Novella Review by Lisa Norato
The Most Eligible BACHELOR Romance Collection
by Shannon McNear
Barbour Books © 2015
The Most Eligible BACHELOR is a delightful collection of nine romantic novellas of Americana history. The bachelors and their love interests range from a variety of time periods and walks of life. This review is for Shannon McNear's novella, The Highwayman.
The Highwayman is set along the Great Wagon Road, lower Shenandoah Valley, on the eve of the American Revolution.
Samuel Wheeler is a colonial wagon master who is terrifyingly accurate with a whip. His skill and daring "accidentally" land him the title The Highwayman when, on a lark, he darns the unclaimed boots and embroidered coat of a nobleman to become the disguised rescuer of a lady in distress. A rescue has led to chasing down redcoats, and now Sam's exploits are known up and down the Great Road. Stories of his bravery are repeated by children. Sam, however, has grown tired of his clandestine activities and longs for nothing more than to be able to express his love for Tall Sally, but every time he's near her, his tongue grows thick, his hands clumsy and he can hardly breathe, let alone speak.
Sarah Brewster is the tall and lovely red-haired daughter of an inn keeper along the road where Samuel and his cousin frequently stop. When Sally is accosted one evening, Sam dons his disguise and comes to her rescue. He finds he can declare his feelings as the Highwayman in a way he can't as humble wagon master Sam. But is the Highwayman in for a secret romance and more trouble than he can handle?
If you love a strong, silent hero, you'll fall for Sam as much as I did. You'll come to care for Tall Sally and the rest of the Brewster family. Shannon makes her colonial setting come to life, and her plot is a well-crafted tale of danger, deceit and romance with a satisfying, climatic ending. A wonderful, entertaining read that I highly recommend!