Love and Valentines at Caynham Castle
Jeanne Adams, Morgan Brice, Caren Crane, Seressia Glass, and Nancy Northcott
Publisher: Rickety Bookshelf
Cover Artist: Lyndsey Lewellan
Release Date: February 1, 2023
Genres: Contemporary, paranormal, MF, MM
Caren Crane's story—opposites attract & forced proximity
Jeanne Adams' story—Grumpy-sunshine, forced proximity, different backgrounds/worlds
Seressia Glass's story—friends-to-lovers, grumpy-sunshine
Morgan Brice's story—hurt/comfort, evolving relationship
Nancy Northcott's story–Second chance at love, redemption
Themes: holiday, dealing with the past, bargains and deals, redemption, facing the future
Heat Rating: Varies by story
Length: 150 000 words/482 pages
This is the fourth in the Caynham Castle shared-world holiday romance series.
One castle, five authors, five love stories, all at the same holiday event!
Racing Toward Love
by Jeanne Adams
Dr. Oriela Deschamps was overjoyed to get a job appraising an estate for the Wellington family in the small English town of Caynham-On-Ledwyche. From the first meeting with the Byron "Bo" Wellington, Ori knows the job is going to be a challenge. First, there's Bo himself - the sexy, grumpy heir to Ribald Racing Stables. Then, there's the exceedingly dangerous artifact that's the centerpiece of her appraisal. That artifact, a set of riding silks from 1947, carry a curse and someone wants them for dark and desperate reasons. Can Ori's magic save them, or will the would-be thief kill both Ori and Bo, just as they find their special Valentines?
Fae-ted Mates by Morgan Brice
Dawson and Grady King are honeymooning at Caynham Castle, hoping to take a break from monster hunting. They have one piece of family business to handle, involving a generations-long agreement with the Welsh Fae. When things go wrong, will Dawson and Grady survive, or will they be trapped in the Faerie realm forever?
Romance Sells Records by Caren Crane
After watching her mother’s hope for a grand romance get dashed time after time, Hannah Evans grew into someone with no tolerance for romance. Callum Hughes’ parents had an enviable relationship, and he wanted the same for himself: if only he could convince Hannah to trust what they could build together.
Cupid Comes to Caynham by Seressia Glass
In Cupid Comes to Caynham, Oliver Jones' family has run the Boar and Knight off and on for centuries. After his father's death, it is now Oliver's responsibility to manage the ancient pub, a duty that leaves him no time or desire for love--until professional tourist Shayla Munroe literally falls at his feet. With Valentine's and Shayla's departure date fast approaching, does love have time to bloom or will it die on the vine? Not if Venus and Cupid have anything to say about it.
The One Who Got Away by Nancy Northcott
Hastings Whitney grew up driven not only to succeed but to be seen to succeed. His focus on success cost him two marriages and any number of relationships. Now he has a second chance with the woman he never forgot, jewelry designer Corinne Lanier. Has he changed enough to balance work with a relationship? Or will a business crisis bring old habits back to the fore? And is there a sinister side to his problem?
Excerpt from Fae-ted Mates by Morgan Brice
“I can’t believe we’re really here.” Grady King pulled Dawson along by the wrist to the check-in desk. “It’s a real castle!”
“It’s called Caynham Castle. Not exactly a surprise—it sort of looks like one,” Dawson teased fondly.
“Yeah, but ‘Magic Kingdom’ isn’t a real kingdom,” Grady retorted. “Truth in advertising is rare.”
The lobby was in one of several buildings along the wall of the outer bailey. Dark wood wainscoting covered the lower half of the hewn stone wall, matching the counter. A large oil painting of a man in the opulent clothing of another century hung behind the check-in desk. Grady assumed it was one of the many Earls of Caynham whose most recent descendant still owned the castle and ran it as a hotel and event destination.
The woman behind the counter watched their banter with a bemused look. “Welcome to Caynham Castle. I’m Constance. Could I have your last names, please?”
Grady plunked their joined hands onto the counter so that the matching rings showed. “King. My husband and I have the honeymoon suite.”
“Theatrical much?” Dawson joked. “She’s seen married folks before, I’d wager.”
“We’ve never been here before or been married before. Don’t dim my joy.” Grady knew he was being over the top, but everything about the trip had his excitement cranked up to the max. Honeymoon. England. Castle—and our own suite. Vacation. And no monsters for two whole weeks.
“He had a lot of coffee on the flight,” Dawson told the woman in a faux-apologetic tone. His grin made it clear that he enjoyed Grady’s enthusiasm.
“You have to understand,” Grady confided in Constance, “we’ve had several friends who absolutely loved their stay here. They told us plenty about the castle. I want to find all the gargoyles.”
“Let’s get you checked in so you can deposit your luggage and go hunting,” Constance said with a smile.
Grady’s eyes widened. “I didn’t mean hunting them—” He snapped his mouth shut, realizing that she hadn’t meant their kind of monster hunting. Dawson subtly elbowed him in the ribs, but his unspoken message was clear.
Don’t freak the mundanes.
“Grady and Dawson King.” Grady tugged a bit on their joined hands, loving how the matching gold bands caught the light.
“Ah yes, here’s the reservation. And it seems as if your friends have sent some welcome gifts. There’s a package from Teag Logan and Anthony Benson, one from Erik Mitchell and Ben Nolan, and another from Simon Kincaide and Vic D’Amato.”
Her tone shifted as she read the names, and her eyes widened. “Oh. Oh, my. Are you all in the same business?” She dropped her voice. “Do we have a ghost problem again?”
Meet the Authors
All five authors are members of the same Facebook Author Group - Romance Bandits
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Each of these stories is set at the picturesque Caynham Castle and its environs, and features a different aspect of the location around Valentine’s Day, with its attendant celebration Valentine Dance.
“Fae-ted Mates” by Morgan Brice follows honeymooning Grady and Dawson King, whose delightful vacation is temporarily interrupted by Dawson’s commitment to reaffirm his family’s accords with the fae…who aren’t all so sanguine about the arrangement.
This adult gay paranormal romance novella artfully combines romance, danger, and fantastical creatures in an exciting tale. The devotion between the main characters, the glimpse of fae politics and machinations, and the practical importance of maintaining both major and minor agreements is underscored. I love the alluring glimpses of Caynham Castle and its inhabitants (both visible and invisible), and I was caught up in the struggle the pair inadvertently became victims of. I learned about a new creature and a different way of affirming their connection, and both snickered at the reminder that one should heed the advice of those who come before us and sighed at the romance inherent in the story. Another great addition to a lovely collection of stories.
Each of these stories celebrates romance, and they all were entertaining, with vivid characters and descriptions, and I’ll be looking for other titles by the authors who were new to me.
A copy of these stories was provided for review