Valley of Dreams – Review

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by Sarah M. Eden

Series: Longing for Home (Book 6)
Paperback: 303 pages
Publisher: Mirror Press (February 4, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947152742
ISBN-13: 978-1947152748

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From the USA Today Bestselling author of the Longing for Home series, VALLEY OF DREAMS is a new romance novel set in the beloved world of Hope Springs.

Patrick O’Connor has seen far too much of the cruel and unforgiving world. Life has beaten him down relentlessly. Out of hope and out of options, he makes the terrifying and desperate decision to return home to the family he has lied to for years, the family he knows will never forgive him.

Widowed and nearly unable to care for her tiny daughter under the weight of extreme poverty, Eliza Porter jumps at the opportunity to leave behind the slums of New York City for the promise of a new life and a new beginning in the frontier town of Hope Springs.

Fate tosses the two of them together more and more often, while the burden of his tightly-held secrets and the ache of her abandoned dreams pull them further and further apart. Clinging to the whispered possibility of something more than the pain life has offered them thus far will require every bit of hope they can find in this peaceful but precarious valley of dreams.


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Through a number of books in this series we have grown closer to the O’Connor family. We feel their joys, and we feel their sorrows. This story will bring you through a journey of emotions. We grieve with them, laugh with them, and we rejoice when they find where they truly belong.

“Life hadn’t been all flowers and sunshine for the O’Connors.”

This family has suffered so much but stay together and support each other. Patrick O’Connor is not like the rest of his family. He feels that they are better off without him, and he let them believe he was dead for years. He used to be outgoing and funny but is now broken down and only wants to be left alone. Patrick is battling with his demons, but he returns to his family so they can fix him. He is gruff but tender, and he is so sweet with Lydia.

“He was a kindhearted soul, and such a thing was something that ought not be hidden.”

Eliza Porter is an extrovert who loves to laugh and is caring and strong. She has dreams that she worries are too big. She has also been going through hard times but wants to stay positive for herself and her daughter Lydia. Eliza sees Patrick as a mystery that she wants to solve.

“Happiness can be found even in the most difficult of situations.”

Finbarr and Emma’s story also continues in this book. I can’t wait for their own book and for more about the beloved O’Connors!

“Hope had brought them to this town. Love had built a life for them here. Beautiful, powerful, miraculous love.”

Blog Tour and Review: All Hearts Come Home for Christmas

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by Sarah M. Eden, Anita Stansfield, Esther Hatch, and Joanna Barker

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (September 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524411094
ISBN-13: 978-1524411091

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Christmas at Falstone Castle by Sarah M. Eden

The Dowager Duchess of Kielder eagerly anticipates spending Christmas with her son and his family. Though their relationship has been strained, the duchess is determined to heal the chasm. Even with the help of the widowed local vicar, her plan will take a Christmas miracle. But during this magical season, anything is possible . . . even two second chances for love.

The Heart of Christmas by Anita Stansfield

When a chance meeting brings together a gentle seamstress and a widowed banker, each lonely soul finds a first hint of hope. As their lives become entwined, it will take Christmas spirit to guide a broken family to love and healing.

‘Tis the Season to Be Daring by Esther Hatch

Elizabeth Davenport has had quite enough of the London Season. Determined to evade a parade of unsuitable suitors, she seeks help from the one gentleman who has no regard for Society’s rules. All of Society knows Lord Hawthorne is not interested in marriage, yet he cannot deny Miss Davenport’s unique charm. And as the Christmas season works its magic, their charade begins to feel less like playacting and more like love.

The Christmas Dress by Joanna Barker

Seamstress Nell Addington is thrilled when her childhood friend Jacob Hammond commissions a dress for his sister. But when Nell realizes her feelings for Jacob run far deeper than friendship, an unexpected snowstorm—and some holiday cheer—may convince them both that love is worth fighting for.


Christmas at Falstone Castle by Sarah M. Eden

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Sarah M. Eden always pulls you right in from the very beginning. The first chapter with little Adam is so heartbreaking.

“Father had taught him to be a duke.

Adam fortified his seven-year-old heart. If Mother didn’t love him, he wouldn’t allow himself to love her or long for her or need her. The pain in his heart was so enormous he knew he wouldn’t be able to bear it if he couldn’t relieve it somehow.

He simply wouldn’t care. About her. About anyone. Not ever again.

I am a duke now. Dukes don’t cry. And dukes don’t need people.

Seeking Persephone is one of my favorite books from Sarah. I love the characters! It was so great to see them again, especially with the addition of little Oliver. Adam and Persephone have such a sweet relationship, and I love seeing the dangerous duke’s sweet side with his son. Adam has the best dry sense of humor, and Persephone is so perfect for him.

Coming into the story I viewed the dowager fairly negatively. She left her only child, and the few times she saw him she called him her poor boy while pointing out his flaws.

While this was a story about the Dowager Duchess of Kielder and Roswell Duncan the local vicar, my favorite parts were with Adam, Persephone, and Oliver.


The Heart of Christmas by Anita Stansfield

“Staring at the cracked hearts, Addie felt as if she were looking at a clear and undeniable representation of the three people who lived in this home, the people she’d been hired to care for, the people she’d grown to love. Their hearts were broken, and Addie wanted nothing more than to find a way to help mend the cracks so they could find new happiness in their lives and share life like a family instead of simply living completely separate lives beneath the same roof.”

Theo, his daughter Becky, and Aunt Marla have been living in the same house for almost ten years. They mostly live their lives separately, however. Theo is naturally shy and keeps his emotions to himself, and the aunt doesn’t like to talk about anything sad. Becky believes she is to blame for her mother’s death and chooses to act out like her friends as school. Though truth be told, she doesn’t seem to act out much for a child her age. She seems fairly normal.

Addie wants to do her job the best way she can, and in addition she really wants to help the people she works for come together as a family. She is often described as a kind person and hopes to improve the lives of others. I was a little confused with Addie’s opinion of Becky. Becky presents herself as a skeptical child, however, Addie describes as “peevish” and “cantankerous” after only a short first impression.

I had a hard time getting into this book. I think a large part was because the book is almost entirely written as descriptions with not a lot of dialogue. I prefer more of a combination between the two. The characters also didn’t seem to have much of a connection to each other, and I didn’t feel any connection to them.


’Tis the Season to Be Daring by Esther Hatch

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Elizabeth fears she lives a boring life only knitting and embroidering. She doesn’t know who she can truly be until she meets Charles.

I love the way Charles is with children. The scene with his niece was one of my favorites. It was sweet and funny and you see a whole other side to him than the moody one that avoids the matchmaking mamas in the ballrooms.

These two are so adorable together!

I sometimes have a harder time connecting to characters in shorter stories, but these characters were really well developed, and I loved them.

There was a nice combination between romance and comedy. Charles and Elizabeth were able to have serious conversations as well as be comfortable and joke with each other. I liked the joke about the booties and the 12 children.

“Our eyes met, and in the firelight his shone an almost iridescent blue. And in an instant I knew. Whoever was lucky enough to marry Lord Hawthorne would live this way. She would have laughter, love, entertainment, and belonging. There would be trust and conversation. Oh, the conversations—always on the verge of laughing, but never at the expense of others. I stepped back away from him as a fire in my chest grew to be more painful and hot than the bowl of brandy in front of us.

I wanted to be that woman. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Lord Hawthorne, not just the next few days. I had allowed myself to be too long in his company, and now it was too late. No matter how we left things, I would never be the same.”


The Christmas Dress by Joanna Barker

Jacob and Nell grew up together, though they did not socialize a lot with each other. Years later they are reunited in an awkward yet cute way.

They have now both lost their fathers. Nell lost her father years ago, but still fiercely misses him and remembers all the good times. Jacob just recently lost his father, but they didn’t get along, and Jacob hadn’t seen him in the five years before his death.

It seems a little harsh for Jacob to not see someone ever again because they did not get along. Especially because that someone was his father and in staying away, he was also staying away from his sister.

I had to laugh when Nell mentioned multiple times that Jacob’s sister Alice shouldn’t wear black, because she is pale and has dark hair. Alice and I share these features, and I often wear black.

Joanna Barker is a newer to me author. I have only read Beauty and the Baron. I enjoyed “The Christmas Dress” and look forward to reading her other books.

“He lifted her burdens without even seeming to be aware that he did it, so naturally kind and thoughtful was he.”

While I received a complimentary copy of this book, I was not required to write a positive review.


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The Lady and the Highwayman – Review

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by Sarah M. Eden

Series: Proper Romance Victorian
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 3, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629726052
ISBN-13: 978-1629726052

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Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls’ school in 1865 Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of “silver-fork” novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories—the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Mr. King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.

Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Mr. King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher’s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of  authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group’s undoing as King’s readership continues to cut into their profits.

Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King’s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship.

For the first time Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.


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The excellent first line drew me right in!

Fletcher Walker has crawled his way up from the gutter with just his swagger. He goes wherever he wants, acting like he belongs, and no one questions him. Fletcher is a different kind of a hero who is very vulnerable. Now that he is successful writing Penny Dreadfuls, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from, and he gives back to those who need it.

Elizabeth Black is all prim and proper in order to keep people interested in her school. However, that is just a facade for her adventurous spirit.

Fletcher and Elizabeth both write Penny Dreadfuls and the chapters switch between their points of view as well as the Penny Dreadful stories themselves.

I’ve never been in to over the top, exaggerated novels, but Elizabeth’s story was fun and interesting. Fletcher’s was interesting as well, but it was sad, and real, and raw. Especially because it came from a place he knew from growing up in the slums. I liked how the Penny Dreadfuls intertwined with the overall story.

Even with their success, Fletcher and Elizabeth are drawn together with their desire to educate those who are often overlooked like females and the poor.

Historical fiction is my favorite, and I love learning new and interesting things during different time periods. I love that Eden drew inspiration from real life author Elizabeth Caroline Grey who was rumored to write Penny Dreadfuls and Silver Fork novels.

There was an overall mystery throughout the book that I really enjoyed. The ending is very cute, but I still wish I had answers to some questions.

I have read almost all of Sarah M. Eden’s books, and she is one of my favorite authors. This book seemed a different style than others I have read from her, but I really liked it and completely recommend it.

The Heart of a Vicar (The Jonquil Brothers #6) – Review

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by Sarah M. Eden

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications (June 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524408611
ISBN-13: 978-1524408619

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Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?


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In true Sarah M. Eden fashion, we have complex characters that we really care about (how could we not love the Jonquils!) and beautiful moments as well as funny ones. This book has everything you could ask for.

Sarah Sarvol has left America and returned with her brother Scott to England. Having spent time in the area as a child, she is returning to her uncle’s house so her brother can learn his duties as the heir. Her uncle has no use for females and considers her a poor relation. She is forced to live in the governess quarters and not socialize with others. Even through her trials, Sarah believes you make your own happiness and is a very outgoing and optimistic person.

Harold Jonquil has spent his life knowing that he would be a vicar, and he has been ridiculed by his brothers for it. They love calling him “Holy Harry” and using the term pious as an insult.

Harold has always looked up to his father and considered him exemplary. His goal is to emulate him and follow his advice. “Act well your part; there all the honor lies.” He believes that this means he must always be serious and hide all of his “strange” tendencies like climbing things like a monkey and singing songs about drinking.

Harold and Sarah were once sweet on each other until something happened that left them both heartbroken; and Harold soaking wet. Years later they are reunited and drawn together by a challenge.

I have been looking forward to reading Harold’s story. I knew there had to be a reason for him being so serious and proper all the time. This was not the story I expected. While the reasons behind Harold’s mask were similar to what I anticipated, I never expected the real Harold hiding underneath! He has some unusual and really fun quirks, and I loved seeing his relationship with Sarah. There is such a sweet tenderness with those two that is like calm in all the chaos.

Harold is so lonely and vulnerable. He is an introvert and has problems socializing with others. His belief of how the perfect vicar is to behave causes him to be even further separated from people, and he keeps his true self hidden. He is such a fun person when he is in personal settings and allowed to be himself. I loved his relationship with his housekeeper.

None of the Jonquil relationships are easy. They deeply love each other and grow closer together as they go through emotional and even heartbreaking times.

The Heart of a Vicar is the sixth book in the The Jonquil Brothers Series. So many beloved characters from previous books come back and even play large roles in the story. Philip and Sorrel have been such a special couple to me since the first book, and it is heartbreaking to see what they have to go through. Layton, another one of my favorite characters from a previous book, is still going through a lot of emotional turmoil as is his daughter. Just as in real life, things do not always wrap up easily. While this book can be read as a standalone, I love how many story-lines continue with previous characters. This book makes me want to binge read this entire series again.

Healing Hearts (Savage Wells #2) – Review

healingcover by Sarah M. Eden

Series: Proper Romance
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (February 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629724580
ISBN-13: 978-1629724584

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Wyoming Territory, 1876

As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.

When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. Somehow Dr. MacNamara’s message had gotten turned around. He didn’t want a nurse, he wanted a wife. When she refuses to marry him, she finds herself stranded in Savage Wells with some very unhappy townspeople.

But Gideon is not like the other men Miriam has met. Embarrassed by the misunderstanding, he offers her a job, and the two begin an awkward—and often humorous—dance of getting to know each other as they work to care for the people of their town. Romance blossoms between the two, but when a former medical associate of Miriam’s arrives in town, Gideon and the other townsfolk must rally around Miriam to protect her from a dangerous fate. Gideon and Miriam must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts for each other even as buried secrets are brought to light.


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I really liked Dr. Gideon MacNamara in the last book, The Sheriffs of Savage Wells, and I was looking forward to his story. He is an endearing character, and I wanted to see him get his happy ending. Being such a practical person, he decides to send for a mail-order bride who is also a nurse. Things do not go smoothly.

Miriam arrives thinking that she is only there for a job. The entire town is gathered expecting to see a wedding, and Gideon is embarrassed when he is rejected in front of everyone. However, since Gideon is such a sweetheart he offers Miriam the job anyway.

While I didn’t like the “quick judgment” of the town being against Miriam, I did like that they stood behind Gideon. It was nice to see him get the support that he deserves.

One of my favorite scenes was with Rupert: “Rupert’s face twisted with disgust, ‘Did your arm fall off?'” I love when children ask questions like this. His entire conversation was adorable. Rupert was such a great character.

Sarah M. Eden continues to give us realistic characters with a lot of depth and interesting story-lines that draw the reader in. I loved returning to Savage Wells.

For Love or Honor (The Jonquil Brothers #5) – Review

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by Sarah M. Eden

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (October 2, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524402567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1524402563

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From the moment they met, Marjie’s heart has belonged to handsome Captain Stanley Jonquil, younger brother of the Earl of Lampton. But six long months ago, when Stanley’s sense of honor required that he do as he had sworn and return to the Continent to fight in defense of King and country, neither Stanley nor Marjie could have dreamed what the cost of his service would be. It has been ages since Stanley last wrote, and Marjie and the Jonquil family are plagued by his unknown fate—until the day he unexpectedly reappears.

Marjie’s joy, however, is quickly shadowed by confusion—the aloof, battle-worn soldier before her is not the man he once was. In the wake of Stanley’s blatant disinterest in renewing their acquaintance, Marjie’s devastation turns to determination as she vows to help him find peace. But his scars run far deeper than anyone realizes.

Despite his feelings for her, Stanley believes Marjie deserves a man whose hands are not stained with the violence of battlefields and whose mind and heart are not haunted by the horrors he has seen. Honor requires Stanley to return once more to the life he has grown to despise, one he knows will destroy him in the end, even as his heart beckons him to stay with Marjie, the only woman he could ever love, and the promise, at last, of redemption.


This series has been a favorite of mine, and after reading Captain Stanley Jonquil’s story, it continues to be a favorite. This is a story of trying to find peace and hope during war, sickness and the general chaos in life.

Since a lot of the book is centered around Stanley’s return from war and his emotional and physical healing, it has a lot of serious topics. However, this being the Jonquil family, there will always be a lot of fun as well.

One of my favorite scenes was the Black Rod Summons scene and the poetry. It was hilarious!

I loved that it had so many previous characters from the series in it, especially Philip and Layton.

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On the serious side, I really felt for Stanley and Marjie. Marjie just wants to help Stanley and her sister but is turned away making her feel useless and unwanted. Stanley has done so much for so many people but doesn’t see the positive. He only remembers the battles and having to choose his men’s fate during the war.

Keeping one’s word is so rare and I love that the Jonquil family believes in loyalty and in honoring a promise.

The author read letters from soldiers and truly seemed to have a sense of what they were going through. It was a very powerful story.

I look forward to future books and I wonder if the next one in the series will be when a certain American invades Harry’s life.

Summer Holiday (Timeless Victorian Collection) – Review

summerholiday.jpgWritten by Nancy Campbell Allen, Sarah M. Eden, and Annette Lyon

  • File Size: 2235 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Mirror Press (August 1, 2017)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • ASIN: B072F3L1L3

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From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series, comes our brand new Victorian Romance line, with SUMMER HOLIDAY.

Three brand new Victorian Romance novellas by Nancy Campbell Allen, Sarah M. Eden, and Annette Lyon.

BREAKFAST AT SOMMERPOOL’S by Nancy Campbell Allen:
As Tessa Baker competes for the supervisor promotion at Sommerpool Department and Mercantile, she’s faced with a ridiculous list of tasks to complete in order to “win” the job. Tessa would love to be the first female supervisor ever to work at the Sommerpool, but her competitor is cheating at every turn. Discouraged, Tessa agrees to let David Bellini, a family friend and Italian Conte who is new in town, help her. When she discovers that he’s the new owner of Sommerpool’s, but wants to evaluate the employees unobserved, Tessa has mixed feelings. She soon realizes that she’s falling for David, but what chance does a working-class woman like her have with an Italian Conte?

HOWEVER LONG THE WAIT by Sarah M. Eden:
Carina Herrick says goodbye to the man she hopes to marry, knowing their separation will be temporary. Grant Ambrose is off to follow his dream and become established in business so that he can provide for Carina and a life together. He promises to write; she promises to return his letters. Yet, only a few months pass and already their letters become shorter and fewer. Finally, Carina is forced to give up on Grant if only to protect her breaking heart. Her parents are dead set against her becoming a spinster and insist she accept the proposal of the odious Mr. Baskon. With no hope of another marriage proposal, Carina is forced to make a difficult decision, one that can lead her either to happiness or misery.

THE LAST SUMMER AT IVY HOUSE by Annette Lyon:
Every summer Sarah travels to Ivy House in London as one of the household servants to the Millington family. This summer, she’s particularly looking forward to seeing Jacob, a servant who lives at Ivy House year-round. They’ve been exchanging letters since the previous summer when their friendship deepened. But when Sarah arrives at Ivy House, Jacob seems more reserved around her and less forthcoming. Has she put greater meaning in their budding relationship than she should? When Sarah discovers that Jacob has a dark secret and wants her to give up her dreams in exchange for helping him, she’s not sure if she’s willing to make the sacrifice.


I enjoyed reading the Summer Holiday Timeless Victorian Collection. I have read a number of Timeless Collections and this one fits in well with them.

My favorite story was the second one, However Long The Wait, by Sarah M. Eden which was not a surprise since she is one of my favorite authors. I liked the characters and their connection to each other as well as the storyline. I also liked how realistic it was that they each viewed what had transpired over the last five years differently and instead of confronting each other about it, they just ignored it and moved on.

The theme that stood out in all three stories in the collection was misunderstandings. Misunderstandings can cause people to lose the ones they love and they can ruin your life. In two of the stories, an outsider actually steps in and clears up the misunderstandings between the couples.

I rated this collections 4.5/5 stars and would recommend it.