Seasons Series by Anne Azel
A rather large piece of work that needs a few introductory words. Originally (?) published at the lamented Amazon Trails, the Season Series consists of four parts: ‘Autumn Winds’, ‘Winter Snows’, ‘Spring Rains’, and ‘Summer Heat’. The third part introduces the character of Alberta Pateas, on which the spin-off Murder Mystery Series is centred, but which also follows up on the main characters of the Seasons Series. As if that were not enough, there is a sequel ‘Indian Summer’ to both series and ‘Wine, Women, and Food’, in which the main characters from the Season Series present Canadian recipes and locations. Sounds like a lot? It is. Additionally, both series are available in print.
But let’s stick to the Seasons Series. ‘Autumn Winds’ introduces Roberta Williams, renowned actress and much awarded film director, who has a very volatile temper and is the head of the famous ‘Williams Clan’. She meets her sister-in-law, Janet Williams, the very level-headed headmistress of a school for gifted children, and Janet’s two-year-old daughter, Rebecca, at the funeral of her brother Billy, Janet’s deceased husband.
Wills clash almost immediately, when Roberta tries to extend her leadership over to the latest heir to the Williams’ fortune, but the hot-tempered, worldly celebrity finds herself evenly matched by the calm strength of the ‘schoolmarm’. Wills continue
to clash as the story progresses, and a strong attraction begins to grow between the two contrasting characters. As we watch the relationship develop, we also – and that is relatively rare in the fan fiction realm – watch the characters develop as they struggle through crises and triumphs; that alone makes the story a ‘must read’, IMHO.
Sexual content is very low, it’s the characters and their interaction that’s at the centre of interest. There is a fair bit of angst, but never for its own sake. The editing could have been more thorough (a burial is not an internment, e.g.), but the story is easily strong enough to make the reader ignore such foibles.
After reading the Season Series, you will probably want to continue with the Murder Mystery Series. Be aware, though, that even if this is written equally well as its predecessor, it contains a lot of loss of lives, described in some detail. This
is understandable, considering that Dr. Pateas is a pathologist (and the author seems to have researched that field well), but it may be a bit much for some readers’ nerves.
Recommended reading for more than a couple of evenings.