Because Beards Anthology
Be it a little scruff or a full length beard, there’s nothing more attractive than a man with a well-groomed face. Masculine. Powerful. Sexy. Devoted. Lose yourself in this tantalizing collection of original short stories by your favorite romance authors in support of a great cause. Hipster CEO, bartender, best friend, baseball player—just to name a few—these men all have one thing in common: they’re bearded for your pleasure and deliver one hell of a happy ever after.
All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to The Movember Foundation, an organization that supports charities in the research and treatment of prostate and testicular cancer as well as other men’s health initiatives.
Written by Alexis Alvarez, Faith Andrews, M. Andrews, Jeannine Colette, Hayley Faiman, Angelita Gill, Ace Gray, Ruthie Henrick, Scott Hildreth, Evie Lauren, Jerica MacMillan, R.C. Martin, Emmanuelle de Maupassant, Leslie McAdam, Maria Monroe, Adrienne Perry, J. Quist, Renee Rose, Kacey Shea, Martha Sweeney, and Tom Sweeney.
Book Title: Because Beards
Short Story: Highland Pursuits
Author: Emmanuelle de Maupassant
Amazon rating: n/a
Reviewer: Katheryn Avila
A quick disclaimer – I received a copy of one of the stories included in the anthology, Highland Pursuits by Emmanuelle de Maupassant, so my review will be of that story. The following is a teaser provided by the author:
“1920s debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is defiant in avoiding marriage. Banished to wildest Scotland to come to her senses, in the care of her eccentric grandmother, Ophelia is soon caught between rugged widower Hamish and the villainous Comte de Montefiore. She’s ready to play with fire, but will she burn more than her fingers?”
My first thought when I read the teaser was: how is the author going to tell that story in a format I can read in one sitting? It sounded to me like the kind of topic you could write a whole book about, so I was interested so see how she was going to pull it off. I’m happy to say she didn’t disappoint!
As the blurb says, the story follows Ophelia – a strong, hard-headed woman who knows exactly what she wants out of life. That self-awareness draws the reader in almost immediately. Though Ophelia knows what is expected of her, and is willing to comply, once she realizes that she wants more she’s not afraid to stand up for herself. We get a sense of her character early in the story, and it’s a pretty clear picture – the author manages to create a character and establish her very well in just a few pages. Throughout the story, she’s also introspective, examining her own thoughts in a way that shows she’s growing from her experiences. Though it’s such a short read, the author skillfully gives us a character that grows and develops – not easy to do in the short story format, and even harder in the straight-up romance genre.
Ophelia isn’t the only character that easily comes to life – her elderly relatives in Scotland are a riot! The small moments of humor with them are among my favorite bits of this story. The entire cast, though not developed as fully as Ophelia, still feels real – from the maid that gets a passing mention to the two men who catch Ophelia’s interest. This is definitely a credit to the author’s vivid story telling. She also artfully crafts the setting in a way that makes it easy to imagine. I had no trouble seeing Ophelia’s surroundings, and the story felt as immersive as a full-length period romance novel.
That said, the reason I deducted a star was because the end left me with a feeling of being incomplete – like there was still just a bit more to say. I was looking forward to her return home, to how the conflict with her mother would work out. I have questions I would have liked the author to answer, but I understand the constraints of a short story. It says a lot about the quality of the story that I want to read more! If you’re a fan of romance but don’t want to sit through a full-length book, pick up Because Beards when it goes live Nov. 1st – it’s definitely going on my to-buy list. Anthologies are a personal favorite of mine, and if the rest of the stories are as engrossing and well-written as Highland Pursuits, you won’t regret it!
Plus, it’s for a great cause!
[bctt tweet=”As immersive as a full-length period romance novel. #amreading #bookreview” username=”OurWriteSide”]