Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, has decided that it is time to settle down and find a wife after experiencing a near fatal accident. Desperate, he asks his older sister, Carolyn, to compose a list of eligible ladies and invite them to a weekend gathering at her country estate. Hugh will have the opportunity to spend quality time with each of the young ladies and hopefully find one that is suited to be his bride. The only thing is that Carolyn considers herself a matchmaker and has chosen to invite several eligible bachelors as well so Hugh has to hurry to find his true love before another gentleman snatches her away from him first.
This is a great novel that is separated into three stories about the three prospective brides for Hugh. The first one is written by Julia Quinn and follows the lovely yet painfully shy, Gwendolyn Passmore. Known as the darling of the London season, Gwendolyn is immensely popular at parties but secretly wants only seclusion. She would rather spend her time painting or drawing instead of entertaining. I loved this character because you could understand her dilemma. Her family is pushing her to find a husband and be married but is unable to understand her desire to be independent and alone. At Carolyn’s gathering, Gwen meets Alec Charters, who is there trying to marry off his younger sister to one of the eligible bachelors. The two find that they enjoy the same things during a chance encounter early one morning and he is the only person who gets to know the true Gwendolyn that she has been afraid to show other people. This was my favorite story out of all of them because I am a huge Julia Quinn fan.
The second story is written by Connie Brockway and involves the outspoken Katherine Peyton and the returning war hero, Captain Neill Oakes. Katherine has known Neill Oakes most of her life and she has been harboring a secret crush on him since she was sixteen years old. On the day he was leaving to join the military, Katherine begs him to kiss her in the front yard of her family estate. He kisses her but then as quickly as they kiss, he leaves her. Four years later, they meet again at Carolyn’s weekend party and Katherine is determined to prove herself to Captain Oakes as a strong, independent woman and a potential bride for him. Captain Oakes, unbeknownst to Katherine, is attending Carolyn’s party determined to have Katherine accept his hand in marriage. He left four years ago because her father said he wasn’t man enough to marry Katherine and he was back to prove that her father was wrong. Cute story and I really enjoyed the interaction between Katherine and Neill. The fight scene at the end is great.
The third and final story by Eloisa James involves Hugh’s quest to find his own bride. Hugh agreed to attend this gathering by his sister Carolyn, but in his heart he has always known who he wanted to marry. Childhood friend, Lady Georgina Sorrell, has always been close to Hugh but she has made it known that she never intends to remarry. She has seen her share of heartache when she lost her first husband to illness. Even though she is desperately in love with Hugh, she couldn’t bear to go through that type of heartache ever again. Hugh has other ideas and plans to show her what true love really means and fill her life with happiness instead of dwelling only on the past. Enjoyable read.
Three of the brightest stars of historical romance invite you to a party at the country home of the Honorable Marquess of Finchley
Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, needs a wife, so his sister hands him a list of delectable damsels and promises to invite them— and a few other gentlemen—to her country house for what is sure to be the event of the season.
Hugh will have time to woo whichever lady he most desires . . . Unless someone else snatches her first.
The invitation list includes:
And your hostess, Lady Carolyn Finchley, an irrepressible matchmaker who plans to find the lady most likely . . . to capture her brother’s untamed heart.