This was a short novella connecting with Eloisa's The Ugly Duchess book.
Tells the story of Sir Griffin Barry son of a Viscount returning home after 14 years at sea captaining his own ship called the Flying Poppy, named after his wife, to which he haven't seen since their first meeting at their wedding
Phoebe on the other hand is not ready to receive a husband that ran away on their wedding night, unconsummating their marriage. But most of all how will he think coming home to a house with 3 children!?
This was a great read and was quite enjoyable, since many readers have met him in The Ugly Duchess, being cousin to hero, James Ryburn, another fellow captain who also has return home to England and wife, but that's another story to review another time. The speed on the romance was somewhat a problem because it was less than a day for them to fall in love. Although I loved Jennifer McQuiston's 24 hours romance debut book this one....I'm not sure what to make. They've been married for more than a decade so that might have been something that bothered me with the speed of their relationship, although I did really like their connection and awareness to one another. This was a great read to a character we readers wanted to know more about from another book.
The other story in this book was With This Kiss, originally a 3 serial part book. In this review I'll just summarize all 3 parts together so that it won't be so appalling?
This was the story of the children of James Ryburn and Griffin Barry falling in love. Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy and son to Sir Griffin Barry and Lady Phoebe Barry. Grace has been in love with Colin for years, at the age of 12 she new that her feelings and adoration towards Colin wasn't a brotherly-sisterly feeling. Her younger sister Lily on the other hand was the prettier and more outgoing one and Colin seems to like her more. As he went off to sea Grace would write him ever so often detailing the troubles or hilarious occurrences in their families. Although Colin never wrote back more than 3 lines or never at all she would still to write to him.
Colin has always felt uneasy and yet fascinated around Grace as a child even at her young age of 12 and him 16. She was quite, sweet, and proper and most of all nothing like her younger sister Lily, the Horror, everyone called her. Grace understood him and knew how he felt about the Navy and seem to always know too much about him. One evening when he return home after a couple of years at sea he laid eyes on Lily at a ball and was swept away with happiness at seeing her, secretly happy that he didn't see Grace because she knew to much about his battle scared life at sea. That same week Colin asked for Lily's hand in marriage.
Grace was devastated upon hearing the news and was told by her parents to never write to Colin again. She later accepted a gentleman's proposal for marriage and tried to move on with her life.
Upon learning that Grace would never write to him again and of her engagement, Colin was flabbergasted. Her letters were what kept him alive at sea and unharmed for so long.
I'm not going to spoil the ending but if you want to know go pick it up.
The characters were likable. They were understandable on how they play their actions. I can say I disliked Lily because how much she out shined Grace's character and you feel and understand how much Grace loves Colin. But Lily was also s great character that couldn't be left out; she was also likable because of her role in the story.
With This Kiss can basically be seen as one whole novel and it was great to have all the parts in one book together so that the story wasn't lost, or for many readers- lost interest on waiting. I can say I got teary eyed on some parts and that is a good sign of a good book for me.
All in all these two stories were amazing and hope that something like this- having two novellas in one book together happens more often. Especially for those of us who don't have ereaders to read ebook novellas but are dying too.