STORY: Beloved authors Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, and Stefanie Sloane deliver the stories of four friends from Madame Rochambeaux’s Gentle School for Girls who find an old sixpence in their bedchamber and decide that it will be the lucky coin for each of their weddings…
Julia Quinn’s prologue introduces her heroine Beatrice Heywood and the premise for Four Weddings and a Sixpence.
In Stefanie Sloane’s unforgettable story, an ever-vigilant guardian decrees that Anne Brabourne must marry by her twenty-first birthday. But love finds her in the most unexpected of ways.
Elizabeth Boyle tells the tale of Cordelia Padley, who has invented a betrothed to keep her family from pestering her to wed. Now she’ll need to borrow one to convince them she’s found her true love.
In Laura Lee Guhrke’s story, unlucky Lady Elinor Daventry has her sixpence stolen from her and must convince the rake who pilfered the coin to return it in time for her own wedding.
“… and a Sixpence in Her Shoe”
Julia Quinn finishes with the story of Beatrice Heywood, who never believed that the sixpence was anything but a tarnished old coin—until it led all of her friends to true love. But her faith in the coin is tested when it keeps sending her to the wrong man!
REVIEW: “Something Old” – Julia Quinn
Reading – 1818
Madame Rochambeaux’s Gentle School for Girls offers a very relaxed curriculum for its students. Even though her French name sounds quite posh, Madame’s real name is Miss Puddleford and she is not French at all.
Miss Beatrice (Bea) Heywood has been boarding at the school since the age of 8. Personally. she wishes the young ladies were taught more than they are.
Bea’s friend, Miss Cordelia Padley, has been at the school since the age of 9. They share a room.
A few years later, they are joined by Lady Elinor (Ellie) Daventry, the daughter of an Earl, who is also fluent in French.
Lastly, the girls are joined by Miss Anne Brabourne.
One day while in their room, they find an old coin in Anne’s mattress. It turns out to be a very old sixpence coin. The girls decide that Anne should save the coin to put in her shoe on her wedding day which is supposed to bless the marriage with wealth. They decide that, taking turns, they will put the lucky coin in their shoe until they find their own true love.
“Something New” – Stefanie Sloane
Grosvenor Square – 10 years later
Miss Anne Brabourne’s quest for a husband has not been easy. It has been five years since her debut. She wears her lucky sixpence in a locket around her neck hoping it will bring her a husband. Weary from yet another ball she is attending, Anne decides to search to a quiet room for a break from the people.
When she discovers what appears to be an empty room, she finds a friendly mastiff and pours out her troubles to him. But to her embarrassment, she hears a man laugh from the corner of the room and he turns out to be handsome Rhys Alexander Hamilton, Duke of Dorset. As they chat, they immediately see the humor and honesty they both share.
When they meet again, Rhys agrees to help Anne find a husband. But as Anne meets more men, Rhys seems to find fault with all of them. Are these men really that unsuitable or is there another reason Rhys does not want to match her up with another man?
“Something Borrowed” – Elizabeth Boyle
Miss Cordelia Padley has just received the lucky sixpence from her friend, Anne, who has found her true love and now it is time for Cordelia to find hers.
Cordelia is sorting through the financial debts her father had left when he died He had made some bad investments. After his wife died, he left Cordelia at Madame Rochambeaux’s school and fled to India.
Cordelia has met some prospects for a husband but none truly appeal to her. When she sees her childhood friend, Winston Christopher (Kipp) Talcott, the fourteenth Earl of Thornton, he is on the verge of proposing to Miss Holt whose father is a very wealthy but untitled man. Miss Holt’s dowry would be a considerable help in saving his estate. However, Miss Holt is a beautiful but cold and calculating young woman who does not appeal to him at all.
As Cordelia and Kipp spend time together, they reminisce about all the fun they had as kids and the dreams and plans they had made. But when something comes up and Cordelia asks Kipp to accompany her and act as her fiancé, he is torn between wanting to be with her and knowing the needs the money from a marriage to Miss Holt.
“Something Blue” – Laura Lee Guhrke
Lawrence Blackthorne, friend of the Earl of Thornton, is attending a wedding. Lawrence is quite interested in Lady Elinor (Ellie) Daventry, a friend of the bride. As it happens, Lawrence has been building a case against Ellie’s father for some shady things in which he had been involved.
Ellie is anxious to get back home today as Viscount Bluestone is dining with her father this evening and she wishes to be there. She is hoping he may offer to marry her, but her friends do not think he is the one for her. But Ellie knows that marrying into the powerful family of the viscount can save her father from ruin for she loves her father very much. She knows that her father had committed some war crimes and she hopes that marriage to the viscount can help keep her father from being convicted.
However, Lawrence thinks otherwise as he eavesdrops on the young ladies’ conversation. There had been a time when Ellie was in love with Lawrence, but his vendetta against her father has turned her love to hate.
“…and a Sixpence in her Shoe” – Julia Quinn
Now it is time for Miss Beatrice (Bea) Heywood to gain possession of the sixpence so she puts the lucky charm in her shoe, even though she says she does not want to marry. Later that week as she is walking in Oxfordshire, she realizes with a coin in one’s shoe it is not always comfortable and ends up bumping into a gentleman.
Lord Frederick Grey-Osbourne had lost an eye. He is a teacher at the local university and he and Ellie both have an avid interest in astronomy. As Frederick and Ellie get to know one another better, she learns that he gets headaches and wonders if it is bright light that causes them. The scientific reason for her opinion is something that interests Bea. After a time, their intelligent minds mesh into happiness.
Now, what to do with the lucky sixpence?
I am not a huge fan of anthologies but when a group of good authors writes one, how can I not read it? The authors did a good job of knitting their stories together, however, I can honestly say that the one I enjoyed the most is “Something New” by Stefanie Sloane. If you like anthologies and are a fan of these authors, be sure to pick up this book.
Connie for b2b