This collection of short stories is absolutely superb. I am accustomed to Carla Kelly as a writer of Regency romance, but this anthology really showcases not only her historical knowledge, but her incredible range as a writer. Some of the stories are indeed romantic ("Fille de Joie" hilariously so,and "Kathleen Flaherty's Long Winter" both stark and achingly poignant), but many speak of other aspects of life. "Mary Murphy" tells of a laundress' plight through the eyes of a soldier who took the time to really pay attention to what he saw around him, and "Such Brave Men" paints a vivid picture of the privations faced by soldiers and their families on the Western frontier. In "A Season for Heroes," we see illustrations of both familial and military devotion rendered so effectively that I could not help being deeply moved. And I have to admire an author who can tell such a story in less than 20 pages!These are, for the most part, quietly understated and plainspoken stories that give the reader wonderful portraits of what life must have looked like in the forts of the Western frontier in the years after the Civil War. The moods range from hilarious to tragic, and I enjoyed this anthology very much.