ONCE UPON A PILLOW
A dynamite duo of authors has teamed up to write a delightful quartet of novellas connected by the story of one magnificent bed.
Curator Laurel Whitney is leading one last tour through the beautiful old English manor house. It is a bittersweet experience and as some of the visitors ask her questions, Laurel regales them with the story of the famous 800-year-old Masterson bed and its effect on the lovers who slept there.
It begins in 1200 with "The Bed is Made," when Sir Nicholas arrives as husband to Lady Jocelyn Cabot. Once known as Nicholas No-Name, he is intent upon holding the manor house and its lady, but that is not easy matter since the local friars have devised a plan to kill him. However, love finds its way as the legend of the Masterson bed, as well as the Masterson name, come into being.
In Elizabethan times, "The Bed is Unmade" when Roin Masterson abducts the wrong woman and ends up with a hellion in his bed. Helwin knows that by wearing her sister's cloak she has unwittingly been caught in a trap. And now, she's lying in the infamous bed, where it is claimed that after one night with a lover, a child is conceived. Their battle of wills ends in love; however, just like Cinderella, there's a happily ever after ending.
During the Regency era, "The Lady Makes her Bed" by tying Captain Ned Masterson, her one-time lover, to the bed. But Philippa Jones is playing with fire since the old feelings have never died. Revenge is a double-edged sword and bringing Ned into the bed makes it all the sweeter.
As Laurel winds down her tour, she finds that once more the Masterson bed will have to work some magic to bring a pair of unlikely lovers together.
Witty, sensual, delightful and pure fun, ONCE UPON A PILLOW is a perfect anthology that allows both Ms. Brockway and Ms. Dodd to showcase their talents for storytelling. Each tale is unique, lovingly crafted and peopled with such likable characters that I wished for more of their stories and so will you. This is a shining example of what a team of talented authors can do with an idea—and what an idea it is! SENSUAL (Jul., 400 pp.,$12.00)