Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/06/10/short-reviews-wedding-of-the-century-other-stories-anthology
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: NetGalley
This was an eclectic group of short stories, but I loved! This anthology features three short stories about couples who all marry under strenuous circumstances, and come out on top!
The Wedding of the Century by Mary Jo Putney kicks off the anthology with Sunny and Justin, an American heiress and 2nd son of a duke. They meet briefly and go their separate ways. When Justin’s brother dies in a tragic accident, he is now the Duke, and will have to marry for money to save his home. He remembers Sunny fondly, and her money won’t hurt either. Sunny agrees to the marriage after suffering a broken heart, and Justin just might provide the cure for it.
I really loved this short story, and will definitely have to go out and read more Putney. I loved the vulnerability of Justin, and his struggle with becoming the Duke after being just the 2nd son. I also really liked Sunny. She started the story as a bright and vibrant girl. After getting her heart broken, she really shut down to life. Watching Justin draw her out of her shell and bring back that vibrant character was great fun to watch.
One of my new all time favorite quotes is from this short, in which Sunny’s fun and quirky godmother is explaining what marriage is like:
"A witty vicar once said that a good marriage is like a pair of scissors with the couple inseparable joined, often moving in opposite directions, yet always destroying anyone who comes between them. The trick is for the blades to learn to work smoothly together, so as not to cut each other."
I really liked this short story and how Justin and Sunny were able to come together and really mend each other. It was sweet and light and fun. I give The Wedding of the Century an A.
Jesse’s Wife by Kristin James is a historical western romance, and while I don’t usually enjoy historical westerns (no idea why...) I did really like this one. Amy has always been unsure of herself, so when she gets a lot of attention from a new comer in town, she is quick to head out for a late-night walk. But when it turns into a nightmare and she is forced to marry, she chooses Jesse, her longtime friend and farmhand. Although their marriage is rocky, they just might be able to find a way to make their differences work.
Poor Amy was so unsure of herself, she constantly doubted herself throughout the entire book. I desperately wanted her to buck up and grow a pair, and was glad when she finally stood up for herself at the end of the story. I loved Jesse and his simpleton ways. He had no family or decent past to speak of, so the thought of having Amy as his own family was the only thing he wanted. They way they really complimented each other was super cute. I give Jesse’s Wife a B.
Seduced by Starlight by Charlotte Featherstone takes us back across the pond to London again. Blossom has been betrothed to her fiance her entire life, but when he falls for another she lets him go to marry with love. When suitors start coming around, her ex-fiance’s brother Jase is determined to win her hand. Blossom is worried that he is offering for her out of some misguided notion of honor and pushes him away. But little does she know that he has been in love with her for years, and determined to make her his wife.
I liked this story as well. I loved that Blossom and her family were forward thinkers and not all about the stuffy rules of the ton. Blossom painted, fished and was an absolute free spirit who would accept only a man who loved her for her. I loved that Jase had been pining away for Blossom for years on end, and was finally able to make his move. I liked that the two of them were discovered in a scandalous position and forced to marry, and have it turn out to be the best love match they could ever want. I give Seduced by Starlight an A .
Overall the anthology was very good. While the three stories were very different from one another, they all actually worked together as well. For historical fans out there, this is a definite must read.