Helping Hands Press, 2013
Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
~ 5 stars*****
This is a gripping story that takes place during the Civil War in 1863 in Manhattan, New York, and is teeming with fascinating history while still managing to sweep you off your feet with an inspiring and stirring romance!
Rose Meehan the daughter of immigrants who fled the Irish Potato Famine, lives a tough and poverty-stricken life in the tenements of New York City with her sister Katherine and younger brother Thomas. Rose has won the affection of two men—Dr. Ian McGuiness with whom she was fond of and who represented material wealth for her future, and William Lee, a struggling violin teacher who happened to make her heart beat a little faster than the doctor. With both of them turning up on the same evening to take her out, she comes up with the idea of setting a footrace to settle the dilemma. The challenge took place up the street and back again but with the course being filled with all manner of obstacles, it creates a very entertaining race! Which suitor will win the race and be taken out on the arm of the lovely Rose?
Just days later, President Lincoln signs an Enrollment Act drafting eligible men with exceptions given to those married with children and those who could pay a large fee for a substitute. However, the immigrant Irish people were too poor to buy their way out and were angry that they were being drafted instead of the rich. They were also incensed at the unfairness that the black freedmen were exempt because they weren’t considered citizens. The murmurings and anger at the injustices against the immigrants that had been simmering then begins to boil over, with Manhattan exploding in devastating riots, out of control fires and murders. One of Rose’s suitors becomes a hero in her eyes delivering help and provision just when needed. God’s plan for Rose and those she loves is eventually revealed to all.
Kathleen Maher writes her wonderfully polished debut novella Bachelor Buttons with flair and such exquisite writing that I’m prompted to buy anything published by Kathleen in the future sight unseen! Kathleen is a brilliant story-teller that definitely knows how to write suspense and drama so well that your eyes fly over the page, right along with a sweet romance that is both believable and beautiful.
This book may be purchased through Amazon.
GIVEAWAY: Noela has graciously offered A Kindle copy of Bachelor Buttons to one lucky commenter!
QUESTION: What challenge might you put to two suitors if you had affections for them both?