The Lady Most Likely by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway

January 19, 2011

Three for the price of one or one for the price of three or for the price of one you get three... whatever. Yes, we have an anthology.

Well, I guess it's an anthology, but unlike a lot of anthologies the authors blend their voices together better than most I've read. I also had a thought when I was reading this: wouldn't it be fun if there was a contest in which three authors wrote an anthology and they didn't sign their names and we as the readers had to guess them. And the winner got a trip to, oh I don't know, London or Paris or Hawaii. Of course, probably the publishers wouldn't agree, but I think it's a swell idea.

Anyway, back to The Lady Most Likely. Three authors contributed to this book: Julia Quinn, Connie Brockway, and Eloisa James. Great authors and actually three pretty good short stories with only a few minor hiccups.

The set-up for the story is a house party for the purpose of getting a bride for Hugh Dunne. With the help of family friend Georgina and Hugh's sister Caroline/Carolyn a list is compiled of eligible women from which he can choose. Of course, if you've read romance for very long, we all know that no one on that list is going to end up as Hugh's bride. For you see, Caroline/Carolyn has also invited M-E-N.
The first story, by Julia Quinn, is about Gwendolyn Passmore and Hugh's friend Alec. Alec is there as an escort to his spoiled sister Octavia. I thought Ms. Quinn did an excellent job of showing us how sometimes shyness in a person is mistaken as snobbery. Which is the case with Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn has two problems, she's extremely beautiful and she's extremely shy. And Alec, who has no interest in marriage (do any of them), falls instantly in love with Gwendolyn. This was my favorite of the three. I thought this couple had amazing chemistry, especially for a short story. Alec and Gwendolyn were both nice people, and they belonged together. The hiccup in this story - well sort of - this is the only story Octavia is in and I was hoping someone would smack her. Her shenanigans needed a bigger book.

Sensuality Rating: Warm
The next story is by Connie Brockway and it is about Captain Neill Oakes and Katherine Peyton. It was at this point that I noticed that what I thought was a small party seemed to have grown, however I didn't want to go back and reread the previous story. But, all of a sudden there seemed to be more characters, and then there was Captain Neill Oakes... where did he come from? Oh, he's a neighbor of sorts. Ok. Anyway, Kate and Neill have luuuved one another for a long time. He ran away from her when she was sixteen, but he lusted for her when he was ten... but he wasn't good enough for her... and had to prove himself by going off to war... which he did. Now he's back and Kate's got him! Anyway, this couple is also great together and it's another fast paced story, with some Brockway humor thrown in.

Sensuality Rating: Warm
The last story in the group is by Eloisa James, and I would recognize her writing even if she chose not to sign her work. Do you know why? Because every book she writes has something about Shakespeare in it. Yes, I know that's what she teaches and it's sort of her trademark, but there are times when Will gets on my nerves. I digress. This is Hugh and Georgina's story. Georgina and Hugh have been friends forever. She's been married before and is never going to get married again! I never understood the reasoning behind that -it had something to do with people you love dying or some sort of silliness. There was also a hint in the story that her husband may have been gay, but it never was made clear and it didn't enhance the story any. I loved Hugh. He was such a rough character, loved his horses, had no time for anything else but horses, and I loved the explanation that is finally given for that. But, Georgina whined too much about never marrying for a short story... all the time she spent whining could have been put to better use. Like more sex. This was my least favorite of the stories.

Sensuality Rating: Almost Hot

Overall, this is a fast paced, light-weight, well-written book. If you can ignore the silly ending, you'll enjoy the rest of the book. This is a good anthology.

Time/Place: Regency England
Overall Rating:

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I just got this one in the mail. Good to see that it's decent. :)