Title: Yes—These Are Your Grandma’s Romances (A Romance Anthology From the Fifties)
Author: Nancy Fraser
Genre: Vintage Historical Romance
Ah ... the Fifties!
A time of innocence, and the not so innocent. From “I Love Lucy” and “Willy” to “Private Secretary”, “Father Knows Best” and “Bachelor Father”, television and music from the fifties gave us inspiration. Come take a trip down memory lane with these five vintage reads!
Get your romance on, and make grandma proud!
Ed Loves Marnie ~ 1955 - Can this handsome military man convince the single mother to take another chance at love? Or, will their shared memory put a wall between them?
Willa Thomas, Attorney-in-Love ~ 1956 - Will these co-workers be able to tow the company line and forego a chance at romance? Or, will they risk everything for love?
Professor Knows Best ~ 1957 - Will this freaky trip back in time to 1957 give her the answers she seeks? Or, only more confusion? How difficult will she find it to navigate being best friends with the college-age version of her own mother?
His Private Secretary ~ 1958 - Can she run interference between her handsome boss, his needy family, and the scores of women trying to bed him and wed him and still remain unaffected by his many charms?
The Bachelor Father ~ 1959 - Will Nanny #5 be the one to finally ace the job, and coax him out of his shell and back into life? And, will a family vacation to Paris fulfill their wildest dreams?
Excerpt From His Private Secretary ~ 1958:
The desktop exactly as it should be, Eleanor stepped into the private kitchenette next to her office and started a pot of coffee. Finally, she set up a serving tray with two china cups and saucers, a sugar bowl and cream pitcher and two silver spoons. From the cupboard, she took a serving plate and placed it on the tray.
She was about to reach for the linen napkins when her boss’ private phone line rang. Glancing briefly at her watch, Eleanor walked quickly to his desk and lifted the receiver to her ear. “Good morning, Mrs. Norton,” she said without hesitation, “Mr. Norton has not yet arrived.”
“It’s just as well. He’s angry with me and probably wouldn’t speak to me anyway.”
Eleanor could hear the near hysteria in the woman’s voice and wondered what the problem was today. “I’m sure Mr. Norton will be more than happy to speak with you.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” the woman said sadly.
Eleanor felt a rush of compassion for her employer’s mother. The woman doted on her sons, sometimes a bit too much. “Why don’t I have him call you as soon as he arrives?”
“Well, all right, my dear, if you think he will.”
“I’ll dial the number myself,” Eleanor told her.
“I don’t know what Jessup would do without you, Miss Martin. You are a godsend, you know that.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Norton. I appreciate the compliment.” Eleanor paused for a moment and then asked, “Is there anything else, Mrs. Norton?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Oh yes, there was one other thing.”
Eleanor waited, and waited. Finally, she asked, “Mrs. Norton, what was the one other thing?” When no immediate response came, Eleanor could almost picture the woman’s puzzled expression.
“You know, dear, I can’t remember.”
“I’m sure it will come to you. When it does, please don’t hesitate to call back. In the meantime, though, I’ll make sure Mr. Norton calls you as soon as possible.”
“The charity ball,” the older woman said quickly. “That was it.”
Eleanor reached for her boss’ calendar and flipped the page, asking “The one on April twenty-sixth for Children’s Hospital?”
“Yes, my dear, that’s the one.”
“Was there something special you wanted to know about the ball, Mrs. Norton? It is on Mr. Norton’s schedule, if you were concerned.”
“I don’t mean to seem nosy, Miss Martin, but do you have any idea who my son is taking to the event?”
Eleanor closed her eyes for a brief moment, picturing in her mind’s eye the parade of beautiful women who routinely danced through Jessup Norton’s life. Summoning her best internal smile on a deep breath of air, she said, “It isn’t marked on his calendar. He hasn’t mentioned anything to me, so I’m afraid I can’t say.” To herself, she thought, not that I would even if I could. There were some things a private secretary kept private, even from her boss’ mother.
“I just hope it’s not that dreadful Carpenter woman. She’s got her sights set on my son. It’s shameful. She’s divorced, you know. And, you know what they say about divorced women.” When Eleanor failed to respond, Mrs. Norton added, “It’s like buying a lollipop with all the red licked off.”
Eleanor stifled a chuckle and listened patiently while the Norton family matriarch bristled over the thought of her son dating a divorced woman. When she finally stopped for air, Eleanor asked, “Is there anything else, Mrs. Norton? I really need to finish preparing for Mr. Norton’s arrival.”
“No, my dear; I’m sorry for bending your ear so much. It’s just I worry about Jessup.”
Eleanor wanted so desperately to remind Edith Norton that poor little Jessup was a thirty-five-year-old man and could take care of himself. Instead, she said, “Worrying is what mothers do, Mrs. Norton. Or so I’ve been told.”
“One of these days, Miss Martin, you’ll meet that special man and quit your job to raise a family. Once you’re a mother, you’ll understand completely.”
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What’s your favorite way to combat stress?
As weird as this may sound ... it’s my writing. These eighteen-or-so months have been stressful on everyone, whether you’ve been directly affected or not. Housebound for a good portion of that time, I turned to my writing to keep me sane (kind of). I must say, I’ve found the act of creating to be a wonderful stress release. Not necessarily everything was written with the idea of publishing, but it’s there if I want it.
Why is your featured book a stress busting read?
Who wouldn’t want to go back to a simpler time...even for just a few hours? This anthology is five complete stories (2 hrs or less each) and a perfect break that you can leave behind until you need another one. Each story offers a different type of escape, from the seriousness of a military widow reclaiming a lost life, to a career choice for a woman looking to break the glass ceiling, to a humorous time travel, to an uber-sexy romp on a moonlit beach, to beautiful Paris, France.
Many romance genres were tweaked to make this anthology happen!
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Runs May 1 – 31, 2021.
Drawing will be held on June 1, 2021.