I’m always excited when I have the opportunity to review fiction titles! I read a lot throughout the day with the girls so I don’t always take the time to read just for pleasure.
Among the Fair Magnolias is a set of novels from four different authors set in the south. One of the four is set in the pre-Civil war years and the remaining three take place after the war. Each centers on very different characters in different life situations. It was fun to have the various viewpoints of so many individuals.
I’m typically not a fan of these types of books because the stories feel too short. I still wouldn’t say this is my favorite style, but I did enjoy it more than I expected at first. Each story had its own unique style which showed each author’s personality.
The characters in each story were quite believable, but I felt the romances were often too quick or forced in some ways. I love believable relationships and those that seem unrealistic leave me feeling a little blah at the end. I think this is all too often the nature of shorter novels. I am sure it must be a struggle for the authors to condense their stories in order for it to fit. This is why I typically prefer very long novels or series of books.
My favorite of the novels was An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray. I’m already a big fan of Shelley Gray’s other novels so I wasn’t surprised this one stole my heart. I really liked that the central character was a man and that the relationship had a past prior to their introduction to the reader. It definitely left a more believable feel to the story. I also really liked the journey the characters made spiritually and emotionally. This is very hard to convey in a shorter novel, but Ms. Gray did an excellent job.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook.com® <http://BookLook.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.