Reviewed by JenThis anthology features a collection of historical short stories, featuring royal weddings where the bridesmaids find love. I was excited for this one, as I enjoy all three authors. I knew the stories would be short, but I was unprepared for how short, especially when the entire ebook was 181 pages.
"A Return Engagement" (S Laurens) - I didn't really love this one because so little of it actually focused on the romance between the hero and heroine. That would be a problem in any story, but it's even more pronounced in a short story like this one. Nell and Robert were an item nine years ago, but he never proposed when she thought he would and their romance ended abruptly. Now the two of them are thrown together as Nell's sister prepares to marry the prince Robert works for. Most of the story centers on the wedding and Nell & Robert's efforts to make it happen. There just isn't enough about the two of them and their feelings for each other to make me care about their future one way or the other. 31 pages.
"The Imposter Bride" (G Foley) - This one, I did enjoy. The prince and princess of two warring nations have agreed to marry to make peace. But the night before the wedding, the bride runs away, leaving her lady in waiting, Minerva, to assume her identity and take her place at the altar. Minerva quickly falls for her new husband, Tor. But how long can she keep up the charade? The story was a little predictable, but I really liked Minerva and the chemistry between her and Tor. Sweet and a little sexy. 38 pages.
"Lord Lovedon's Duel" (L Chase) - Probably the best in the bunch. It's based loosely in the Dressmakers world. Just after Chloe's sister is married to a duke, the women overhear some men saying the groom married for money and not love. Angered over the hurt it causes her sister --and just a little bit drunk-- Chloe confronts Lord Lovedon, the man speaking most disparagingly of the match. She demands a duel, sparking his attention and a witty banter which evolves into a relationship. It was funny and sassy. 21 pages.
If you do the math, you'll find that the short stories make up 90 of the 181 pages of the ebook. The rest of the space is filled with previews and excerpts of future Avon historicals, from the featured authors as well as Carla Swafford, Alice Gaines, Candis Terry, and Anna Randol. If that's something you're interested in, that's great, but it frustrated me. It was more tease than substance.
*ARC Provided by Avon
Click to purchase: Amazon
Royal Bridesmaidsby Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley, Loretta Chase
Release Date: July 17, 2012