I dipped into a curtsy, something I had never in my life done for Connall. We had played in the mud together as children, worked side by side as youth, and later shared a few stolen kisses.
But he was different now. Everything was.
Connall is tasked with protecting Anabelle’s cattle, but it’s her heart she’s most worried about.
Thoughts & Feelings
This might be my favorite novella from Horses, Hounds, and Happily Ever After vol. 1. I was immediately captured by this story and refused to put it down. Needless to say I devoured the story in a single sitting. It was a bitter sweet moment when the story ended. I absolutely loved the ending but was so sad that Connall and Anabelle's story was over. If Martha Keyes ever decides to turn this into a full length novel I am one hundred percent supportive and will be preordering or purchasing it on release day.
You might be wondering what made this story so fantastic and it's so hard to explain with this one. First, the story is set in Scotland! I have been hooked on stories set in Scotland ever since I read Heidi Kimball's novel Heart in the Highlands. It was so much fun to see a time period I love reading about but set outside of London. There aren't very many Scottish regency novels, that I know of, so it always makes my heart happy when I stumble across one. If you haven't read any regency stories set in Scotland you are missing out! Just wait until the main man calls the leading lady "lass," you are going to feel like a sixteen year old girl again. It's so romantic and cute and I just love it so much!
I also love that this is a second chance at love story. But even more than that I love that we get to see why love didn't stick the first time. The story is only told from Anabelle's viewpoint but it makes the potential of a second chance that much more of a mystery. I love me a good dual viewpoint but some stories are absolutely spectacular with a single viewpoint and Connall's Return is one of them. Martha Keyes did an fantastic job with the conversations between Connall and Anabelle and you can feel the unease turn into familiarity and then friendship. It amazes me to think of how much she managed to fit into fifty-three pages. The pacing is incredible and while I always want more of the story my heart was completely satisfied with this novella.
Content & Trigger Warnings
Title: Connall's Return
Series: Horses, Hounds, and Happily Ever After vol. 1
Author: Martha Keyes
Please note that the Horses, Hounds, and Happily Ever After collections are currently out of print. As of 9/12/2023, this title has not been made available outside of that collection.