I didn’t enjoy all three of these stories equally, but the reason for the 4 is because I did enjoy two of them. Sawyer’s Folly Box Set consists of three stories set in the same small town in Arkansas. The first two are connected.
Love Won’t Run is a historical western romance about an heiress—murder witness on the run. One of Della’s stops lands her in small town Sawyer’s Folley where finds love and courage in Lo a local Romeo. This story catches me right off the bat and pulls me in. As the story opens the heroine, Della is shaking in her shoes due to gun shots and drops the tray she’s holding ruining her employer’s carpets. She’s fired as she leaves she’d hired by a Lo or Lewis who needs a companion for his bratty niece. Said niece is really in need of some companionship and female mentoring, but she’s not all that bad, and as Della bonds with the niece, Raisie. She also bonds with Lo. As the bond grows stronger we learn that Della isn’t just another poor woman looking for a decent job, she’s an heiress on the run having witnessed her husband’s murder. She’s not just afraid of the killer finding her but of her father’s regaining control of her and using her for his own ends as well. Della’s life is going smoothly until a jealous ex of Lo’s happens upon an old flyer advertising an interest in finding Della. The old flame hurries to tell Lo who demands to know the truth. Lo is determined to save Della and keep her in his home and his niece is just as adamant about keeping Della with them. So, Lo sets out to help her only to bring danger to his door. Averting being killed and saving Della from her father, all seems well until more danger comes calling and Della finds has to act with courage to protect those she loves.
The story has a natural progression from strangers to falling in love. There is no sex only a sweet romance with a few kisses, but I still enjoyed it. There were a few out of place phrases for the time period, but it didn’t take away from the story. I give this one a 4 because Della showed some boldness in attempting to make it on her own after fleeing her home. It was also a fun to watch Della whip Raisie into shape. Raisie is my favorite because she is a symbol of the growing independence of women of that time.
The Second book in the set is Love Remembers When is also a historical romance. It’s about an ex husband and wife who fled Sawyer’s Folly after the death of their child only to be drawn back by an inheritance. Peter Bonham fled Sawyer’s Folly years ago and his brother’s wedding brings him home again to place where love broke his heart. Peter returns and so does the ex-wife who broke his heart.
This story was okay, but a little repetitive for me. Peter’s ex Lillian was engaged to a guy who seemed a little over the top of a jerk just to make Peter look like the better guy. I can only give this one a 3 because it seemed to drag a little which I didn’t like. There is too much rehashing of their pain over their son’s death and now neither seemed to be able to just heal and let go. You never get over losing a loved one, but these two took too long to get closure for me. That closure came in the form of them both visiting the cemetery where their son was buried. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the genre though.
The final book in the series is When Love Arrives is also a historical romance. This one caught me right off. It was about a man—a bit omega in my book, who fled his home in search of work and finds love with a lonely widow. Ethan meets a jerky guy who just happens to share his first name, Ethan. Ethan dislikes Ethan immediately because this stranger tells him he’s newly married and is out to fleece the poor woman. As it happens, this jerk doesn’t get the chance. The train they are on has an accident and kills the jerk Ethan along with several others leaving hero Ethan hurt. Enter the wife. Ethan is urged by the doctor of Sawyer’s Folly to pretend to be the dead Ethan because the wife, Abigail has suffered emotionally in his book. Ethan does but only after trying to set the record straight. Abigail wanted a husband to help her maintain her farm and Ethan is just the man. The romance develops rather quickly, but is very PG though Abigail is eager to take it to the R level while Ethan holds back. There are a few moments of drama as Ethan struggles to do the right thing without hurting Abigail, he sends a letter to his sister which Abigail finds. This creates doubt in her mind about who he is. Then, Abigail’s ex in-laws show up wanting to buy the land. Ethan’s belligerence toward them lead them to have him investigated. He ends up getting thrown in jail for impersonating the dead guy. Abigail finds out she’s pregnant and decides to go get her man. All in all a nice story. It does drag a little, but I’m not the biggest fan of the historical. I give this one a 4 because I enjoyed the concept of the mistaken identity-assuming the dead guy’s identity. I also liked the very independent woman that Abigail is.
The author did a great job of keeping the language and descriptions of dress true to time. This is a plus in my book. All the stories were a well-written, good reads if you enjoy the historical romance, the western historical romance genres, or sweet romances, you’ll like these stories.