Thursday, December 13, 2012
The Lady Most Willing, A Review
You are cordially invited to a ball party kidnapping…
Taran Ferguson, laird of his clan, is determined that his ancient (if not so honorable) birthright be secured, and when both his nephews refuse to wed, the old reprobate takes matters into his own hands: he raids a ball and makes off with four likely brides…
Miss Marilla Chisholm-- the BONNIEST LASS in Scotland, and an heiress to boot.
Miss Fiona Chisholm-- her older sister, ANOTHER FINE CHOICE (but for that tiny stain on her reputation)
Lady Cecily Tarleton-- TRUE, SHE'S AN English BEAUTY, but very, very rich.
Miss Catriona Burns-- WITHOUT NAME OR FORTUNE, CLEARLY SOMEONE MADE A MISTAKE
OH, YES. AND ONE VERY IRATE DUKE
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of my absolute favorite movies. The romance, the sexiness, the impropriety, the zanieness, the entire movie just rocks the concept. It surprises me that I was halfway through this book before I realized the similarities.. Eloisa James, Connie Brockway and Julia Quinn, put their heads together and came up with a brilliant rendition of that classic movie. Each of these wonderful ladies took a section of this book and wrote a wonderful story then together they wove it into a great book.
After Taran kidnaps three, oops four women, he rushes to his castle where he plans to force his nephews to choose a bride.. and that's the most normal part of the entire book.. In one crazed escapade after another we watch men determined not to marry fall one by one.
Once the ladies have all tumbeled out of the carriage, before they stumble into the drafty castle, a lone voice is heard.. and it's not a female. Astoundingly enough the Duke of Bretton has also been kidnapped. When asked what he's doing in the carriage.. he points out... "It's my carriage" poor guy. In a way Bret is the most reasonable of the men, and is the first to fall..
Fortunately for Catriona Burns, she is not one to take insult.. The other three females were planned she was the mistake. And Taran actually cares for her and is upset that she is there. Of course, had she a decent dowry he might have kidnapped her too. Instead Catriona is all things logical.. and reasonable.. that is until she falls in love.
Byron, the Earl of Oakley has a most unlikely name. He certainly has nothing in common with Lord Byron.. Although he does have a Roman nose.. ok, he is quite the smexy one. But to say he is wound a bit too tight would be putting it lightly. Raised by a bitter father to know that reputation is everything he has a hard time just relaxing and having fun. And yet, when the time comes he finds a woman who makes him smile, who cares for the man is more important than a woman with a questionable reputation.
Fiona, Engaged young to a pig of a man, she was never all that upset that he died while trying to climb up to her balcony. Unfortunately, the neighbors let scandal ruin her. Instead of accepting the obvious that she certainly didn't invite him and that he fell on the way IN.. she is ruined. Left to be chaperone to her sister who lacks any form of redemption (except she is pretty and has managed somehow, though not through lack of trying, to maintain her reputation). Fiona is resigned to being a spinster.. until she meets an Earl who makes her want more.
Robert Parles, Comte de Rochefort the heir to a castle quickly falling to ruin, a vineyard that almost makes money and little else takes life as it comes. While he cares deeply he refuses to let anyone know. He holds most of his dreams and desires inside and instead plays the rake to the ton. How could his uncle even dream of doing this to him? No way was a proper heiress going to think he is a suitable mate.
Lady Cecily, a quite, reserved woman. The members of the ton think she is a cypher, lacking opinions and wit.. Silly people, they just don't interest her all that much. But one look at Robert Parles and she's a gonner. Only problem is, he won't give her the time of day. Who knew it would be so hard to seduce a rake?
Marilla, younger sister to Fiona, beauty of the family and perfectly spoiled brat. This was a most unlikeable character and she was the perfect foil.. going after each of the men by order of Rank and Title.. and completely clueless why no one wanted her..
While each author told her own story they flowed seamlessly one into the other.. full of laughter and joy. As I said this was a wonderful take on Seven Brides for Seven brothers, complete with kidnapping the brides, being snowed in until the pass was cleared and fathers rushing in to save the day.. and yet it has its own cast of wonderful characters.. most especially the crazy coot Taran.. In his early 50's, seriously I wouldn't mind finding him in my... *blushes*..
I understand that some of these characters are from other books that these ladies have written and now I have to go find those books so I can enjoy them as well.
This review is based on the ARC of The Lady Most Willing provided by Edelweiss and is scheduled to be released December 26, 2012