Love, Savory and Sweet

A Romance Novella

Romance - Historical
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 10/08/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Ronnda Eileen Henry was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in California and Virginia. She now calls Florida home. Her favorite authors include Jane Austen and Aleksandra Layland. Now retired, she lives in Florida.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite

In Love, Savory and Sweet, Ronnda Eileen Henry beautifully demonstrates her avowed love for the writings of Jane Austen. Her crisp, breezy novella brilliantly follows all of Austen’s formulae for a literary romance: the heroine’s acceptance of and struggle against her society’s social standards and expectations, devotion to family, a villain’s intrusion, domestic complications, strict manners, a restrictive social ladder, and a triumphant ending. In an imaginary setting reminiscent of Austen’s actual world, our heroine, Lady Krysantha, respectful of society’s restraints but surprisingly able to take control when opportunity permits, marries a widowed military officer and enters a conflict with his former family for acceptance and official nobility. After fathering a son, her husband, Colonel William, dies in a horse fall. His former family sends a spy into the new widow’s world to steal her inheritance. The “spy” discovers Krysantha’s true nature, falls in love, and struggles to win her heart even during the official period of her mourning. The obstacles are formidable but so is the two lovers’ need to be together although remaining well within all societal norms. Hey ... Jane Austen reincarnated—and magnificently so!

In the present literary world of brutal conflict and unrelenting ambiguity, I was pleasantly rewarded by Ronnda Eileen Henry’s splendidly organized and superbly delivered old-fashioned romance. Never does she allow us to lose our place as we breeze along, first accepting her imaginary society (not unlike Austen’s real one), then meeting her starring cast of characters—and embracing them—then watching the barriers evolve, and finally rejoicing as the difficulties melt away. I never, for an instant, lost my place—Ms. Henry’s writing is flawlessly clear, allowing fast reading and igniting our emotions, our hopes for justice, and our eventual sense of a well-organized world, though one long gone by. I was swept into this lovely novella, especially by Ms. Henry’s confident rendering of its delights (apricot tarts and tea cakes included). I recommend Love, Savory and Sweet to anyone who longs for a brief respite from the never-ending and often overwhelming complications of our present world.

Jane Finch

Love, Savory and Sweet by Ronnda Eileen Henry is an historic short story/novella and tells the story of Lady Krysantha who meets a widower, William, and is proverbially swept off her feet by him. They marry and have a son and are very happy, until tragedy strikes, and Krysantha has to find a way to make a living and find the means to pay for educating her son. Together with Cassie, a lady she meets by chance, she goes into business, although as a noblewoman she has to do this surreptitiously. William’s sons by his first wife are influenced by jealous family members and attempt to discredit Krysantha. Peter is enticed into this deception until he gets to know Krysantha and realises he has been deceived, and unwittingly fallen in love with her. Unfortunately, she can no longer trust him. Can he persuade her otherwise?

This short novella moves at a great pace. The characters are believable, Krysantha is lovely and misjudged, Peter is handsome yet has been misled, William is gallant and admirable. The story arc is smooth and well defined so that the reader is not left wondering or questioning. There are no questions left unanswered. Nicely written with characters that are real, and with a satisfying ending that leaves the reader wanting to follow the life journey of Krysantha and read more about her. Although a novella, this feels like a full novel and is a very enjoyable read. The author has done a great job, woven a stimulating and interesting historical tale, and created memorable characters.