‘The Lady Most Willing: A Novel in Three Parts’ by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James & Connie Brockway

TLMW JQ EJ CBSTORY: At the behest of three of the most talented historical romance authors writing today, you are cordially invited to a ball. No, a party. No . . . a kidnapping.

Taran Ferguson, laird of his clan, is determined that his ancient (if not so honorable) birthright be secured before he dies. 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.

Because somewhere there must be one lady most willing to love a Scottish lord.

REVIEW: This collaborative story is the second one for these three bestselling authors and as of now it’s been for 2 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

If you’ve not read the previous collaborative work from these women, then you might not realize that this is one continuing story through the book, woven by all three authors. This kind of collaboration doesn’t happen often because all three stories must align seamlessly in order for the book, as a whole, to be fully enjoyed.

I am sorry to say that I found that in this case they didn’t. If I can tell which parts were written by Julia and Eloisa, being more familiar with their work, then the collaboration wasn’t a full success, in my opinion. The story in itself, as predictable as I found it, wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as I expected, especially coming from the authors I have such great respect and love for.

All three stories left me in want of something more, something a bit deeper, a bit meaningful and less predictable. The writing was good, plot so-so and pace varied from author to author, which in the end wasn’t a bad thing. Maybe that’s why in the end of it, I was left conflicted about which parts I liked and which left me cold.

My conclusion was, despite good and familiar writing of the two authors I greatly admire, I enjoyed it less  because all three stories felt rushed thus the book felt incomplete even though everyone reached their happy ending. Don’t misunderstand me. I liked it, I just didn’t love it.

Book provided by Avon through Edelweiss.

‘The Forbidden Lady’ by Kerrelyn Sparks

FL KSSTORY: The Scarlet Pimpernel meets The Patriot in Kerrelyn Sparks’ debut novel, ‘For Love or Country’. With an army of wigs and a wardrobe that favors lavender, Quincy Stanton poses as a Loyalist fop by day. By night, he wages a secret war against the British with an impressive array of eighteenth century spy gadgets. If the truth is discovered, he could hang. Then along comes Virginia Munro, a lovely fellow patriot who’s becoming entangled in her own brand of spy games…

When spy falls for spy, anything can happen. Both are reluctant to admit their motives to the other… which, of course, makes dinner party conversation awkward. When two spies are stumbling upon each other in the dark, the results can be hilarious and dangerous. Is Boston big enough for the two of them? Perhaps if they combine forces…

REVIEW: I’ve never read this author before but I did hear about her and when the opportunity struck for me to sample her with her début book, I took it. Now that I’m done with the book, I can only say…HOLY COW! If all of her books are half as good as this one, I have misd on some great writing.

Originally published by Forge Books in 2002 under the title of ‘For Love or Country’ this book is now offered to us through HarperCollins Publishers and I have no doubt finding new fans all over the world.

The above blurb is from the original book which is still sold through Amazon and I like it better than the one from the Avon blurb because it conveys more of what the story holds and it has a better hook.

Where do I start with my praise of this story? Should I tell you first how much in awe I was of its writing or with plotting? Both were exceptionally good for one’s debut. Or should I tell you how good and wonderful the love story was?

I honestly fell in love with the hero. Quincy Stanton epitomized the good guy and his characterization, actions and the words coming out of his mouth was so well done that he may as well been alive, standing right in front of me. I fell for him hard! Almost as much as he did from the moment he laid his eyes on Virginia Munro, the smart and sassy woman who was a torn in his side he’d rather keep there. The scenes between the two were witty, sensual and just … priceless.

If you’re in a rut and can’t seem to find a new book out there to satisfy you, you should give this ‘new-old’ book a try. It will satisfy all the bones in your body; while tickling your funny bone, it will melt your heart with its love story and in process satisfy your adventuress heart with its cloak and dagger spy take on Bond stories.

If you love the period drama and especially the Revolutionary War, than you’ll appreciate the attention to historical detail which was uncanny and made this tale even better.

There’s nothing lacking in this story. It has everything we all are looking for in a romance from the great love story to the believable plot with a pace that will allow no room for boredom. If you missed it the first time around, like I did, try not to make the same mistake again.

Book provided by Avon through Edelweiss.