Tag Archives: romance

Soldier’s Lady; dashing heroes, un-ordered brides, competitions, forbidden love

Published by Barbour Books, The Soldier’s Lady is a collection of four stories that all take place on American frontier forts. Therefore, though the title of the book is The Soldier’s Lady, it contains four separate stories by four different authors:

Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is that I was never chastised by my husband for being caught still reading at 3am. Perhaps my least favorite thing about this book is that the stories were too short and I was never compelled to stay up until 3am to finish the tale. I’m not a very fast reader, but I was able to finish these stories in two or three settings.

How to read a historical romance without staying up all night

Do not read in bed. That’s my best piece of advice. But for these shorter stories, be sure to stop reading right before the climax and go to sleep and the next night you can happily read through the compelling middle of the story straight through until the perfect ending (and brag to your family that you went to bed a reasonable hour even though you had a story to finish.)

The Soldier’s Lady Synopsis and Review.

The Colonel’s Daughter

Nathaniel is every reader’s crush. He’s responsible, dreamy, strong, sweet, thoughtful, and he just happens to be the Colonel’s right-hand man. When Colonel Bensen’s wife and daughters come to visit at the fort, Major Nathaniel Ward is practically put on babysitting duty in order to keep the ladies safe from whatever may happen on a western fort—be it the Natives, animals, rough soldiers, or boredom. But when he develops feelings for Miss Allison Bensen, the Colonel has issues.

Mrs. Bensen has sworn she will never allow any of her daughters to strap themselves to the military life. They will soon be traveling back to St. Louis with all of the daughters in tow . . . or will they?

This story uses the classic forbidden-love trope, but hey, if you promise someone chocolate cake, you give them chocolate cake. And most of us like chocolate cake. Nathanial and Ally are a sweet couple that develop a friendship based on mutual hobbies and interests. Their love of the frontier and literature are just a few of the things that bring them together.

Here’s a snippet I loved:

“My mother warned me about waltzing.” Her voice was low and warm.

“And what did she say?”

“That I must keep the gentleman at arm’s length, and that I must keep my eyes down and never meet his gaze.”

Nathaniel swallowed, drawing her a fraction closer in his arms. “Why not?”

The Colonel’s Daughter by Gabriella Meyer

Frontier of Her Heart

The previous story in The Soldier’s Lady highlighted some of the glamour of a frontier fort when there were high-ranking Colonels and large houses and balls. This next story shows the other end of the spectrum at a fort with less finery and more work.

Doctor Boyd is care-free and always playing games or wasting time—or so thinks Emily, the young cook. She never has a spare minute with all the men to cook for and her younger brother to look after. Though she’s grateful for the job and to be sheltered from the weather and starvation, she has taken a cynical view of the world with all the hardship she’s experienced.

When she and Boyd are roped into a fort competition as a means of entertainment for the soldiers, they both begin to understand the perspective of the other. Boyd has undergone more than his fair share of sorrows, too, but has chosen to keep a joyful spirit—and chosen to stay unattached in order to protect himself from more pain.

What will these two do when they begin to fall in love?

Save the Last Word for Me

Adelina is hired by the officer’s wives to teach at the fort, but runs into trouble with Colonel Isaac Scott before classes begin. He is barely keeping things together as it is; he surely doesn’t relish the interruptions of a distracting new female mucking up the strict rules of his outfit. The new recruits are not fit for anything, the Natives have shown signs of aggression, and while his supervising officer and most of the quality soldiers are out on duty he feels the pressure of his responsibility weighing him down.

Adelina isn’t use to military life. She’s not used to taking orders from anyone and especially a man who seems to be making arbitrary rules just to make her life difficult. But she has a heart for the students that even extends to the illiterate soldiers.

Isaac’s protective nature is being noticed by others and he soon comes to realize he’s been more controlling toward Adeline because he’s more invested in her safety than he needs to be. Through a lesson in random acts of kindness, Isaac softens towards the idea of becoming a family man.

Winning the Lady’s Heart

This is a sweet mail-order-bride story gone terribly wrong. What would you do if you’d been exchanging letters with a man you were going to marry, but when you arrived, you find out all of your letters have been read by your betrothed’s best friend? Oh, and the best friend was also the one penning the letters because your man is illiterate. And minor detail, the guy you were going to marry died a few week ago while you were in route to the fort. Oh, and you can’t leave to go back home again because it’s no longer safe to travel . . .

That’s the set-up for this great story. My complaint for this one is that it was just too short. I would have loved to see this story fleshed out in a full-length novel. The main characters, Annie and Jefferson, have a lot to overcome in order to learn to trust each other again. Jefferson already knows her—he’s been reading her letters after all. But all Annie knows is that she’s been tricked and lied to. But she must get married soon or she’ll be asked to leave the fort as soon as conditions for travel change, and she doesn’t have a home of which to return.

I have to gush for a minute about this one because Janette Foreman is a college-mate and friend of mine. The next best thing to getting a book published is when your friend gets a book published. Seeing her name on the cover of another great book reminds me that there’s room for me, too! I enjoy the style of her writing and the realistic flaws and emotions of her characters. I can see snippets of her personality come through in the resolve of her protagonist.

Go get yourself a copy of The Soldier’s Lady and then tell me all about it!

It is my pleasure to share these stories with you and hope you will enjoy them as much as I did!

526051: The Soldier"s LadyThe Soldier’s Lady

If you enjoy clean historical romance, be sure to keep an eye out for my book coming later this spring, Bluebird on the Prairie.

I’m Tasha Hackett, born-again child of God, woman, wife, mother, author, fitness coach, and teacher. I spend most of my time with four chatty children and an incredibly supportive husband. You can see more of what I’m up to through @hackettacademy on Instagram and by subscribing to the newsletter! Home is currently in windy Nebraska and the landscape and climate is prominently featured in my first novel.

P.S. Happily-ever-afters are my favorite.

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Delicious Tale of the Failed One-liner, OKA: Hackett Meet-Cute

Possibly our first picture together

I love the “how we met” stories. They’re often my favorite parts of books, too. Even delicious tales with a failed one-liner are my favorite. But if the guy ends up with the girl in the long run, perhaps the line worked after all?

Once upon a time, I was 18 years old. I met a guy and we fell madly in love. It wasn’t love at first sight. But truthfully, I wish we had been able to draw out the friendship phase. The weeks of anticipation for what if he likes me as much as I like him are simply delicious.

After a month of trying so hard to just be friends we held hands for the first time Zing! and the rest is history.

And this is how we met didn’t meet.

My cousin invited me to play the piano at her wedding. I practiced every afternoon for a month of church camp at WCYC. The kitchen was my home the first two weeks and then I enjoyed two weeks as a camper for my last year of senior camp. There were few things I loved more than camp. And performing. I loved the cabins, the friends, (so many cute boys, just saying), swimming in the creek, singing around a campfire each evening, talking about boys, hanging out with boys, oh, and learning about God and studying the bible . . . with boys. Okay! you get the idea.

No, I wasn’t completely boy crazy . . . but I did enjoy their company. The point is, I had a really fun time my last year of camp, (despite the time I fell off the cliff and didn’t die, but you can read about that story here). My cousin’s wedding was at camp after all the campers had left the last day. I had a great time chilling with my camp friends as a few of them were hired to wash dishes after the wedding.

How I missed the first potential meeting of the love of my life.

I scrubbed two (I mean four) weeks of camp dirt from beneath my fingernails and dressed up in a cute summer dress and played for the 20 minutes before the wedding started. And then I took my seat somewhere off to the side where I couldn’t see anything because I’m only five feet tall.

Afterward, I snuck off to hang out with my camp friends, posed for a few family pictures and enjoyed the evening washing pots and pans.

But now it’s time for the real story. A few days later I was moved into my dorm room at college and had been enjoying freshmen orientation (and meeting lots of new boys that I may or may not have been crazy about. I’m kidding, I was actually spending most of my time with my new bestie Danae and we were, neither one of us, interested in boys. Nope. Especially not the entire team of them that played soccer.) Being a freshman, I was on campus the week before classes started, along with the soccer teams, and a few other groups. Most of the student body turned up for Sunday night communion traditionally held at the church across the street.

I wasn’t looking for a boy, especially not one with a ridiculous one-liner.

On my way out I was feeling excited. Also overwhelmed. Small. Adventurous. A little scared of everything starting up tomorrow, but mostly I was in good spirits. Standing alone, I was looking around at all the groups that had already formed and deciding if I should walk back alone or look for Danae. A boy spoke to me.

He was wearing an extra-large T-shirt (he would easily fit a medium) with an old leather jacket that was a touch too small. The jacket was zipped and he had the appearance of a T-shirt skirt, if you know what I mean. He wore a pair of army pants cut off just below the knee, white tube socks pulled up mid-calf and sturdy working boots. Oh, and did I mention he had a scraggly goatee a good two inches long? Did I just describe the man of your dreams? No? Hmm . . .

This boy dropped his one-liner, with no preamble, “Hey, would you like to go for a ride on my motorcycle?”

I’m sure my eyes grew wide. Taking a small step back, I said, “I don’t even know who you are.” And I walked away.

It wasn’t the one-liner as much as the attire of the one who delivered it.

Riding behind a boy on a motorcycle did sound exciting and adventurous, but I was no dummy. The guy was seriously sketch. I wasn’t about to be kidnapped before college even started.

I scuttled over to my newly married cousin a few feet away, but she only laughed at me. “No, that’s Ben. He’s cool. You want to ride with him.” I did? She made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that I should be hanging out with Ben. Well . . . still. I didn’t think it wise. What if he was actually as weird as he looked?

It was decided we would all go out for a late snack. I rode with my cousin, Ben and a few others met us there, and I rode behind Ben on the motorcycle on the way home. We didn’t speak. It was awkward. But also thrilling.

A few days later I was walking to the town square for the college job fair and he jogged up behind me and said, “Hi.” He followed me around downtown as we wrote our phone numbers and dropped them into the boxes for all the drawings the businesses were offering. We talked, we joked, and I decided this guy was okay. He was flattering. Friendly. Smiled a lot. And he seemed to know everybody. And everybody seemed to smile back at him. Who was this guy? And why was he hanging out with me?

That evening I had a message waiting on my dorm phone. “Hi Tasha, this is Ben. I memorized your number while we were downtown. Since I have yours, I thought it only fair that you have mine. If you ever need a ride somewhere, give me a call.”

True story.

I did need a ride. I worked at the bank about a mile from campus. Normally I carpooled with a girl, but I was on my own next Tuesday. Walking was an option, but I called Ben and asked for a pick-up next Tuesday afternoon . . .

It was weeks before we realized we had missed meeting at camp. He was a groomsman at my cousin’s wedding and we never once noticed each other! Sixteen years later, he is still asking if I want to go for a ride, but now it’s a vehicle that seats the two of us and our four little tagalongs. Given the fact that he always takes out the trash without being asked, and tells me I should keep writing, I forgive him for growing a scraggly beard every now and then.

Do you have a fun “how we met” story? What’s your personal meet-cute?

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