A Proper English Woman by Eloisa James It's the story of a reluctant bridegroom (engaged since childhood, and hasn't seen his fiancée in years), a bride who's losing her patience, and a wild night in which the said bridegroom meets a wicked, delicious Frenchwoman…or is she? ** Eloisa James does not disappoint in this delightful novella involving misinterpreted comments, scandalous gossip and a masquerade. This story is well plotted and sensuous. Rating:5-stars
The Vicar's Widow by Julia London In 1816 Darien wildly kisses Kate, the Vicar's wife at a holiday party. Three years later, he is the toast of the Ton and she is a widow that he still desires. However,(debutante) Emily wants Darien to offer for her, so she spreads rumors to eliminate her rival by turning the Vicar's Widow into the TALK OF THE TON. ** Emily is young, naïve and has her sights set on Darien, Lord Montgomery but she notices his interest in Kate, the vicar’s widow, and sets about to create scandalous gossip so that she can be successful in her pursuit. This is another delight of a novella and romance at its best from a genius of the genre. Rating: 5-stars
Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagen Lee Lady India Burton has just returned from years of captivity in a sultan’s harem, her reputation is in ruins. But she proves a seductive challenge to a staunchly single member of the Free Fellows League. ** Darker than the previous two novellas, Ms Hagen-Lee’s offering concerns a woman who had been kidnapped and forced into slavery and her unlikely return and acceptance into the Regency society. Not my favorite although well written. Rating: 4-stars
Miss Jenny Alt’s First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin Companion to her aunt and cousin, Jenny does not see marriage in her future. With many believing that she is a man-hater and bluestocking, Jenny’s dance card remains quite empty…until a handsome earl comes to London in search of a wife. ** Rather predictable but still a light and lovely novella. Once again we have a young naïve woman spreading rumors that she hopes will give her an advantage with the handsome lord. Of course this tactic fails and the hero and heroine manage to get together. Rating 4-stars
Overview: It seems that in anthologies there are always some exceptional offerings and some not so exceptional offerings. In this anthology we are treated to four novellas that will keep the reader engrossed from the first until the last. I highly recommend this anthology to all romance readers.