He knew he was smiling like a fool, but he found he didn't care.
Set in location of Old Faithful Inn, 1903-4. Working in a discouraging cafe, 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
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?
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?
Thoughts & Feelings
One thing that I absolutley love about anthologies is that they give you an excellent peak into how authors write. I have discovered so many new-to-me authors through anthologies. This time around I "discovered" two new authors: Christine Sterling and Heather B. Moore. I put discover in quotes because I have heard of and acutally own a few of Heather B. Moore's novels. I just haven't read them yet...I am dying to read them, even more so now, but you know how it goes. The stories are lovingly welcomed into the collection, set on the shelf, and then they patiently wait their turn. Does this happen to anyone else? Just me?
Overall, I really enjoyed this anthology. As you can probably guess by the title, A Wyoming Summer, each of these novellas occurs during the summertime in Wyoming. Don't worry though, thats about where the story similarities end. I loved that each story was so different but had little connections of Wyoming woven throughout. Now, let's get to the breakdown.
The first novella in this collection is Ellen Found by Carla Kelly. It was fun to start the collection off with an author I was familiar with. When I was in college I read my first Carla Kelly book, Borrowed Light, and was an automatic fan of Carla's. I love her writing style and how she pulls me effortlessly into the story. Ellen Found was a cute story that had me giggling, smiling, hearbroken, and yes even crying...over a cat. You guys I have NEVER cried about a cat! Not even in a book. Cats don't hold a particularly good place in my heart (I'm not a fan) so the fact that I shed actual tears for a cat is proof at the greatness of this story. It's a tender romance that will have you rooting for all of the characters to get a happily ever after, not just the main hero and heroine.
Next is The Widow of Daybreak by Christine Sterling. This story was so intriguing. Outlaws, a widow, justice demanding to be dealt, a dashing hero. It seriously has it all. I wish there were a few more chapters to this story, but I know there are limits to novellas. What I wish we saw more of is the behind-the-scenes work of the sheriff. I wanted to see him converse with the townspeople, plot with those on his side, and unravel the mystery behind why the outlaws chose Daybreak to settle in. Again, I know that there are specific limits for novellas and I'm sure it was difficult for Christine to decide what to cut and keep in her story. I was still shocked by some of the revelations (it's so good!) and was on the edge of my seat when the time came for the good guys to confront the outlaws.
Lastly, is Heather B. Moore's novella May I Kiss the Bride. This was my favorite novella of the collection. I love the spunky and outspoken leading lady, Viola, from the start. I mean who wouldn't love a lady who very nicely demands that a lawman show them a secret telegram from the governor of Wyoming? She is a force to be reckoned with and I love that we get to see her confidence and determination grow. I also loved how Heather wrote the town and people of Mayfair. Even though we only see most of the characters a handful of times we get a good sense of what it's like to live in the small town and how people interact with one another. I'm even rooting for a little side romance and hope that we might get a story about Sidney and Phil. I at least need to know if they're going to end up with a happily ever after. This novella has me so excited to read the novels, written by Heather, that are waiting for me on my shelves.
clean, kissing scenes
Content & Trigger Warnings:
Prostitution is briefly and subtley mentioned in Ellen Found. The main man is walking down the street and has women beckoning to him. Nothing specific about their dress or what they say is given.
In The Widow of Daybreak, Doris' husbands death is mentioned a few times. We know out how he dies and experience/read about her grieving throughout the novel.
Title: A Wyoming Summer
Series: Timeless Western Collection #4
Authors: Carla Kelly, Christine Sterling, & Heather B. Moore
Overall Rating: 4/5
Timeless Western Collections
A Wyoming Summer