When is an anthology not an anthology? Well, actually, I don’t know, but I think this book comes close! With only two authors, these are the stories of a bed – the “Masterson” bed, at different times in its history. The framework is a tour of the estate in which the Masterson bed now resides – a guided tour given by expert antiques curator Laurel Whitney. Assisted by a handyman, who is handy at a lot more things than might first appear!
Laurel entertains her tour group by telling them stories about the bed – first, how the bed came to be made in medieval times. A bawdy knight, who claimed the first title, managed to seduce and capture the heart of his wife, even though she had planned to do away with him for the good of the community!! Hmmm... kind of gives a new slant to community service, doesn’t it?
Laurel moves on to the Elizabethan aristocrat who accidentally kidnaps the wrong woman – once again the bed works its magic, and from being a colossal mistake, the kidnapping becomes a wondrous love affair.
In the Regency, the Masterson estate is close enough to the coast to form an excellent base for those attempting to halt the “Gentlemen”, smugglers who ruled the seacoast villages with threats of mayhem and murder. A spirited beauty puts her mark on the bed – gouges in the posts, actually, when she handcuffs a dashing member of the Masterson clan to the bed in a misguided attempt to protect her brother. She, of course, is unprotected – yes, the bed triumphs again!
As Laurel ends her tour, she admits that she and Mr. Handyman are involved, but not, as he insists, engaged! However, smugglers and thieves are still around, it seems, even in the twenty-first century, and this time they’re after the antiques from the Masterson estate! But together, Laurel and her very handy man triumph over the bad guys - and the bed!!
A charmingly different group of stories, cleverly linked, and delightfully told. I heartily recommend this to any romance lover – there’s something here for everyone.