Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Wedding of the Century
Harlequin Books, 2011
Source: Received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Misunderstandings abound in these three lovely romance stories.
The Wedding of the Century by Mary Jo Putney: 5/5 stars
This is a classic story of misunderstandings and miscommunications, which ordinarily drives me crazy. Why can't the hero and heroine just talk to each other?! And yet here, it felt appropriate and, because it was only a novella, it didn't drag on and annoy me. Justin is the new duke of Thornborough, the traditional repressed Englishman who can't speak of his feelings. His wife Sarah "Sunny" Vangelder was raised by a mother who loathed her marital duty and warned her daughter about it; additionally Sunny was burned by an Englishman she thought truly loved her. He also needs her money for his estate. Not the most auspicious start to a marriage but these two eventually get to a point of honest communication and mutual respect and love.
I loved the alternating perspectives as we see Justin fall for Sunny right away while she takes longer and both of them struggling to be good spouses without knowing what to do. They are both good, kind well-read, opinionated people and it was a joy to watch them fall for each other.
Jesse's Wife by Kristin James: 4.5/5 stars
One night Amy walks out with a man who actually seems to prefer her to her beautiful younger sister; but when his intentions turn sinister, she is faced with the prospect of marrying a fortune-hunter. Until Jesse, who works for her father, volunteers to marry her. She thinks he's attempting to fulfill a debt while he thinks he's the luckiest guy ever to get to marry the smart and charming Amy and he promises not to force intimacy. Soon though they're both attempting to get their spouse to fall in love as they build a new life together on a ranch in Texas.
I loved Amy and identified very strongly with her as someone who loves to read and daydreams a lot. My favorite part was when she attempts to get Jesse to seduce her; very funny with their alternating perspectives on what is happening. I took off half of a star for the ending, which I figured was coming but didn't really like.
Seduced by Starlight by Charlotte Featherstone: 5/5 stars
For years Blossom has been betrothed to Samuel until he declares that he's in love with someone else and she releases him so that they can both find love and passion. This clears the way for Samuel's brother Jase, the dashing rake, to finally go after Blossom, the woman he's lusted after for years.
I loved how Blossom has been raised to be independent and daring; she paints for commissions, she fly-fishes in trousers, and she speaks her mind. Jase's efforts to seduce Blossom were quite lovely and his many passages about how much and how long he loved Blossom were a delight.
Note: The first two stories were originally published in 1994 so they may be familiar to long-time readers of romance.
Overall: Very charming stories that just left me grinning from ear to ear!