Reviewed by JenIt's anthology, but not. It's dubbed as "a novel in three parts" and I think that's a pretty fair assessment. Each author tackles a different couple, but all three love stories fall under the umbrella of a bigger picture. And for the most part, I really liked it.
The basic story is this: a Scottish laird, who sees no prospect of a wife and child of his own, decides to find a matches for his two nephews and potential heirs. So he kidnaps four eligible heiresses (and one stuffy duke by accident) and drags them back to his castle to put his plan in motion. Snow keeps anyone from leaving, and everyone ends up finding their perfect match over the course of a few days.
Generally speaking, I really hate it when couples fall in love in such a short time, but the story had almost a fairy tale type feel that made me fixate on this less. And though the individual love stories were clearly defined, I thought the authors did a fantastic job of working together to make it all flow together in a cohesive way.
The first third of the book was my favorite. It features a lovely pairing between the stuffy duke, Bret, and Catronia, a lesser member of the nobility. The laird didn't really mean to kidnap either of them. After all, Catronia has no money to bring to a match with one of his nephews, and the duke is --well-- a man. But they really make a great couple, as the duke found someone to look past his title for the first time and see him simply as John.
Part two featured the laird's uptight and proper nephew, Byron, and Fiona, the bespectacled redhead with a tattered reputation. This one was my least favorite of the three. I just didn't think Byron made an attractive hero and his affections toward Fiona seemed to come out of nowhere.
Part three focused on the laird's true heir, Robin, who has a reputation as a dissolute rake. But Lady Cecily doesn't judge him on the gossip. She is a firm believer in true love, and (though neither realizes it right away) theirs was a case of love at first sight. Robin really tries to stay away from Cecily, because he believes she deserves better than him, but she won't give up on what's in her heart.
The whole thing was very easy reading... sweet and fun. I was a bit sad when it was over. Definitely worth reading for fans of historical romance.
*ARC Provided by Avon
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The Lady Most Willingby Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie BrockawayRelease Date: December 26, 2012Publisher: Avon