CADE (THE MORGANS OF ROCKY RIDGE), by Margery Scott, is a 41 page (minus front and end matter) novella. Setting: 1861 Colorado. I ADORE the premise....Isabella Morrow is just days away from a wedding to a man she doesn't even like...when fate hands her the perfect escape from this unwanted union. Cade, a boy she went to school with, turns out to be her hero in every sense of the word. I loved watching their youthful affection blossom into romance, their united focus in righting old wrongs bring them together, and the resolution of Cade's revenge come to satisfying results.
The burgeoning romance is believable. The interaction between Cade and Bella makes their physical attraction and emotional connection and not-so-instantaneous love ring true. These two went through an awful lot (past and present) to come together....and they deserve their happy ending. This novella is a stand-alone, though I truly hope to see more in this MORGANS OF ROCKY RIDGE series (must be, given the subtitle, right?). There is room for much more in Cade and Bella's love story....and secondary characters would make premium star characters in future books.
Era-appropriate crime is described (but not seen in action), and kisses ignite passion beyond 'sweet' classification. I label this read PG.
This short story is incredibly well written. It's strong on themes of love and loss, revenge, and the meaning of family. The short story was almost error free (I found a few, but they were very minor). I'm so impressed with the quality and enjoyment factor of Margery Scott's work that I simply must find everything she's ever written and add it to my TBR (to be read) cue.
Highly recommended to fans of historical romance.