his little girl plays in helping him realize his feelings. Their connection is immediate from their first meeting, but I liked that the attraction simmers between them for a few weeks before they give voice to it. (Mainly because we get to watch Rey live in denial for a bit and he’s so darn cute doing so lol – everybody else can see it but him and maybe Viola.)
Bottom Line: A Wyoming Summer takes readers from the adventure of making history at Yellowstone to the high-stakes tension of a good old-fashioned western showdown to a town full of interesting characters just outside of Cheyenne. Each of the three novellas in this collection contains strong heroines, chivalrous heroes, and adorable children, along with a colorful assortment of personalities and dangers. The authors’ individual writing styles are distinct from each other, but all are entertaining and engaging. They easily draw readers into the stories and keep them invested in the outcomes. I enjoyed each novella for different reasons, and I look forward to more from these authors!
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Carla Kelly started writing Regencies because of her interest in the Napoleonic Wars. She like writing about warfare at sea and ordinary people of the British Isles, rather than lords and ladies. In her spare time, she likes to read British crime fiction and history, particularly the U.S. Indian Wars. She is a former park ranger, and double Rita Award and Spur Award winner. She currently lives in Utah, has five interesting children and four grands. Carla’s favorite authors include Robert Crais and Richard Woodman.
Christine Sterling is a USA Today best-selling author who writes small-town inspirational romances with a touch of humor. Most of her stories take place in the plains of Nebraska or Colorado, but she will write wherever there are cowboys needing to find love. Her favorite stories involve tight-knit families, and you will often find that her characters cross over in many of her stories.
She lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, four dogs, and one spoiled cat, aka The Floof. She can often be found in her garden with a notebook and a cup of tea.
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy publications, including The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. She has lived on both the East and West Coasts of the United States, as well as Hawaii, and attended school abroad at the Cairo American Collage in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about history and is passionate about historical research.
Other Timeless Collections I’ve Reviewed By These Authors
What about you? What makes you want to read A Wyoming Summer by Carla Kelly, Christine Sterling, and Heather B. Moore?