January 17, 2017
Four short stories, and three obligatory humpa-bumpa scenes.
Over the holidays, I always like to have an anthology to read. Usually they are light, fluffy
and fast; just right for an evening in the chair with some a cup of hot chocolate in hand. But Four Weddings and a Sixpence required me to do an observation and a little bitty rant.
My itty-bitty rant. I don't always feel it's necessary to include the requisite sex scene in all romance stories. Whether the story is long or short there should still be a reason to include one. Sometimes there just isn't enough space allowed for one; it shorts the character building. Or sometimes the galumpa-falumpa just doesn't fit in, it comes out of the blue, it jumps out at you and makes you choke on your chocolate. Ooohhhh my lovely authors, (especially veteran authors) you do not need to pound us over the head with a paragraph or page of sex to make us happy. Sometimes the story is better without it, especially a short story. There was one story in this anthology which didn't have any whankee-roo in it and it was the best one of the four. While the absence of a sex scene didn't necessarily make it better, it didn't hurt it either.
The mysterious sixpence. The story line of all four stories centers around a mysterious sixpence our four heroines find stuffed in a mattress when they are in school. I'm not sure why but they come up with the idea that it’s a lucky coin and will bring husbands to the one who is carrying it. No fairie godmother or anything to base this theory on. But hey, they are young and we need something to connect the stories. Works for me.
Something New, by Stefanie Sloane. In this one we have Anna who has to marry by the time she's twenty-one or there shall be dire circumstances. Rhys is the hero, a rake and in no hurry to marry. Through some twists and funny turns Rhys decides to help Anna find her husband. Of course this is Romanceland and he must fall in love with her, cross off all the other men on the list and make her fall in love with him. This was a light story, no shocks, no angst, just smooth sailing to the end. It was ok, except for the out-of-blue proverbial sex scene. B-
Something Borrowed, by Elizabeth Boyle is the standard pretend-fiancé story. Cordelia has invented a fiancé so her family will leave her alone. But her family and friends are expecting her and "fiancé" at the wedding of her dear friend Anna. Well as luck would have it, her childhood friend Kip shows up and she ropes him into it. This was a pretty well-rounded story development. Kip and Cordelia had a back-story, there was an obnoxious woman who Kip was going to propose to and just for laughs we have the twinkling-eyed Drew (Kip's brother) and ignore-what's-going-on companion, Kate Harrington. All of these secondary characters were developed enough to show up in bigger books. And, I hope they do. This was a sweet, funny tale, and except for the misunderstanding at the end after the (you guessed it) humpa-bumpa scene, I liked it. B
Something Blue, by Laura Lee Guhrke. Of all the stories in this anthology, this was my least favorite. This story was a downer, and I just wasn't in the holiday mood to read about lost love, trust, and traitors. We have Elinor and Lawrence. And, they just do not trust each other. Lawrence is trying to find information proving Elinor's father was involved in treason. And, Elinor plays the martyr card for too long defending her father. I found the whole story depressing, from the I-can't-trust-you-ever rigmarole to the galumpa-falumpa between two people who can't trust each other. It may have worked in a bigger book, but it was just not my cup of holiday cheer story. C-
A Sixpence in Her Shoe, by Julia Quinn. This was my favorite story in the anthology and it's mainly due to our wonderful heroine, Bea. She's interested in the stars, her brain is mathematical, and she's always wanted to observe the skies. But she's a woman and she's not allowed. Then she bumps into Frederick, I mean she actually bumps into him. He is sort of an angst hero. He is the owner of only one eye or one working eye. But that problem doesn't hang the story up. In fact, this story doesn't get hung up on too much of anything. It's just a delightful fall in love, romantic story with one of the best first dates ever in it. What Frederick does for Bea is a real "hero" moment. A very romantic story. A-
Overall, most of the stories were ok, there was just one which didn't match my holiday mood but the last story was a smile-creator.
Time/Place: Regency England