Book Review: Three Weddings and a Murder by Tessa Dare, Leigh LaValle, Courtney Milan, Carey Baldwin + Giveaway
Contributing authors: Tessa Dare, Leigh LaValle, Courtney Milan, Carey Baldwin
Release Date: 22 May 2012
Publisher: self-published - Limited edition, will only be available during Summer 2012!
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, B&N, All Romance, Team page
Grade: 4 stars
Goodreads appetizer: The pleasure of your company is requested... ...at the most thrilling, sexy, event of the year.
Four delicious, dangerous tales of love...
"The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright" by Tessa Dare
Because of a foolish mistake in her youth, Miss Eliza Cade is not allowed "out" in Society until her three older sisters are wed. But while she's trying to be good, Eliza keeps bumping elbows—and lips—with the notorious rake Harry Wright. The passions he stirs in her are so wrong...but she just can't resist Mr. Wright.
"The Misbehaving Marquess" by Leigh LaValle
Having awaited the return of her husband for half a decade, Catherine Raybourne, the Marchioness of Foster, has no intention of reconciling with her misbehaving marquess. But when he insists he needs an heir—immediately—she must confront her own lingering desires. Can she protect her heart while attempting to win his once again?
"The Lady Always Wins" by Courtney Milan
Railway financier Simon Davenant has waited seven years for a second chance with his childhood sweetheart and best friend. He isn’t about to let his impending financial ruin destroy the opportunity. This time, he’ll do anything he can to secure her hand in marriage—even if it means losing her heart for good.
"Solomon's Wisdom" by Carey Baldwin
Bad-boy-turned-pediatrician Charlie "Drex" Drexler returns to Tangleheart, Texas hoping to reconnect with his old flame - but Anna won't cooperate, his dark past resurfaces, and his best friend's baby disappears. How will Drex and Anna mend their broken hearts while dodging bullets and racing to bring baby home safely?
**All proceeds of this anthology are donated to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer**
Margaret had been responsible—therefore, Philippa kept her head in the clouds. Next came Georgie, the sweet one. Eliza had to be the spice.
Eliza is no shy, missish girl. She is a very strong-willed, stubborn and vivacious young woman. I found it a very refreshing change to have such a mischievious and willful heroine. She is not the usual gently-bred, proper and dull heroine, oh no, she is vibrant and outspoken and fierce. In short she was a joy to read:
“I’m not a child,” Eliza argued with the closed double doors. “I’m a grown woman. With accomplishments and bosoms and everything.”
The love interest was also quite the unusual hero. Despite being called Mr. Wright, Eliza and society believe him to be a rake without manners or scrupules. Yet we discover through the years and his every interaction with Eliza how much he respects her by protecting her reputation and giving her choices. We discover that despite appearances he is an honourable man (with bad boyish attributes) and his intensity just made him even more irresistible:
She promptly forgot how to breathe. “It’s like this,” he repeated in a low voice, just for her. “I’m not that sort of man. I don’t wait for the things I want.”
The highlight of this novella were the ping-pong sparring matches between Eliza and Mr. Wright which were so full of humour and light wit (and of course sizzling sexual tension):
“Stay here, and give my sister and Lord Brentley their privacy. And I’ll allow you to touch me. Any way you like, so long as my frock remains unsoiled and intact.” She forced herself to brave his gaze. “I know it’s what you want.”“To protect your frock?”“To put your hands on me.”
“I was wrong about you, Mr Wright. I abused you most unjustly.”“And I enjoyed every minute of it.”
I loved how through this short novella Tessa Dare gave us a love story spanning through several years and we witnessed through brief flashes how Eliza matured and became a young woman from the girl she was at the beginning. How Mr. Wright made appearances through the years, being present in her life. And the ending was so very reminiscent of Mr. Darcy's monologue in Pride and Prejudice: *sighs*
He tipped her chin with a single finger, demanding her close attention. “Now, listen. I know Lessing was a decent fellow, and I’m sorry as hell that your sister must experience this sorrow. But understand this. I didn’t travel all this way from London to pay my respects. I came for you. Only you. Because you’ve suffered a loss, as well.”
The man standing before her tilted his head to the side. “Good afternoon, Cat.” It poured through her, the sound of her name. His deep voice. Poured through her like church bells ringing into the hills, awakening those who would forget their longing, their anger, their terrible regret.
Both Cat and Jamie were wonderful characters, Jamie was a lovable hero and the reader felt Cat's pain and doubts. Leigh LaValle's writing is just as exquisite as I remembered and in The Misbehaving Marquess she brings such an emotional and moving tale you won't be able to resist being affected.
“Because I missed you. And I saw you everywhere. And I suppose I wanted to share a piece of my experience with you.”
Cover: 9/10 - I like it very much!
“Do you want me very, very badly then?” His other hand touched her face. Slowly—almost unwillingly—she let him raise her chin from contemplation of his wrist. His eyes seemed dark, and they glittered with some unspoken emotion. “Yes,” he said. “God knows I’ve wished it otherwise over the years. But yes. I have wanted you since I first knew what want was.”
He raised his head. “I never wanted to spend all those years yearning for you. But every time I tried to fit some other woman in my heart, I failed. There was no room for anyone else. You were already there.”
The Lady Always Wins was a wonderful story. Both light and moving, it constantly remained deeply romantic. I loved ever moment of it until the resolution of the conflict which I found too convenient.
Cover: 9/10 - I like it very much!
Her pink lips twitched at the edges. Wait for it…ha! Like a field of prickly poppies answering the call of the morning sun, her expression opened and transformed into a thing of beauty—the best smile he’d seen since the day he’d left Tangleheart, Texas.
If it hadn’t been for Megan O’Neal, Charlie might have taken a different road in life. All these years, conflicting emotions toward the girl—jealousy and pity, resentment and compassion—had been lying abed, twisting in the sheets, cuddling and kicking just below the surface of Anna’s consciousness.
Lifting one hand from her shoulder, he traced her lips with his finger, softening her heart but not the pain.
but the dialogues between the characters read like a fractured puzzle, half words uttered between old friends without preambule or explanation, making the reader feel lost.
“I love you, Anna. I always have, and I want a chance to earn back your trust. I want a chance to prove that no matter how sad and terrible the world around us becomes, I won’t walk away from you again. You love me, Anna. You told me so yourself. All you have to do is remember.”
Cover: well it doesn't really suit the last story...