I was excited to see 3 books for less than $10 and by Susan Wiggs. I read a re-issue of "Firebrand" and fell in love with Ms. Wiggs. The Calhoun series highlights what an amazing writer Ms. Wiggs really is. This is the first 3 of 5 books in the series and spans a far number of years, bookending the Civil War. Ms. Wiggs provides enough historical reference for the reader to understand the era, but gives you 3 very different settings: Boston/Ship/Rio, desolate island/Virgina horse farm, Georgetown. The first starts out with the theme of the "Ugly Duckling" that is very pervasive through the 3 books. But it is more about the heroines growing into their own, not of them being ugly, just under appreciated. The heroes are strong and swoon worthy. It is refreshing to read historical romances that aren't just set in one time and space.