One of the better anthologies. Christina Dodd, Stephanie Laurens, Celeste Bradley, and Leslie LaFoy all write during the Regency period in England, or a little later. There is a smuggling Lord, who was surprised by a fiance he didn't know he had, an unwilling Duke chasing an unwilling bride, twins who change places right before the wedding but aren't able to change back before the wedding night, and in LaFoy's story two people who have been in unrequited love for thirteen years, neither willing to cross the line at the time, but now both are available and nothing is going to prevent him from trying to win her as his bride. I really enjoyed each of these stories and have found a new author I haven't read but will look for more of her stories.
Jess B. reviewed My Scandalous Bride: The Lady and the Tiger / Melting Ice / Wedding Knight / The Proposition on
Helpful Score: 2
Deliciously naughty, I do love these authors. Tales with fun characters where the action doesn't stop at " he took her in her arms" only to begin "the next morning". My romances don't have to be rated X but they better be rated R!
The first story is The Lady and the Tiger by Christina Dodd. Laura Haver is determined to find the person who killed her brother, with or without Keefe Leighton's help. Keefe is determined to keep Laura safe from harm and safe in his arms.
The second story (a VERY hot story) is Melting Ice by Stephanie Laurens. Dyan and Fiona have known each other for years and have always been 2 halves of a whole. When Dyan finds Fiona at a party of "debauchery", he decides that he's going to initiate Fiona in the art of true love.
The third story, which I enjoyed a lot, is Wedding Knight by Celeste Bradley. Alfred Knight has driven all gossiping frivolity from his life by marrying the quiet, demure Trapp girl (and saving his half-brother's arse)... except his new wife has a mind of her own and gladly uses it to bring laughter into Alfred's life again.
The last story is The Proposition by Leslie LaFoy, and I think this was my first LaFoy story. Rennick has been in love with Julia for 13 years. And he's waited patiently for his turn to share his heart with her. Can he get Julia to trust him enough to give him more than a night of pleasure, but a lifetime of love?
All four stories were very fast reads, full of determined heroines and strong heroes, both filled with integrity and passion.
As romance fans would expect from the star-studded lineup in this collection, each Regency-era novella features a high level of sensuality, but the short format of these pieces allows little room for romantic development. In the contributions from Dodd ("The Lady and the Tiger") and LaFoy ("The Proposition"), the heroines fall too quickly into bed with their respective heroes. Although the characters are likable enough, the stories lack the strong emotional core found in the authors' longer works. Still, there's plenty of fun to be had here. In Laurens's "Melting Ice," for example, the heroine finds herself in the awkward position of having unknowingly invited herself to an orgy, and in Bradley's "Wedding Knight," a bride becomes enmeshed in a mistaken-identity fiasco complete with blackmail and throwing knives. While this collection doesn't approach the heights any of these authors have achieved individually, it's consistent in tone and quality. Ardent fans of Dodd and Laurens, however, will be disappointed to note that these two authors' entries have been previously published.
I picked up this book solely to read "The Proposition" by Leslie Lafoy. My rating is based on that short story.
Rennick St. James, the Earl of Parnell, has returned home to find the lovely Julia Hamilton engaged to another man. Rennick has loved Julia for years. He was her husband's friend but would never cross the line to make a move on Julia. Now she is available for the next four days until her wedding. Rennick vows to win Julia over before she marries another man.
This story confused me. I liked both Rennick and Julia. They were great together. They both confessed that they had loved each other for years, but Julia still wouldn't agree to break off her engagement and marry him. I couldn't figure out why other than the fact that he had a reputation as a playboy and she didn't think he was good husband material. It still didn't explain why she was in a hurry to marry another man. My rating: 3 Stars.