The Lady Most Willing...

By Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway

Avon Books - January 2013

Historical Romance

The Lady Most Willing is essentially three short stories told in one novel. The official blurb does not reveal the couples, but they are evident relatively early in the story. As such, this review does contain that information.

Taran Ferguson had a plan. He had no children, only two nephews. Both, he felt, needed to wed. As they were visiting his castle, he would see to it that eligible young ladies were presented to them. A ball was being held nearby, so he and his clansmen would bring some likely candidates back to Finovair Castle for introduction. The cousins didn't learn of Taran's plan until a loud commotion heralded their uncle's return. With five kidnapped victims, no less.

Catriona Burns knew she was safe with the men who had abducted them. Taran might be rash and eccentric, but relatively harmless. She was more outraged over the inconvenience, and the fact that she was consistently considered a mistake. She knew an even bigger mistake was thinking that there was more to the Duke of Bretton's attentiveness than common courtesy.

John Shevington, the Duke of Bretton, had been taking a nap in his carriage when four women had been tossed inside with him, and it had taken off. To say he was livid was an understatement. The one unexpected bright spot Bret found was Miss Catriona Burns. She made him laugh, and soon, Bret was going out of his way to spend more time with her.

Miss Fiona Chisholm's past was never far from her. Her reputation may be tattered, but she kept her head help high. The abduction would be so much more pleasant if her sister Marilla hadn't been included. She didn't limit her rudeness to Fiona, and the men were often in hiding, trying to escape her overt attempts at snaring a husband.

Byron Wotton, Earl of Oakley and one of Taran's nephews hadn't realized how much he had fallen in to the role of his father. Reserved. Rigid. Only after the discovery of his fiancee in the arms of another did he begin to wake up from the stupor his life had become. Then he saw the changes in Bret after he fell in love Catriona. Maybe before, he would have been content. Now, he wanted a woman who would be so much more than just a wife. She would be his partner, his love. And he wanted it to be Fiona.

Lady Cecily Tarleton had fortune. She had suitors, and she had been offered marriage. She was ready to be married, but... well, but. None of her suitors stirred her. Many may have thought it was her family's wishes, and in a way it was. Cecily had been told to never settle in a marriage. She had been given descriptions of what this perfect mystery man would be like, but she was to the point of giving up and just picking one of her suitors. That was until she descended the carriage and came face to face with Robert Parles, Comte de Rocheforte.

Taran's other nephew, and his heir the Comte, Robin, could see the absolute hilarity in the farce of a kidnapping. Seeing Cecily took the smile right off his face. She may be exactly everything he would want in a wife, but he was also exactly everything she shouldn't want in a husband.

The Lady Most Willing is an enjoyable Scottish romp times three. Unlike most anthologies that may have a common theme, but are distinct separate stories, this book seamlessly weaves everything together. I enjoyed each of the stories, and how we got to see what is essentially the prologue and epilogue as well. I see that these authors previously wrote another story, The Lady Most Likey, in a similar fashion, and hope to read it soon.

Kathy Andrico -