Friday, May 31, 2013

Three Weddings and a Funeral

Three Weddings and a Funeral

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare

Eliza Cade is the youngest of four sisters and because of a scandalous misunderstanding as a child she is not allowed out into society until all of her sister's are married off. She chafes under these restrictions and finds herself running into Mr. Harry Wright, a rake of the first order, at nearly every opportunity. They meet in abandoned drawing rooms, at house parties, and slowly get to know each other over the years. Harry also begins to realize that he needs to make a change in his life and he wants to earn the respect of the uncle he is going to inherit a Dukedom from and from Eliza. They fall in love during these little tete-e-tetes until finally they are both able to admit their love and marry.

This story was very short but a lot was accomplished as Dare did a wonderful job portraying a full romantic relationship. Eliza and Harry were both super fun characters who worked so well together and their meetings were entertaining and sweet at the same time. I admired Harry's desire to become a better person and Eliza's dedication to her family. There was very little sex in this novel and it was romantic and fit well into the story and there was some nice sizzle throughout the story. I enjoyed this story and how it was written a lot differently than other stories I've read.

The Misbehaving Marquess by Leigh LaValle

Catharine, the Marchioness of Forrester, has run the estate for years since her husband ran off to Europe. She is stunned to find him in the library and shocked when he announces he is back because he needs to create an heir. Forester knows that he made a mistake by disappearing shortly after their marriage when his wife had been young and foolish and created a scandal by appearing alone with a notorious rake. He knows he has a lot to make up for and is determined to show Catherine that he is not going anywhere, but Catherine does not know how she will ever trust him again. They will both have to overcome the past to move on and create a future together.

I very much enjoyed this story and loved reading about a couple learning to forgive and falling in love all over again. The story was very emotional and both sides of the story were skillfully told so it was clear no one was to blame and both of them were so in love with the other and deserved to be happy together. Catherine was strong and vulnerable, capable and intelligent and so full of love while Forester was a strong hero who learned to be more open about his emotions who needed to let the woman he loved into his life. The story was sexy, but that was definitely not the focus of the story and everything worked very well in this novella.

The Lady Always Wins by Courtney Milan

Ginny grew up poor and after moving in with her aunt, she met Simon, the boy next door who's wealthy parents disapproved of their relationship. When Simon demanded she marry him despite his parents threats to cut him off, Ginny panicked at the thought of being poor and married another man. After her husbands death, Simon shows up to win Ginny back and finally the woman he has loved for years. The two fall back into their old habits, verbally sparring and challenging one another, and Simon fears that Ginny will discover that his current finances are in danger. He finally realizes that he cannot trick Ginny into marrying him because he loves her, but Ginny has a few tricks up her own sleeves to prove that she is more than a match for Simon.

I really liked Ginny right off the back, because she was so realistic and practical, and it was refreshing to see a romance character who wasn't scared to admit how important money was to a happy life. I didn't find her mercenary because it also was for Simon's own good as well and I loved that he had not dropped the torch he was carrying for her. I did not really like that so much of their relationship seemed to be founded on verbal sparring, which typically annoys me and doesn't seem very romantic. There was some hot sex in this book as both of them were adults when the story took place so it was a necessary and nice addition to the story. I found myself drawn into his business dealings and reading on to find out what would happen there and the ending was absolutely perfect and satisfying.

Solomon's Wisdom by Carey Baldwin

Anna and Charlie were best friends in small town Texas even though Charlie was the star of the football team and Anna was destined to become the town librarian. The night Anna declares her love for him is also the day Charlie's ex-girlfriend commits suicide and, freaking out, Charlie leaves town and does not return for years. Anna is determined to keep her distance, but Charlie wants to prove to Anna that he is ready for a relationship with her. But things don't go as planned as their friend and her son disappear and someone is obviously out to keep a secret from the past from coming to life. Anna and Charlie work together to solve a long buried mystery and to create a relationship together.

This was a modern romance, which I tend to avoid, and this book did not do much to change my mind. It was well written, but I guess I just find it too unbelievable when these things happen in modern times, then when they happen in historical novels. Anna and Charlie were well developed characters and I liked reading about their past together, but it was really a stroke of misfortune that it was thrown into an anthology with another reunion story, since that was much better done. Their relationship was too rushed for my taste, and the mystery side plot, which was very interesting, really took over the book. Overall the story wasn't to my taste and the romance should have been more the focus.

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