Legend Anthology

A collection of five stories (Brynn Paulin writes the first and fifth stories), this anthology is sure to please. All the stories revolve around a bottle in the ocean with a note and a necklace. The note is a wish and a promise to the finder for true love. When the person has found their mate(s), they are asked to return the bottle to the ocean for someone else to have a happy ending. An interesting premise for an anthology that I found delightful. 
The story that sets the premise for the anthology is A Legend Arises by Brynn Paulin. A sad tale of a couple destined to be together, but fate deals them a devastating blow. A wonderful love story with a couple truly enamored, and not afraid to show it. My heart broke at the end, but it had to be for the legend to begin…..
Gaining Hope by Lacey Thorn is the second story. Hope is the next to oldest sister who must take her eldest sisters place as a promised bride. Her older sister escaped the arranged marriage right before it was to take place, and the groom isn’t picky about who he marries, just so long as his debt is paid. A debt Hope’s father owes, not her. Determined to escape as well, Hope stows away on a boat she believes is owned by an elderly couple, but the two men who find her, and claim her in the most elemental of ways, are not what she expected. But are they what she was destined to have? A good read.
Moonlit Magic by Bronwyn Green continues the legend, and absolutely blew me away. A wonderful tale with magic, sex and moonlight. The backlist of this author is now on my TBR list. If you don’t care for any of the other stories, you should still read this one. It was that good.
Healing Doctor Ryan by Carol Lynne was a good story, but my least favorite of the five. I felt the couple somewhat mismatched. I enjoyed the story, but didn’t get the same sense of satisfaction that I did reading the others. 
The final story, a Legend Accomplished by Brynn Paulin, put a neat bow on the whole package. A conclusion of some sort to the first story, and a very satisfying one at that. Some intrigue and angst over destiny and fate, and how one must come to terms with who they are and where they came from. All in all, a read well worth the time. 

Book Blurb for Legend Anthology

'A Legend Arises' by Brynn Paulin

Legend has it that long, long ago, a great knight fell in love with a fair maiden...

Emma knew her entire life that she’d eventually marry Ailig and be the lady in his castle. But she had dreams of freedom which weren’t befitting to a lady of her standing. Still she yearned for Ailig and the unknown of his arms. As Ailig’s wife she learns her true freedom is in his arms and bondage is the emptiness she feels when they’re parted. Instead of wishing for freedom, she fears for her love’s safety while he does his king’s bidding.

Though she endeavours to hide her apprehension, Ailig knows of his bride’s anxieties yet duty to king and country compels him. Before answering each call to service, he promises to safely return.

But there are some perils that even a knight can't overcome...

'Gaining Hope' by Lacey Thorn

Hope has spent the last three years searching for her older sister and now she’s finally found her. And not a moment to soon. Her twenty-first birthday is just a week away and with it her marriage to a man old enough to be her father. She is desperate to escape and when fate presents her with the chance she grabs it. Guilt at leaving her younger sisters behind eats at her until the night she runs into the man of her dreams. He’s tall, dark and handsome with the most sensual Irish brogue she’s ever heard.

Shawn O’Grady had no idea what fate awaited him. First he’d discovered the bottle with the note and the necklace, followed almost instantly by the blonde beauty with fear in her eyes. She called to everything that was inside him until he was the one with fear. Fear of falling in love, fear of letting go. Fear of gaining hope.

'Moonlit Magic' by Bronwyn Green

Brought back to Ireland by her job, American Beckett Matthews jumps at the chance to study an artefact that recently washed ashore on an Irish beach. She's thrilled to have the opportunity to explore the history of the necklace. She's far less enthused to explore her personal history with the man who found the treasure-her first love.

Kieran Brennan has waited five years for Beckett to finally return to Ireland. When he found the necklace, he knew it was more than a historical find-it was the key to reclaiming the only woman he ever loved. Under a curse from the Faery King, he couldn't follow her when she'd fled to her home in the States years ago, but now in his arms he'll help her face her fears and return to him.

Unfortunately, he isn't the only one after Beckett. Denied his tribute when she fled, Aodhan the Faery King wants to claim her for his own.

'Healing Doctor Ryan' by Carol Lynne

Oncologist, Brannigan Ryan is used to people falling for him. With his black-Irish good-looks and easy bedside manner he’s a favourite among patients. Surrounded by death on a daily basis, however, Bran has learned to harden his heart quite effectively. That is until he starts treating Ian Fitzgerald.

Ian’s warm smile and determination easily punch holes in Bran’s barriers. Taking a step back to rebuild the walls around his heart, Bran takes off to his weekend house in Newport. He can't surrender to Ian and he can't ever get involved with a patient. When a treasure and a message in a bottle wash ashore on his beach, he's forced to re-examining his determination and wonder if he can't open himself to love after all.

'A Legend Accomplished' by Brynn Paulin

Writer, Emily Harteger has been at loose ends her entire life, never quite fitting in anywhere she’s gone. She finds her place in the past amongst the knights and maidens she creates on paper. When a story idea comes to her in a dream, she’s compelled to travel to England on a trip she can neither afford nor justify. She’s drawn to the shores of Northern England where vivid pictures fill her head and she pens a lurid tale of Sir Alexander and his love Emagarde.

When she meets Alec Woods, the very embodiment of the man she’s visualised in her dreams, she’s drawn under his spell. Her visions of the knight and his love grow stronger and she wonders if the attraction she feels for Alec is real or the product of her wishful dreaming. Then they find a bottle containing a necklace and note identical to one she’s written about in her book...

Is this fantasy or something else entirely?

Night Owl Reviews May, 2009 4.00