Autumn Dreams by Sharon McGregor

Autumn Dreams by Sharon McGregor
Publisher: Prism Book Group
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (57 pgs)
Heat: Sweet
Rated: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Maggie arrives at her new teaching job, planning to board with a family she’s prepared to like. What she isn’t ready for is her landlady’s brother, Marshall, who seems to hate her on sight. She is captivated by Ellen’s six-year-old daughter Emma who is having identity problems facing the arrival of a new baby in the family. When Ellen goes into labor in the middle of a storm, Maggie must face her fears for Ellen’s sake. Along the way, she helps a family grow closer, but what about her hopes for the future? Can she get past the wall Marshall has set up? Does she really have a future here amongst the people she has grown to care for?

Sweet, Charming, and everything the cover promises, Autumn Dreams is a must read for fans of the sweet, old-fashioned romance.

Maggie Lawrence is a school teacher, set to stay with the very nice Thornhill family on their farm. The opening is pleasant, if unexciting; Maggie arrives and gets to know first the family, then the community. She also meets the rather handsome Marshall Matthews, but he hardly makes a great first impression. Still, we readers find ourselves interested. Marshall almost seems to dislike the young schoolteacher, and we start wondering… about him, and about Maggie, as well.

And Maggie is a good one for finding out information. She knows how to ask questions, although her questions might be one of the problems. She’s inquisitive about the exact things readers wonder about. Her position in the household and with the youngsters seems to land her awful close to ‘drama,’ even when its nothing to do with her. There are small surprises and, although we readers see how we might like things to go, events are unpredictable.

Secondary characters are well developed. The Thornhill’s young daughter Emma is an important character, while still being, quite believably, a child. She’s a very engaging and well-thought out supporting character. The backdrop, a farming town in mid-twentieth century, is equally pleasant. It’s a pleasant country and McGregor gives us lots of pleasant descriptions–in all, ‘pleasant’ might be describe this novel.

Perhaps a short passage might convey the sense and pace of this best: “They skirted a field of wheat nearly ripe and ready for the harvesting crew that would soon make the rounds. A fenced pasture ran along the other side. A roan cow tinkled her bell at them as she lazed in the afternoon sun, chewing her cud. They approached the farmyard by crossing a high-plank bridge over a…” it’s utterly charming, and you can easily picture them walking along, can’t you? On the other hand, it is hardly fast-paced.

I’m giving this an overall 5 out of 5 stars. I didn’t intend to–it is not exactly the most popular genre these days–but I find I can’t fault it: story, style and editing, all top-notch and I must say that I simply love the cover. Do read.

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