Love and Mayhem (Signet Eclipse) by Nicole Cody, aka May McGoldrick is up first, with Sir Iain Armstrong off to collect his betrothed bride, Lady Marion from the convent where she's been stashed away for years. This one is filled with all sorts of eccentric, and even outright insane, characters, like her aunts and uncle. But, unlike the McGoldrick books, this one is sweet more than steamy, light rather than involved, with less emphasis on the Scottish setting. Too bad for McGoldrick fans. Probably okay for someone looking for a quick, non-serious sort of read. It's earned only three of Cupid's five arrows, and, sadly for me, is not a keeper.
The Husband Trap (Ivy) by Tracy Anne Warren is next. Violet Branford might be in love with the man her twin sister was supposed to marry, but actually marrying him herself wasn't something she planned on until her selfish sister bowed out at the last minute. Adrian Winter, Duke of Raeburn, has no idea the women have switched places, though he doesn't think very highly of his new bride on their wedding night. This has always been one of those types of stories I find difficult to like. The lying to the new spouse is bad enough, but then, with genuine emotions becoming involved on both sides, how can one continue the charade and expect good things? Also, in this one, there is some rather jarring point-of-view shifting going on, first in Violet's head, then suddenly in Adrian's with no warning. This one was just okay for me, so it gets only three arrows as well.
Penelope and Prince Charming (Leisure) by Jennifer Ashley has Damien, Imperial Prince of Nvengaria, seeking his prophecied bride in England, and stumbling across Penelope Trask, who's already jilted two men. Turns out Penelope is actually the woman he seeks, and the prophecy isn't the only thing causing the urgency for them to wed: the Duke who wants control of the country isn't above using ancient methods including magic, or more mundane methods, such as assassins, to get Damien out of his way. This one is cute as well, though the magical aspects of the tale don't seem to mesh fully with the rest of the story. It's steamy, though light. Not a bad way to while away a few hours, but not so wonderful it's a keeper for me either. It's also earned three arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!