A Well-Behaved Woman
Author: Therese Anne Fowler
Genre: Historical Fiction; Real Life as Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: October 16, 2018
Number of Pages: 400
Alva Smith has a problem. Several problems, actually. The Civil War has left her family destitute. Her mother’s premature death has left Alva and her sisters without anyone to lead them through the tightrope of Gilded Age society. Now her father’s failing health and finances means that the family will soon be without any parents, money, or even a roof throughout their heads. Alva needs to take action, and the only way she can see out of this is an advantageous marriage to a very rich man.
Enter William K. Vanderbilt.
*NOTE: This book is based on the real lives of the Vanderbilt family during their Gilded Age heyday.
Only One Regret
Author: Natasha Madison
Genre: Romance; Sports Romance; Hockey
Publisher: Natasha Madison
Published: October 19, 2021
Number of Pages: 255
Cooper Grant values two things above everything else: family and hockey. He moved heaven and soil (and his hockey career) to try and save his marriage. Despite all that, he’s now a newly-divorced father of two and far absent from his support system. Well, most of his support system.
Erika Robinson is one of the country’s top sports agents. Her first client jumped started her career. Since moving his career to Dallas, Cooper has also become her best friend. Just a friend. Of course.
Cooper is now navigating life as a single father and Erika is with him every step of the way. From childcare to cheering him on at games to house hunting to party planning, Erika always has his back. As sparks begin to ignite between them, Cooper and Erika need to decide. Do they cross that line? Or is it something they’ll regret?
*NOTE: This book is part of a spin-off series of a spin-off series. Taken as a whole, they chronicle the love stories of three generations of one family (and their close friends). It all started with Parker and Cooper Stone in Something So Correct.
The Ties That Bind
Although one is historical fiction based on real people and the other is a modern-day sports romance, both books depict big, super influential (and rich) families in New York City.
In A Well-Behaved Woman, Alva Smith marries into the Vanderbilt family. Although the Vanderbilts are insanely rich, they have little to no social standing and are snubbed by the New York elite. Alva uses her own family name and social network to bring the family to the height of gilded age Society. Once established, the family is always at the cutting edge of everything. They are forever throwing lavish parties, building mansions, and embracing new technology like electric lights.
In Only One Regret, Cooper Grant was born to hockey royalty. His grandfather is hockey god Cooper Stone. He also has a father, multiple uncles, and cousins who have made their own marks in hockey history. In fact, Cooper’s father is the general manager of the New York team, a.k.a. the team that his family has always owned and played for. When it comes to hockey, especially New York Hockey, the Stone/Grant/Horton clan is very large and in charge.
The thing that really cemented the similarities of these books for me is that, in both cases, family members have a tendency to name their children after one another. Cooper Grant is obviously named after his grandfather. The extended family also consists of 2 Viviennes, 2 Zaras, a Zoe and a Zoey, 2 Karries, and 3 Mathews. There also may or may not be 2 Parkers. Technically, Franny is the only person with her name, but that’s because her grandmother Frances died before she was born. The Vanderbilts had a similar habit of reusing names, especially William and Cornelius.
Basically, both books feature large, high-profile New York families. Truthfully, they have very different dynamics. The Vanderbilts (at least in this book) are mostly focused on achieving and maintaining wealth and social position. Cooper Stone and his descendants are very hockey-oriented, but their top priority is always family.
Random Aside: Parker Stone talks about Anderson Cooper, who is descended from the Vanderbilts, at some point. I think it was in either Something So Irresistible or This is Loopy.
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams and Anxious People by Fredrik Backman