In the first novella (Carving a Furture, by Carla Olson Gade), Nathaniel Ingersoll, journeyman figurehead carver, rescues a severely ill young woman (Constance) from a ship's captain, paying her indenture with all the coins he has left and his father's silver water flask to keep the captain from finishing her off.
He takes the unconscious Constance home for his mother's tender care, and then they find out the captain had no right to sell her bond--she had been kidnapped. Once she somewhat recovers, she demands her release.
Nathaniel's uncle and employer is more than a little upset at Nathaniel's expenditure. Constance can't cook, so his mother is also not pleased. But Nathaniel finds himself drawn to this young aristocrat--who, by the way, is also betrothed. Is there a way out of this mess?
The second book, Trading Hearts by Amber Stockton, is about the second son, Jonathan, captain of the river ship left to him by their father. He finds himself stormbound at the Higganum Inn where he meets Clara, the petite daughter of the owners. The attraction is instantaneous on both sides.
Clara's brother plans to throw a crimp in the romance. He thinks Jonathan is the author of all his troubles--a severe injury and a lost merchant ship.
Jonathan has convinced her parents he's worthy of Clara's attention, but her brother is a conundrum of a different color. Jonathan will have to stop the rumors her brother has begun to spread before his own trade route is ruined and before the budding relationship with Clara can be brought to a painful halt.
The third novella, Over a Barrel by Laurie Alice Eakes, begins with a small child found in a flour barrel in brother Micah's bakery. The child supposedly belongs to a pretty young woman, Sarah. There is a striking disresemblance between the young woman, Sarah, and the five-year-old screaming girl. Micah has his suspicions. He takes the woman and the child to his mother who is able to get the entire story from Sarah.
Micah is not so sure he believes her, but he puts Sarah to work in his bakery. A man searches for her and the child, claiming Sarah is his wife. Should Micah protect her or turn her over?
The final book, Impressed by Love by Lisa Karon Richardson, finds Aldon, the youngest of the brothers, a surgeon, impressed by a British ship to save the life of still another ship's captain, the uncle of orphaned Phoebe. Aldon believes he will be released once the captain is out of danger, but no--he is now a member of the British navy. But then, even if he were not, would he wish to leave the young beauty, Phoebe?
You can purchase this delightful four-in-one at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and Christianbook.
And! if there are a minimum of five commenters on today's book review here and on the interview tomorrow (total of five), Carla will send a book to one lucky commenter.