‘Six Degrees of Scandal’ by Caroline Linden

sdos-clSTORY: Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a desperate man in search of a lost treasure, which she doesn’t have, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see … and the man who was her first-and-only-love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her this time, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different this time.

James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and he will not do it again. Fortunately, his unusual life has equipped him well to outsmart the villain chasing Olivia. Unfortunately, being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart…even those that should stay hidden forever.

REVIEW: Sussex – 1806

Olivia Herbert is the older daughter of Sir Alfred Weston of Kellan Hall. She is sitting in church one day with her parents and younger sister, Daphne, when James Weston winks at her. Caught giggling at him, her mother later scolds her severely. She does not think the Weston family is good enough for her daughter even though they recently purchased nearby Haversack House, a fine home. So when Mrs. Weston calls upon Mrs. Herbert, it is decided that Olivia will be allowed to visit Haversack and James’s sisters.

As the years pass and James leaves for Cambridge to attend school, Olivia spends more time at Haversack where she joins the Weston girls in their lessons, due partly to the dwindling funds of the Herbert family. In addition, Mr Weston has become a very wealthy man.

When James returns home, a grown man, he tells Olivia he has always loved her. After a moment of passion, he promises to marry her. But he leaves the next day saying he will return soon. As his time away lengthens, her parents make her marry Mr. Townsend. When James hears of her marriage, he is distraught and they say goodbye to each other.

Gravesend, Kent – 1822

Now a widow for two years, Olivia is still trying to figure out who her husband had truly been. A secretive man, upon his death she found herself with no money. However, she has a book that was given to her by mistake from her late husband’s solicitors. From what she learns, it shows that he was into something illegal.

James (Jamie) finds Olivia and realizes that she is staying in a small cottage which is all she can afford. It appears that a man named Viscount Simon Clary has wrecked havoc with others and thinks Olivia is trying to hide something that he wants and thinks he is owed.

Soon, Olivia and Jamie join forces to find out what Clary is after. When they realize what the man wants, they are amazed…but not as amazed as they are at their long awaited long for each other.

Here’s my pet peeve. When a book is part of a series and the reader has not read the previous books in the series, there needs to be some type of synopsis about the other books. Better yet, I would like to see authors write each book so that it could be read as a stand-alone. I find it very frustrating to read a book and feel constantly lost. I want to drop the book and forget it. The big reason I don’t is because I like the author and keeping hoping for the best. OK. Rant over.

Connie for b2b

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‘What a Gentleman Wants’ by Caroline Linden

wagw clSTORY: Marcus Reece, Duke of Exeter, has spent most of his life pulling his twin brother out of trouble. An occasional thank you would suffice; instead, his resentful sibling forges his name to a marriage license and presents him with an unwanted wife. She’s a vicar’s widow with a mind of her own who may be the first person in Marcus’s well-ordered life to make him feel…completely out of control.

Hannah can’t help but curse her own idiocy. Dire straits have led her to the altar with a gentleman she hardly knows. Played for a fool, she’s embarrassed, furious, and worse, married to an equally outraged stranger—an exasperating man who unleashes all manner of emotions in Hannah, not to mention unwanted desire. Reluctantly, she agrees to play the wife until he can sort out the mess. But the nearness of the undeniably attractive Duke and the passion in his black eyes unsettles her well-guarded heart—making her want to do so much more than “act” the role of blissful bride.

REVIEW: Marcus Reece, the Duke of Exeter and his younger twin brother, David, are as different as night and day. Marcus has always taken his role of Duke very seriously and lives a disciplined life. David, on the other hand, has always lived a life of scandalous behavior, gambling and drinking too much. When David is caught with a woman cheating on her husband, Marcus sends David to Brighton until the scandal dies down. On the way to Brighton, David and his friend, Percy, were racing their carriages and collided with one another throwing David out of his carriage.

Hannah Preston, widow of the local vicar, lives with her four-year-old daughter, Molly, in the town of Middleborough, midway between London and Brighton. She is packing to move back with her father as a new vicar with soon take over the Vicarage.

She hears the crash and runs to help. David is taken to her cottage where the local doctor sets his broken leg and suggests that he not be moved for a month. Hannah agrees to care for him at the Vicarage. The calm life with Hannah and Molly is good for David as he heals. He becomes friends with her and offers her a marriage of convenience which she accepts. She knows that life for her and Molly at her father’s home would be miserable. After they marry, they journey to London to Marcus’s home. This has given David time to realize that now he will have to give up his life of drinking and whoring and he soon regrets his hasty decision. He also realizes that Hannah would be a better match with his brother, Marcus.

Shortly after arriving at Marcus’s home, David flees leaving a note that he used Marcus’s name on the marriage registry showing that Hannah is married to Marcus. Hannah is shocked and hurt and Marcus is very angry at David once again for his irresponsibility.

Marcus is cold toward Hannah and she is determined to find a way out of the mess while keeping up the charade that she and Marcus are actually husband and wife. As they get to know one another, they realize that they are both rather stubborn people. Thinking that Hannah is just someone looking for a rich husband, Marcus is skeptical of her. However, after getting to know her, he realizes that his first assumptions are wrong and an attraction begins to form between them.

But more trouble arises when it learned that there is a large counterfeiting operation going on and David appears to be right in the middle of it. This makes more problems for Marcus and worry for the big trouble David could be in. Thus, he jumps in to see what he can find out about it.

This is a good story of romance, intrigue, and a bit of humor. Caroline Linden has once again written a very good novel.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Spotlight on Caroline Linden and ‘Love in the Time of Scandal’!

Have you ever read Caroline Linden stories? If you have, than you know how much fun and romantic they are, not to mention sensual!

This is a third book in her Scandals series in which 50 Ways to Sin pamphlet gives more than one lady a mind for scandal [you can find my review of the first one here and the second one here] and while I found the first to be lighthearted and fun, and the second one a bit subdued and emotional, this third one was intense and heartbreaking, yet just as romantic as the first two.

<Love and Other Scandals><It Takes a Scandal><Love in the Time of Scandal><All's Fair in Love and Scandal>

If you’ve never read any of her books, then I have only one question for you: What are you waiting for?!! Get to it 😉

We’re lucky to have Caroline stop by and do a mini interview with us, so sit back and enjoy it. Don’t forget to read the excerpt too 😉

Caroline, before I start with the questions, how about you tell us a bit about your writing career so far?

It’s been a lot of fun! I started writing about 13 years ago, when my children were really small. To be honest, I never thought of myself as a writer, and my first trial book was really just fooling around (and it showed—I never finished that first effort, with good reason). I was astonished when it turned out to be fun. I sold my first book in 2004, and today my 16th book comes out.

Who inspired this story’s hero and heroine?

There isn’t one, or even two, sources. Bits of them came from all over. Penelope is the youngest daughter of a very wealthy, though not noble, family. She’s clever, funny, and fiercely loyal, but she sometimes doesn’t know when to quit. Penelope’s quite confident that her view is the right one, and it takes her a while to realize her error there. Benedict is the son and heir of an earl. He’s handsome, decent, protective of his mother and sisters, and absolutely desperate to marry a rich woman. His father is abusive and controlling, and the only way out Benedict sees is to make himself financially independent. Penelope would be perfect…except that she hates him. And drives him crazy. And he can’t stop thinking about her. And then they’re caught together in a scandalous moment, and Fate takes over.

What was your favorite book as a child?

There were too many to remember! But one I remember very fondly, and read multiple times, was CALICO CAPTIVE by Elizabeth George Speare. It’s about a family on the New Hampshire frontier in the 1750s or so, taken captive by an Abenaki raiding party. The main character is 16 year old Miriam, whose budding romance with a local young man is interrupted by the capture…but not ended. It’s based on a true story and I was mesmerized by it.

Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

No, not really. I have a collection of go-to favorites, but not just one. The most recent book I re-read from that collection was BRIDGET JONES. I still love the laugh-out-loud writing.

If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh man! Only one?! I think it’s best to switch around between genres. I love my romances, but also mysteries, and thrillers, and seriously good non-fiction like the books David McCullough writes—I’m really looking forward to reading his new one about the Wright brothers, because as a child I wanted to be a pilot.

What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

Hmm. One that made me laugh was Laura Drewry’s PRIMA DONNA. The heroine is so tough and funny, even in trying and heartbreaking moments, and the hero is just adorable: a doctor who lets his most seriously ill patients cut his hair! The fact that the heroine is a hair stylist, and is personally offended by his terrible hair until she learns the truth, just makes it funnier. The one that made me cry, for both happy and sad reasons, is Maya Rodale’s WHAT A WALLFLOWER WANTS. The heroine has been sexually assaulted, and it’s heartbreaking at times—but then it becomes poignantly joyful as she learns to take back herself and her own body.

litos clBOOK BLURB: Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can’t forget how he abandoned a friend in need—nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He’s the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn’t feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel…

Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. Though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father’s control, spirited Penelope just doesn’t suit his plans for a model marriage—until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope’s. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful . . . beguiling . . . and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?

BUY LINKS: iBooks / Kindle / Google Play / Kobo / nook

EXCERPT:

Prologue

1805

Stratford Court, Richmond

Perseus lay in pieces on the floor. His arm, divorced from his body, held out the severed head of Medusa as if to ward his attacker off, and indeed, Benedict Lennox thought it might well have turned him to stone.

Before he fell, Perseus had held the head aloft, poised in mid-stride. The Gorgon’s face was twisted with rage and her eyes seemed to follow a person. It was hideous, even frightening, but Benedict’s father said it was a masterpiece, and Father knew art. As such it was displayed in a prominent position on the landing of the main staircase of Stratford Court, with a large mirror behind it to display the rear. Benedict always tried not to look right at it when he passed, but there was no avoiding it now. The base rested against the remains of the mirror, while Perseus and his trophy were scattered in pieces across the landing, amid the glittering shards of broken glass.

“Do you know anything about this?” The Earl of Stratford’s voice was idle, almost disinterested.

His son swallowed hard. “No, sir.”

“No?” The earl rocked back on his heels. “Nothing at all? Do you not even recognize it?”

Oh no. That had been the wrong answer. He searched frantically for the right one. “No, sir. I didn’t mean that. It’s a statue of Perseus.”

Lord Stratford made a soft, disappointed noise. “Not merely a statue of Perseus. This is one of the finest works of art by a great sculptor. See how exquisitely he renders the god’s form, how he encapsulates the evil of the Gorgon!” He paused. “But you don’t care about that, do you?”

Benedict said nothing. He knew there was no correct answer to that question.

Stratford sighed. “Such a pity. I had hoped my only son would pay more attention to his classical studies, but alas. Perhaps I should be grateful you recognized it at all. Our entire conversation would be for naught otherwise.”

Benedict Lennox gripped his hands together until his knuckles hurt. He stood rigidly at attention, mesmerized by the shattered glass and stone before him.

His father clasped his hands behind him, rather like Benedict’s tutor did when explaining a difficult point of mathematics. “Now, what else can you tell me about this statue?”

“Something terrible happened to it, sir.”

“Was it struck by lightning, do you think?” asked the earl in exaggerated concern.

The sky outside the mullioned windows was crystal clear, as blue as a robin’s egg. “Unlikely, sir.”

“No, perhaps not,” his father murmured, watching him with a piercing stare. Benedict longed to look away from that stare but knew it would be a mistake. “Perhaps it was a stray shot from a poacher?”

Stratford Court was set in a manicured park, surrounded only by gardens, graveled paths, and open rolling lawns. The woods where any poachers might roam were across the river. Benedict wished those woods were much closer. He wished he were exploring them right this moment. “Possible, but also unlikely, sir.”

“Not a poacher,” said Stratford thoughtfully. “I confess, I’ve quite run out of ideas! How on earth could a statue of inestimable value break without any outside influence? Not only that, but the mirror as well. It’s bad luck to break a mirror.”

He stayed silent. He didn’t know, either, though he suspected he was about to be punished for it. Bad luck, indeed.

“What do you say, Benedict? What is the logical conclusion?”

His tongue felt wooden. “It must have been someone inside the house, sir.”

“Surely not! Who would do such a thing?”

A flicker of movement caught his eye before he could think of an answer. He tried to check the impulse, but his father noticed his involuntary start and turned to follow his gaze. Two little girls peeped around the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. “Come here, my lovely daughters, come here,” said the earl.

Benedict’s heart sank into his shoes. Suddenly he guessed what had happened to the mirror. Samantha, who was only four, looked a little uncertain; but Elizabeth, who was seven, was pale-faced with fear. Slowly the sisters came up the stairs, bobbing careful curtsies when they reached the landing.

“Here are my pretty little ones.” The earl surveyed them critically. “Lady Elizabeth, your sash is dropping. And Lady Samantha, you’ve got dirt on your dress.”

“I’m sorry, Father.” Elizabeth tugged at her sash, setting it further askew. Samantha just put her hands behind her back and looked at the floor. She’d only recently been allowed out of the nursery and barely knew the earl.

“Your brother and I are attempting to solve a mystery.” The earl waved one hand at the wreckage. “Do you know what happened to this statue?”

Elizabeth went white as she stared at the Gorgon’s head. “It broke, Father,” piped up Samantha.

“Very good,” the earl told her. “Do you know how?”

Elizabeth’s terrified gaze veered to him. Benedict managed to give her an infinitesimal shake of his head before their father turned on him. “Benedict says he does not know,” Stratford said sharply. “Do not look at him for answers, Elizabeth.”

In the moment the earl’s back was turned to them, Elizabeth nudged her sister and touched one finger to her lips. Samantha’s brown eyes grew round and she moved closer to Elizabeth, reaching for her hand.

Stratford turned back to his daughters. “Do either of you know?” Elizabeth blinked several times, but she shook her head. “Samantha?” prodded their father. “It would be a sin not to answer me.”

Samantha’s expression grew worried. Benedict’s throat clogged and his eyes stung. He took a breath to calm his roiling nerves and spoke before his sister could. “It was my fault, Father.”

“Your fault?” Fury flashed in the earl’s face though his voice remained coldly calm. “How so, Benedict?”

What should he say? If the earl didn’t believe his story, he’d be whipped for lying, and then his sister would be punished for the actual crime, the nursemaid would be sacked for not keeping better watch over her charges, and his mother would be excoriated for hiring the nursemaid at all. And all over an ugly statue that everyone tried to avoid seeing.

A fine sweat broke out on his brow. Boys at school told of lying to deny their misdeeds, but how did one lie to claim a crime? He would have to ask, next term. Not that it would help him now.

To finish the excerpt and for the first chapter, go here.

Caroline LindenAUTHOR BIO: This is Caroline Linden’s short version of her biography: Caroline Linden earned a math degree from Harvard University before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, nine books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted nothing more than to be an astronaut. Or a fashion designer. Possibly both; pink spacesuits would look so much better than white ones. But it turned out those were difficult careers to combine, and eventually the fashion designing fell by the wayside.

To continue reading this longer and very interesting version of Caroline Linden’s biography, please visit her website here.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:  Website / Facebook / Tweeter

‘Love in the Time of Scandal’ by Caroline Linden

littos clSTORY: Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can’t forget how he abandoned a friend in need—nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He’s the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn’t feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel…

Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. Though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father’s control, spirited Penelope just doesn’t suit his plans for a model marriage—until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope’s. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful . . . beguiling . . . and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?

REVIEW: I was so happy to find out that ‘Love in the Time of Scandal’ featured Abigail’s sister and Sebastian’s best friend from ‘It Takes a Scandal’. If you’ve not read that one, please get it. Your reading experience of this tale will be doubled. I promise!

You see, when we met Benedict Lennox, the hero of this tale in the story of his best friend, he was courting that friend’s girl, and he lost her. And in this tale, he’s now courting another young lady, but Abigail’s sister, Penelope is once more meddling in his love life.

I have to say that I adored both characters only because they were flawed. Neither was perfect and both were so very human.

Benedict, on the surface, has everything. His good looks and charm are obvious, and a future hair of an Earldom is a plus, yet this man has had a very tough upbringing. His childhood is just heartbreaking to read about. It has been a ‘mill stone’ around his neck for a long time and the only way to get rid of that would be for him to wed an heiress, preferably a biddable one.

Penelope Weston is young, bold and outspoken and she’s close to being labeled a spinster very soon. She’s feeling a bit lonely this season as her best friend and her sister have just gotten hitched, so now she’s wilting away in ballrooms, hoping she might meet someone special too.

Never in a million years would these two wish to become each other’s significant other, yet they’re both drawn by circumstances into each other’s orbit once more.
And while to some Penelope may have come off as shrewish and too outspoken and judgmental, I gave her a benefit of the doubt her character deserved.  Trust me, if you stick with her, she’ll surprise you and you’ll love her in the end.

As for our hero, Benedict, I can say the same. He was stubborn and austere at times, yet once you get inside of his head, you’ll know why he’s like that and you’ll start to like him and in the end you’ll love him as much as his Penelope does.

I just adored this story! Everything within it is perfect. It made me cry, laugh and sigh. Pace, plot, dialogue and most of all romance mixed with such sensuality that you may fog your reading glasses. It’s not only that this book is a must read, it’s this whole series that you must buy!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘All’s Fair In Love and Scandal’ by Caroline Linden

afilas clSTORY: Nothing wagered…

Douglas Bennet can’t resist a good wager, especially not one that involves a beautiful woman. When a friend proposes an audacious plan to expose the most notorious woman in England, Douglas agrees at once. After all, it would be quite a coup to discover the true identity of Lady Constance, author of the infamous erotic serial scandalizing the ton, 50 Ways to Sin.

Nothing won…

Madeline Wilde is used to being pursued. For years she’s cultivated a reputation for being unattainable and mysterious, and for good reason: her livelihood depends on discretion. When Douglas turns his legendary charm on her, she dismisses him as just another rake. But he surprises her—instead of merely trying to seduce her, he becomes her friend…her confidant…and her lover. But can it really lead to happily-ever-after…or are they about to become the biggest scandal London has ever seen?

REVIEW: This is a short novella that I read after ‘It Takes a Scandal’ and before ‘Love in the Time of Scandal’.  This little gem continues and enhances the Scandals series.

The novella continues the theme of the 50 Ways to Sin pamphlet which is written by “Lady Constance” and is a very salacious piece that’s entertaining men and women alike.  The thing is, no one knows who the author is, but a lot of the male readers seem to recognize themselves as the protagonists of her tales.

Hero of this story is Douglas Bennet, whose sister Joan Bennet found her happily ever after in ‘Love and Other Scandals’ the first book in this series.

It doesn’t take much of persuasion to challenge Douglas Bennet to expose the identity of “Lady Constance”. He loves taking chances and this bet, at least to him, looks like a win-win, especially because it involves a beautiful widow, Madeline Wilde.

The heroine, Madeline, is a very proper widow. She’s a bit aloof and quiet, always present at the ballrooms, yet lurking in the background and never, ever dancing. It’s the challenge of luring her into dancing with him that brings both together. When she rebuffs him, he gets even more intrigued and suspicious of her identity as a pamphlet writer.

For me, the sign of a good author is writing a novella that has fleshed out characters, an intriguing plot and a sensual romance, all within only one hundred pages. This is why I called it a gem. Despite it being so short, you’ll be surprised at how well written it is.

The characters are fully developed and funny, while the story is fast paced and intriguing.

Douglas and Madeline’s romance was scorching hot, romantic and funny.

I think it stands on its own and you don’t have to necessarily have read the other two books preceding it. However, once you read this novella, you’ll be running to download the rest. I promise 😉

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘What a Woman Needs’ by Caroline Linden

wawn cl reSTORY: Charlotte Griffolino knows a rake when she sees one—and the man her niece longs to marry most definitely qualifies. Stuart Drake is handsome, charming—and penniless. That he is interested in more than Susan’s considerable inheritance is highly unlikely. That he will be immune to Charlotte’s allure is even more unlikely…

With a Viscount title in his future, Stuart expects it shouldn’t be difficult to marry an heiress. Still, once he meets Charlotte, how hard will it be to charm her? Quite, actually. Now Stuart has only one option: to take revenge on her through seduction. But learning what this woman needs might only leave him hungry for more…

BOOK BLURB [2005 EDITION]: How hard can it be to marry an heiress?wawn cl or

Not terribly, Stuart Drake thinks, if you’re good-looking, charming, and in line for a Viscount title, which, fortunately, he is. To end his penniless existence, he simply has to convince his intended bride’s shrewish, wizened old guardian that he isn’t a fortune hunter…which, unfortunately, he is in the extreme. Still, once he meets the old witch, how difficult could it prove to charm her?

Quite, actually. Escpecially when the lady in question is temptation made flesh—a gorgeous widow with a reputation for knowing a rake when she sees one, having bedded many herself. She’d rather die than let Stuart win. And with his plans thwarted, Stuart has only one option: to take revenge on his tormentor through seduction. But learning what this woman needs might only leave him hungry for more.

REVIEW: As you can see, this is a 2015 edition with a beautiful new cover.

Stuart Drake is a rake of sorts but has now been reined in by his father for being in one scandal too many.  His father has totally cut him off from his allowance and he is nearly penniless and even relying on his friends for a place to stay.  As he has no other choice, he needs to marry a wealthy heiress soon.

Miss Susan Tratter is a young girl who is a great bride prospect.  She is very pretty, has a generous dowry and is totally infatuated with him.  But there is a problem in the form of her chaperone/guardian/widowed/aunt Charlotte.  She is totally against Stuart courting Susan because she has had lots of experience with men like him.  At 30 years of age, she has lived many places in the world and has a “past” as well.

As Stuart presses his attentions upon Susan, the very beautiful Charlotte plots to best him at his own game by flirting with him to show that he truly is a fortune-hunter.  However, the “game” begins to heat up as their bantering leads to an attraction.

When Susan goes missing and Charlotte is found to have an intruder who has broken into her home looking through some items left to her by her late husband, Stuart and Charlotte band together to find out where Susan is and who is this thief and what is he looking for.

The characters and intertwining plots make for a very gripping story that will keep the reader up late not wanting to put the book down.  I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and hope others will read it too.  The backgrounds of Stuart and Charlotte are not to be missed.

This is a re-release of the novel originally published in 2005.  It’s really nice to see great books brought out again so new readers can enjoy a great story.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘At the Billionaire’s Wedding’ by Maya Rodale, Miranda Neville, Caroline Linden, Katharine Ashe

cl mr mn ka tbwSTORY: Katharine Ashe, Caroline Linden, Miranda Neville, and Maya Rodale, authors of At the Duke’s Wedding, bring you another deliciously romantic anthology.

A stately home in the English countryside seems the ideal place for two successful young Americans to tie the knot.

Until the internet fails.

And the oven breaks.

And paparazzi descend.

And police crash the hen party.

And the four most unlikely couples imaginable discover that passion never waits for perfection, and happily ever after is just an “I do” away…

REVIEW: “The Best Laid Planner”  –  Miranda Neville

Duke Austen, a young billionaire who made his fortune in the tech industry and Jane Sparks, well known historical romance author, are planning the perfect wedding.  Their first choice of venue, Kingstag Castle, Dorset England, has just been damaged by a fire.  So when wedding planner, Arwen Kilpatrick, discovers Brampton House it sounds perfect.  It is a home that has not always been lived in and thus part of it is in the middle of being renovated.  Ah, but the beautifully furnished rooms and antique furniture make up for a few rooms still being worked on.  When Duke and Jane arrive for their week of wedding festivities, Duke is chagrined to find that cell service is either spotty or non-existent.  This is bad news for a tech guy, however, it is Jane’s dream wedding so he is content with whatever makes her happy.

Behind the scenes, Arwen is working closely with Harry, the man she assumes is the caretaker of the house and guru in charge of the renovations.  For a man who appears to be simply an employee, he certainly seems to be very knowledgeable about the estate and the two of them find themselves very attracted to one another.  Who is Harry?  Considering the glitches that can occur when an estate is undergoing renovation, can the wedding go off as faultlessly as Jane wants?

This first novella sets the stage perfectly for the story of Duke and Jane’s wedding.

“Will You Be My Wi-Fi?”  –  Caroline Linden

Archer Quinn is the attorney for, and good friend to Duke Austen, owner of Project-TK Industries with a net worth of nearly twenty billion dollars.  So, when he receives an invitation to the wedding of Duke and his fiancee, author Jane Sparks, he is undecided about attending.  His practice is very busy and for him to take any time off would be a difficult undertaking.  However, he realizes he has not had a vacation in a very long time and decides to go.  He knows he can keep up with things at the office via his computer and phone.  Or maybe not.  When he arrives at Brampton House and discovers the no internet situation, he is flabbergasted.  Knowing that there are certain hot spots around the property, he takes off following the bars on his phone.  What he finds is a cottage on the edge of the property with no only great cell service but a lovely woman inside baking!

Natalie Corcoran is renting a home looking for peace and quiet while she works on a cookbook.  Her family’s restaurant is very well-known but after an over-the-top argument with her brother about the family business, she decides to take a sabbatical from the restaurant.

When Archer asks Natalie if he can use the cell service and only sit on the patio not bothering her, she finally agrees.  As the time passes and Archer keeps smelling the lovely things that Natalie is baking, they communicate more and he begins to taste some of these delicious creations.  Turns out, he’s not just interesting in tasting her desserts but other things as well.  Ahem.

As they meet each morning on her patio, their attraction grows.  Just before the wedding, an emergency arises which leaves the wedding desserts ruined.  Will Natalie be able to help save the day?  Will Archer and Natalie’s attraction last after the wedding is over?

I enjoyed this novella very much.  The clever dialogue between Archer and Natalie is sweet and very romantic.  

“The Day It Rained Books”  –  Katharine Ashe

Cali Blake drives a Bookmobile in Philadelphia.  Of all of the jobs she has had with the Library, this is her favorite.  She has gotten to know many of the locals and ensures that she has books on the Bookmobile that will suit their tastes.  She fights hard to keep the Bookmobile when a family foundation grant was rejected.  However, an unknown donor stepped in and provided the funds to keep it going.  When she receives an invitation to the wedding of her old friend and co-worker at the Library, Jane Sparks, she is pleased and sad at the same time. Jane is so happy for Jane and her new-found fame and wonderfully rich fiancee.  However, the reality of not being able to afford to buy appropriate clothes and a plane ticket hits her.  In addition, she has the responsibility to care for her sister who was severely burned in a fire.

Piers Prescott was Duke Austen’s roommate at Stanford, and is the grandson to Jacob Taylor Vaughan Prescott, the most powerful man in Philadelphia.  Piers and his grandfather have been at odds for years.  Piers is interested in making things better for the people, whereas his grandfather is interested in making even more money and he doesn’t care who suffers from his endeavors.

When Cali receives a plane ticket and money for some new clothes and for a caregiver for her sister, she finally decides to accept this anonymous gift and go to Jane’s wedding.  When will she ever have a chance like this again to let her hair down and maybe even meet a hot guy.

At Brampton House, Cali and Piers are quickly drawn to one another and the fun begins!

This novella portrays a very strong and proud young woman and a man who truly cares.

“That Moment When You Fall In Love”  –  Maya Rodale

Roxanna Lane is a good friend of Jane Sparks and has been invited to her wedding. Roxanna writes celebrity gossip forJezebel.com.  Her boyfriend, Damien Knightly, is a wealthy English aristocrat and owner of Jezebel.com plus many other investments.

Theirs is sometimes a love-hate relationship as Damien is always trying to get Roxanna to do some unethical things to promote the website.  When the two of them arrive at Brampton House as wedding guests, Roxanna is furious when Damien asks her to leak pictures and other wedding information.  She refuses.  There is an agreement that if Roxanna ensures that Jane’s wedding photos and other wedding particulars are not leaked, a large donation will be given to Little Paws Rescue to aid kittens and puppies.

The appearance of the paparazzi hiding in the bushes around the estate ignites a sneaky plan in the mind of Jane and Roxanna to deter the paparazzi.  The plan works perfectly and Jane and Austen’s wedding ends up being perfect but not without many little roadblocks along the way.

Will Roxanna and Damien be able to resolve their differences about the privacy of the wedding or will they end up going their separate ways?

This last novella wrapped up the story to a lovely conclusion.