Galen, Shana, et. al. A Gentleman For All Seasons. [United States]: [self-published], 2015.
Paperback | No price available/book out of print/stories available individually in ebook | ISBN-13: 978-1518798672 | 375 pages | Regency Romance
This is a great anthology, featuring a mix of author I enjoyed and authors I was new to, and provides a great sampling of their work. While it does suffer from some of the typical anthology/novella shortcomings, as a whole this book is wonderful, making me upset that this edition was taken off the market, as you gain a lot more from reading the stories together. It is also one of those rare Regencies that, in addition to focusing on heroes without titles, has a style that is reminiscent of Austen without being too pretentious about it.
A Madness in Spring by Kate Noble
This story had a lot of promise, with the exploration of the relationship between Adam and Belinda and why they hate each other. But I could not help but think that, since this was the novella that sets the stage for the setting and who most of the other major players are, that it is bogged down by characters. This made it hard to feel a connection to Belinda and Adam, especially when Bertram and Georgie seemed so much more interesting. The story also features an incredibly silly misunderstanding near the end, which I felt the story could have done without.
The Summer of Wine and Scandal by Shana Galen
This one was my favorite in the entire anthology. Shana Galen once again deals with tough topics, this time looking at the poignant story of how Caroline was duped into entering a life of disrepute against her will. Given how easily a woman lost her reputation at the time, it would have been understandable for no one to want to associate with her, but I love that she had a father who supported her unconditionally, and that Peregrine was non-judgmental, pointing out that he and everyone else have also sinned in their own ways.
Those Autumn Nights by Theresa Romain
Considering the way Bertram won me over early on in the prior novellas, I was excited when I got to his story, and was excited to find out his story was one that had some comparisons to Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Eliza was sometimes hard to like, but given her background, I think she was well-written. And I truly enjoyed seeing Bertram grapple with his feelings for Eliza.
The Season for Loving by Vanessa Kelly
This one was also incredibly charming, and I loved the musing about how circumstance has made both Fergus and Georgie outsiders in their own way, and that, among other things, creates a path toward a bond. This was also the one where the stakes felt the most believable, especially given her past health issues, his reasoning for why he doesn’t want to marry, and the climactic moment that brought it all together.