Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I have to start this review with two disclaimers. First, in one way or another I know each of the four authors involved in this anthology but I vow what is to follow is my fair, unbiased opinion. Pirates honor. Two, I bought and paid for this anthology all on my own. I'm honestly not sure why I have to point that out, but there you go.

THREE WEDDINGS AND A MURDER is a limited-time digital anthology featuring Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Leigh LaValle, and Carey Baldwin. All talented writers in their own right, these authors have put together four unique stories for a good cause as all proceeds are being donated to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

This insidious disease has impacted my family twice in the last ten years so I'm more than happy to lend my support.

Now to the stories.

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare is a delectable bite of Ms. Dare's charming, irresistible voice. Every time I read something by this author, I feel like someone threw the curtains open and a ray of sunshine fills the room. This one is no exception. The heroine is spunky and contrary with a deep sense of loyalty. The title does a good job of describing the hero, but as with any good story, the hero is rarely the man he's first portrayed to be.

Mr. Wright covers more years than I'd expect from such a short story but the transitions are well done, the emotion and love story fully developed, and the HEA more than satisfying.

The Misbehaving Marquess by Leigh LaValle simmers with sexual tension. A high intensity reunion story, Cat and Jaime have been estranged for five years when the story begins. Bad decisions, injured pride, and a giant chasm of distrust stand between them. But love has the power to heal old wounds and by the end of this story, you'll be swooning in your rum and looking for some private time with your significant other. I am ashamed to report I have yet to read Ms. LaValle's other works, but that will be rectified straight away.

The Lady Always Wins by Courtney Milan might be my favorite of the four. Another reunion story but this time the heroine married someone else seven years ago, breaking the hero's heart. Now Ginny is a widow and Simon is back to claim the only woman he's ever really loved, by fair means or foul. This one looks sure to end badly until Ms. Milan throws in a twist that manages to surprise and make perfect sense all at the same time. By the end you'll have that overwhelming feeling that everything is right with the world as these two truly do belong together.

Solomon's Wisdom by Carey Baldwin thrusts us from the 1800s to present day and adds a dash of fast-paced suspense to this quartet. Yet one more reunion story (I wonder if they planned that) and again a hero and heroine with a long history and even longer separation. Anna, affectionately known as Peaches to the hero, was Charlie's best friend. But twelve years ago Anna declared her love at the worst time and without a word Charlie left town. Now he's back to win the girl he never should have left, but to reach their HEA they'll have to dodge bullets and solve a mystery before a woman and child end up the next victims.

This one moved a little too fast for me at times but then I read it pretty late at night (couldn't put it down) so that might have played a part. I'll admit I didn't see that ending coming and never would have guessed the evil that lurked so close by. Keep an extra light on while reading this one.

So there you have it. Four well-written stories to devour one at a time or all in one sitting. All worth the effort and a cause worthy of your money. And really, you could probably find $2.99 in your couch cushions. Available in all digital formats, give this one a go today.

Since I'm not usually an anthology reader, anyone have any others they'd like to recommend? Oh and I'd like to add that though the first three authors have other works available, Ms. Baldwin celebrated her debut release just last month. First Do No Evil is available now! (I'd give one away but I don't know how to gift e-books. *sigh*) 


MsHellion said...

I love Tessa Dare; and you sold me on the other stories as well. :) I'm kinda disappointed it's not available as a print novel, but I get why it wouldn't be. (I don't think anthologies sell as well in general.) But I do think anthologies are a great way to give new authors a break in; and lure buyers with favorite authors. :)

I have the great big anthology book of Scottish Romance. Some of them are really good, but it's been a while since I read on it and couldn't relate any of the stories. *LOL* But I would be willing to try the great big book of ghost romance and the like. :)

TerriOsburn said...

It was cool to read three historicals back to back and each was so different. Great example of how voice makes all the difference. And the contemporary setting at the end didn't require much shift at all, which I thought would be the case.

Maureen said...

I'm a big fan of scifi/urban fantasy anthologies, been reading them for years. I love how the advent of the e-book has pushed authors to deliver something to their public while waiting for the next big door stop book...

I'll go snap this up and support the cause!

TerriOsburn said...

Digital has definitely made the shorter story more viable. Novellas are even hitting the best seller lists. When I think of Sci-Fi I think epic so good to hear there are shorter options out there.

Janga said...

This one is on my ereader. I hope to get to it soon. I've read all Tessa's books, including the August 28 release; all of CM's, and Leigh and Carey's debuts. I know I like all their voices, and I'm sure I'll enjoy the anthology.

I'm a fan of anthologies. They are great for a quick read and for trying a new author. My favorites are the old Signet Regency Christmas collections. So many wonderful stories from Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly, Edith Layton, and others. The one I'm most excited about now is Mischief and Mistletoe, the Word Wench anthology out September 25 with stories from Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott, Anne Gracie, Susan King, Mary Jo Putney, and Patricia Rice.

TerriOsburn said...

Wow. All those authors in one anthology? Marking my calendar for that one. Not sure why but I've never been an anthology reader. I have a few collections among my shelves but have never read them. Sometimes I don't even know how my brain works since I can't think of why I avoid them.

Maureen said...

Scifi has a long history of shorts. Most new authors were once discovered writing shorts in magazines. Used to be a ton of scifi mags that were bursting with short stories. Most of my early reading of scifi was in shorts!

Fantasy, not so much, though there is a yearly anothology of the best short fantasy that I used to get every year that was massive. I discovered several authors that way.

I don't know, I think mystery is the one genre that doesn't do really short stuff very well. Novellas, yeah, but a good mystery needs more words...

Maureen said...


def: 1)Another collection of theology 2)A belief system based on there always being something else out there, around that corner

Marnee Bailey said...

This does sound good. :) There's another anthology I'm looking forward to, the one with Sherry Thomas, Courtney Milan, and Carolyn Jewel. It looks good too. :)

Good review, Bo'sun!

TerriOsburn said...

Is that one going to be self-pubbed, Marn? That's another benefit of the rise of Indie publishing (or whatever they're calling it today.) Authors can team up and put out their own collections without having to convince a publisher to buy it.

Marnee Bailey said...

I think it's self-published. I think all three of them are repped by Nelson Literary, right?

I'm excited about it because I just glommed down Ravishing the Heiress (Thomas's most recent) and the heroine in her installment was a character in that book. I think it sounds fun.