To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern. The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies. Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.
Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison. Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers. Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.
As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears –the question is whether they face them alone or together?
Review: This was a fast paced novella that I read in only a few hours but the ending was a disappointment and the story didn’t fit in the period it was placed in – 1890 – although I felt it was appropriate to be set in England. The story line seemed more likely to be in the 1950’s, after the war, with a woman having so much responsible for her family and holding property. While there was a happily ever after in the making the story ended too abruptly and I didn’t realize I was at the end until I turned the last page on my Nook. Milly, who was way before her time, and Joseph had instant chemistry but neither wanted to act on it or acknowledge it but as they continued to work together and get to know each other better I could see them softening to the idea. They both had many layers to them due to their circumstances and the author revealed them to us slowly. There needed to be a few more chapters or an epilogue for better closure.
I have not read books by Brimble before but would give one or two others a try to see if there was better closure and a smoother finish.
Favorite Quote: He raised his free hand. “And Mr. Collins didn’t say any different. He admires you a great deal. Says you’re made of strong stuff.” He took another drink. “The only reason he gave me the job of bartender is so I can do all the fetching and carrying you want done.”