Monday, May 2, 2011

Lady Whistledown Strikes Back

I had great plans to write my review of the anthology Lady Whistledown Strikes Back, featuring short stories by Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins and Mia Ryan this afternoon, forgetting that I wouldn't be able to see the nose on my face, let alone type anything legible on my laptop because of a trip to the eye doctor to get my vision tested.  Instead I spent the afternoon holding books at arm length trying to decipher whether or not I wanted to buy them at my local Half-Price Books.
And while I did make it home with some great clearance finds after rummaging the shelves at the back of the store, including 3 titles by my favorite author (Tamora Pierce- Daja's Book, Briar's Book and Sandry's Book, all in hardcover for $2.00/piece), I wasn't able to work on this review until later in the evening.  But now that I am, all may rejoice!
The blurb on the back reads thusly, "Who Stole Lady Neeley's Bracelet?  Was it the fortune hunter, the gambler, the servant, or the rogue?  All of London is abuzz with speculation, but it is clear that one of four couples is connected to the crime.
Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, May 1816
Julia Quinn enchants: A dashing fortune hunter is captivated by the Season's most desired debutante . . . and must prove he is out to steal the lady's heart, not her dowry.
Suzanne Enoch tantalizes: An innocent miss who has spent her life scrupulously avoiding scandal is suddenly—and secretly—courted by London's most notorious rogue.
Karen Hawkins seduces: A roving viscount comes home to rekindle the passionate fires of his marriage . . . only to discover that his beautiful, headstrong bride will not be so easily won.
Mia Ryan delights: A lovely, free-spirited servant is dazzled by the romantic attentions of a charming earl . . . sparking a scandalous affair that could ruin them both.
Julia Quinn
You'll hear it first from Lady Whistledown."

Julia Quinn's The First Kiss, was surprisingly disappointing to me, as someone who usually adores her writing, I am still at a loss as to what the real reason was the I didn't really enjoy her short in Lady Whistledown Strikes Back.  It might have been the characters, or the reason behind their instant chemistry but The First Kiss was too sweet (sex wise), in my opinion, leaving The First Kiss ranked last in the series of four stories.
I have never read a book by Mia Ryan, but if her other books are anything like The Last Temptation, I believe that I simply must pick up a few of her books to try out.  I laughed out loud while reading The Last Temptation more than a few times, as her witty dialogue and situations were simmering with comedy.  And while I read romance novels mostly for the "romance", the next best reason is comedy relief, and The Last Temptation has it in spades.  Which leaves Mia Ryan's story as my favorite story in Lady Whistledown Strikes Back.
Out of the stories, Suzanne Enoch's Best of Both Worlds won for most annoying parents of a character.  Too worried about being scandalized to even realize that they are smothering  the main character, Charlotte, their own daughter, they made me sick.  And Charlotte was too kind and loving to even really give them a "what for".  I believe that for the romance part of these stories, that Best of Both Worlds was my favorite in that respect, followed closely by the next story in the anthology, The Only One For Me by Karen Hawkins.  Both were scintillating and I was almost sad when I reached the end of the pages.
Suzanne Enoch, Julia Quinn, Mia Ryan and Karen Hawkins
Overall, it was a fun and great addition to the Bridgerton Series' volumes, and I would definitely recommend it, along with each of the individual author's work.

Title:  Lady Whistledown Strikes Back
Author:  Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Mia Ryan, Karen Hawkins
Ideal Age Range:  Adult
Mass Market Paperback:  400 pages
Copyright Date:  April 2004
My Rating:(★★★)   
My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

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