The Kelly is wonderful, as usual. The rest are a mixed bag, though there are no clunkers.
London's Grand Hotel is the perfect setting for romantic rendevous and Cupid's good works..... the impeccable staff and intriguing guests are ready to pamper and entertain you in five heartwarming stories.
All the stories in this anthology are about folks who work at (or take rooms at) the Grand Hotel. It is a new London hotel for the fashionable and those who want-to-be. The hotel has just opened and is already booked solid because of the parades and parties celebrating the end of the long war with Bonaparte.
THE BACKGROUND MAN (Carla Kelly)
I'd already read this story in another book, but enjoyed reading it again. It is about an extremely dedicated deputy manager, Charles Mortimer, who has risen to role of manager of the new Grand Hotel because of the extended illness of the regular manager. Charles is never been known to take a day off until Miss Millicent Carrington arrives at the hotel. Enjoy.
LOVE WILL FIND A WAY (Elisabeth Fairchild)
This was a well-written, poignant story about a widow (her husband died in the war about 18 months before the opening of the tale) meeting Lt. James Forester, best friend to her husband, Archie Grant. Archie died under awful circumstances and James is at the Grand Hotel to give Annabelle Grant her husband's effects. The reader soon understands that James is already in love with Annabelle, through the daily letters she sent Archie. Her husband lost his eyesight before dying and James read to and wrote letters for Archie in the weeks before he died. Absolutely beautifully written!
THE CASTAWAY (Anne Barbour) This short tale started off brilliantly. Martha Finch comes to London to prove that she is Lord Canby's long-lost granddaughter. Because Lord Canby is elderly and feverish to find his lost granddaughter (and would accept just about anyone who claimed the part), younger Lord Branford acts the role of gatekeeper and fact-checker. So many have applied over the years that Bran has become cynical. However, the solution is so contrived; I was disappointed.
THE MANAGEMENT REQUESTS (Barbara Metzger)
This author has a way with delightful dialogue and she shows her stuff in this short story. The plot is quite complicated, so let me just say that it was well-worth my time and I really enjoyed it. After Carla Kelly's story, this takes next honors.
PROMISES TO KEEP (Allison Lane)
Essentially, this is a story about a young woman sent to England (by her dying father) to make peace with his grandfather. Her parents never mentioned their early lives (how?) until, on his deathbed, her father speaks of them. She finds the problems to be much more complicated than even her parents dreamed. The couple didn't help me to like them; the story left me indifferent.