Carving for Miss Coventry Deborah M. Hathaway

I found this series fascinating. It is set up differently than a lot of series that I’ve seen. Each book is written by a different author. What ties them together is the start of each book.

Every book starts at a cricket match held between the friends of the local gentry and the working men of the town. The story of the cricket match is told at the beginning of each book from the viewpoint of the people who will be involved in that story. What was nice that the authors all seemed to know how their stories would start from that common time so they could refer to things that wouldn’t be important again until you read it in another book. The guy someone walks past while he was standing at the refreshment table is the star of a different book. The people having a heated discussion will show up later. Each of these books could be read as a standalone but this adds some fun to reading them as a series.

I like historical romances that focus on people other than the super wealthy. The heroes in each of these books are all involved with the working men’s team.

The first book, Carving for Miss Conventry, is about the man who made the cricket bats. He has a wood working business that is struggling because of false rumors about his father. He’s hoping making these bats will lead to more work. He’s hired to do carvings in a newly installed library and meets the daughter of the house.

The Stable Master's Son by Mindy Burbidge Strunk

In the second book, The Stable Master’s Son, the man who was gifted the estate next to the one where the match is being played is trying to get the gentry interested in buying some of his horses. If they are pleased with his stock it will build up his horse breeding business. He meets a woman working as a governess for one of the men he hopes to impress.

The third book, In Pursuit of the Painter, features a man who is hired to paint a portrait of the daughter of the man who hosted the cricket match. When she refuses it and refuses to pay, he alters it and submits it to an art exhibition. It is a huge sensation and makes her the laughingstock of society.

A doctor agrees to treat a young woman’s mother for no charge if she agrees to help him court her cousin. The cousin doesn’t want anything to do with the doctor but the young woman keeps up the pretense so her mother can get treatment.

In The Highwayman’s Letter a local man who is stealing from the rich in order to help finance his uncle’s post office meets his match in a woman who refuses to be intimidated or impressed by his highwayman persona.

This book gives some insight into the ways the post offices were set up at that time. They charged for delivery. That system didn’t work out well for anyone. Also, the wealthy could send mail for free and that just made this guy mad.

I loved seeing a whole series with no sex and by different authors. I’m going to be looking for more books by them. This is a great way to get people aware of new authors.