PUBLISHING INFO: Brava, 12/2010
GENRE: Historical Romance Anthology
MY GRADE: B
Beauty and the Brute by Virginia Henley It’s been three years since Lady Sarah Caversham set eyes on arrogant Charles Lennox–the husband her father chose for her to settle a gambling debt. Now Charles has returned, unaware that the innocent ingénue he wed is determined to turn their marriage of convenience into a blissfully passionate affair. . .
MY THOUGHTS: Story takes place in England in 1719. I’m not sure about the timespan. The heroine is Sarah, sixteen, blond and blue eyed. The hero is Charles, twenty-one, dark haired and brown eyed. They are forced to marry three years before, at the ages of thirteen and eighteen, and have been estranged for three years. Charles returns after being gone and is instantly attracted to his wife, who, apparently, looks much different than she did when last he saw her. I didn’t care for this story at all. I was bored the whole time. Charles and Sarah got along pretty well. I didn’t feel much attraction on Sarah’s part. She wants to get revenge on her husband for being rude to her when they first met by getting him to fall in love with her. When he does, she then tells him she wants to be a wife in name only, like before. They’re estranged for a short while then get back together. Boring! The heroes sister, Anne, is featured throughout and ends up getting married. I couldn’t have cared less about her. This is a short story and should have been about hero and heroine only. I wouldn’t be interested in reading more about this couple or any of the secondary characters if they ever got their own books in the future.
I grade this story a C/3 stars.
How to Seduce a Wife by Kate Pearce Louisa March’s new husband, Nicholas, is a perfect gentleman in bed–much to her disappointment. She longs for the kind of fevered passion found in her beloved romance novels. But when she dares him to seduce her properly, she discovers that Nicholas is more than ready to meet her challenge, over and over again. . .
MY THOUGHTS: This was my favorite of the three stories and was the most sexually graphic. It too was the shortest story. It takes place in England in 1816. It ties in to her Simply series. Unfortunately because it was so short it never really could get going. The couples ages weren’t given but Nicholas is six years older than his wife. The hero and heroine aren’t that compatable sexually. The hero, Nicholas March, sets out to seduce his wife, Louisa. They end up at the House of Pleasure, as featured in the Simply series, and reenact an abduction scene from a romance novel the heroine had been reading. The sex is very explicit and it loved it.
I’d grade this story an A/5 stars.
Not Quite a Courtesan by Maggie Robinson Sensible bluestocking Prudence Thorn has been too busy keeping her cousin Sophy out of trouble to experience any adventures of her own. But when Sophy begs Prudence’s help in saving her marriage, Pru encounters handsome, worldly Darius Shaw. And under Darius’s skilled tutelage, Pru learns just how delightful a little scandal can be. . .
MY THOUGHTS: This story was pretty enjoyable and explicit. I liked the hero and heroine and thought they made a good pair. At the end, I didn’t like that after knowing each other only four days they decided to marry in six months.
I grade this an A-/4.75 stars