This is the first novel by beloved doyenne of the historical romance genre, Beverly Jenkins, that I have read. I was concerned. Everyone loves her so much and my track record with hugely loved and highly touted works is iffy at best.
Well, I liked the premise. A second chance at love type of thing, with a school teacher, headmistress, and a buffalo soldier. Mature characters both. Lydia comes back to her childhood home from Chicago and crosses paths with Gray Dane, her first love. Turns out that his love for her as well as hers for him hasn't dimmed, but most probably grown. So we have some angst, some winsomeness, sexiness, and some humour. It should all work. Yet...
I wish I could say I adored the book, but colour me not overly impressed. Mostly with the style of writing. Very flowery, especially in the love scenes. For instance, I don't think I'd ever heard/read about one's nipples being dazzled by a lover's fingers, but now I can say that I have. Also, some of the dialogue didn't work for me, at times I found it stilted and at times it just sounded a wee bit too modern. And I don't know, there was just something about the writing that felt dated and unrefined (?) to me. (And not because it's a historical, sillies!) So I checked. This novella was published in 2007 according to the author's website, as part of the Gettin' Merry anthology. Okay, 10 years ago. Maybe that's why.
Anyway, I have another Beverly Jenkins in my TBR, a more recent one - Forbidden- from 2016. Hopefully I'll enjoy it more. :)