This week has seen soaring temperatures here in the UK – even in the chilly north of England where I live. If it’s hot where you are, and all you want to do is flop down in a deckchair with a glass of something cold and some entertaining stories by award-winning authors – then Letterbox Love Stories is a new anthology that might just be for you!
I posted a few weeks ago about how I’d joined a new group of writers called the World Romance Writers, and we’ve just launched our first ever collection of summer reads. There are nine authors in the anthology, and nine stories. Each of the stories is set somewhere in Europe – from northern England, through France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Sardinia and Turkey – and they all have one thing in common: they all begin with a letter.
From historical to contemporary, from futuristic to paranormal, we think (we hope!) there’s a story for everyone. Here are the blurbs:
Letterbox Love Stories – nine authors, nine sparkling romances
MORE THAN WISHES by Rose Anderson
Raised on a sailor’s tales of adventure and eager for her own, Stella Cunningham answers an advertisement for a traveling companion to the Orient. There she purchases an ancient bronze lamp with a secret. In the land of flying carpets and genies, Stella is about to have the adventure of a lifetime.
ALL OR NOTHING by Denysé Bridger
Casino Coranthos is a playground for wealthy, bored people, but for some, it’s also a place where dreams and promises change lives forever. When a letter becomes part of an unexpected inheritance for Ryann Thomson, her aunt’s past brings her face to face with Ariston Katsaros, a man haunted by loss and driven by anger. As the attraction between them sizzles and grows, can Ryann convince him she isn’t looking to rob him or his father, or will she become a casualty of Ari’s vengeance? In this dangerous game of all or nothing, her heart and future happiness are at stake.
SEALED WITH A KISS by Lynn Crain
In 2084, time travelling detective, Tandi Reynolds, tipped off by a letter, needs to stop an assassin before he kills a
newly elected leader. When she finds him in 1874, Vienna, it’s clear a cold blooded killer is only one of her problems. Time is fleeting, so falling in love with her contact, the charismatic Count Leopold Radetzky von Radetz, is a bad idea, but keeping her feelings in check is not easy when she relies on him for her every need.
COME DATE ME IN PARIS by Helena Fairfax (that’s me :) )
When a letter arrives telling Alice she’s won a place on a TV blind date show, she should be excited – only trouble is, the show involves cooking for your date…and Alice can’t cook. Forced to throw herself on the mercy of her chef neighbour, Edmond, Alice asks him for lessons. But will she be cooking up a romance…or cooking up disaster?
ABANDONED TREASURES by Gemma Juliana
What do a reality TV star and a Sardinian billionaire have in common? Sophie Hayes buys and sells the contents of abandoned storage units. When an invitation arrives out of the blue to personally deliver an antique desk to an exotic island, she decides on a whim to spend what would have been her honeymoon with the famous Rico di Carlo. Can Rico convince Sophie in one short week to stay forever?
SONS OF THE WIND by Marie Laval
Provence 1826. Ten years after her brother disappeared in the marshes of the Camargue, Venetia Rigby receives a letter suggesting he is alive. Will Philippe Dantès, half-gipsy master of Terres Mortes, help her find him when he has his own demons to fight?
CURATING LOVE by Cara Marsi
A letter inviting Chloe Decker to curate the art collection of the wealthy DiMarco family of Ravello, Italy, lets Chloe begin to picture a new beginning for herself after a tragic loss. But she hadn’t included her employer’s sexy grandson, Matteo DiMarco, in that portrait. Chloe’s not ready for a relationship, even with a fine Italian masterpiece of a man like Matteo, but can he convince her to paint a new life that includes him?
PLAIN HARRY by Lindsay Townsend
Recovering from a brutal marriage, Esther is living quietly as a widow when a letter from her brother Sir Stephen destroys her contented life by ordering her to marry Sir Henry—but who is this “Plain Harry” and how will he treat her? Set in medieval England when women had few rights, this story shows how love can flourish between the unlikeliest of people.
THE MINSTREL BOY by Jenny Twist
In 1936 a band of students went off to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Only one came home…
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My own story, Come Date Me in Paris, features lots of recipes and a poodle called Sweetie who steals the show. The hero is a French chef, and next week I’ll give one of his favourite dessert recipes. If you’d like to find out more about my story – and find out more about me, too – there’s an interview with me on the World Romance Writers blog. And you can discover the recipe for one of my own favourites Parisian snacks here on French author Marie Laval’s blog. (Marie has run a whole series of recipe posts especially to go with the European anthology. Well worth checking them out!)
Here are the buy links for Letterbox Love Stories:
And I’m absolutely delighted to say that the first reviews are already in. I quoted from one of the reviews in the title to this post. Other reviewers say:
“These international romances are all so different, each one well plotted and edited, I’ve found some new favorite authors.”
“These stories were refreshing, wonderful, and each so very different – yet kept to the theme of a letter and love.”
“An excellent read to all the stories in this boxed set.”
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Do you enjoy reading short stories? Is your reading different in the summer holidays than the rest of the year? And do you holiday in Europe, and if so, where’s your favourite place? If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!