Anthologies are always good for discovering new authors. Wish List, Dorchesterís first romance hardcover release, includes only one new-to-me author, Claudia Dain. It also includes an award-winning novella by Lisa Kleypas, a novella by Lynsay Sands and one by my current favorite, Lisa Cach. Sounds good! Bound to be very good? Not reallyÖ
Iím not sure what Lisa Kleypas received an award for, as I found her story about a rake blackmailing a spinster into helping him to restore his fatherís goodwill not very fascinating. No idea why Caroline Hargreave would want to rescue her brother anyway. Heís not the most likable character. Itís not bad, just not really award material.
Lynsay Sandsí story is way too short. Prudence Prescott sets out to stop her father from gambling. Dressed as a boy, she finds her way into the gambling den, where her antics force the owner, Lord Stephen Stockton to take matters in hand. Itís a fun story, although why she would fall in love with a guy promoting the one thing bound to ruin her father and family is a little beyond me.
Claudia Dainís story of how Clarissa Walingford tries to snatch herself an Irish landowner as husband, I found highly amusing. Its not that often one reads about the heroine chasing a husband. She knows what she wants, she's got a lengthy list to prove it, and will not let anyone get in her way. Not her family and definitely not Beau Wakefield. Beau, of course, knows that for him it can only be Clarissa. Brave man!
Best story of all, though, is Lisa Cachís novella. How can you not love a story in which the hero loves the heroine for her great appetite? Vivian Ambrose is the poor relative looking for a husband. Yes, she is not content being fed and clothed. Richard Brent is nice, but no husband material for the ladies of the Ton. Desperate to love and to be loved, he canít believe his eyes and ears when he meets Vivian. A woman not afraid to be honest and true. A woman refusing to believe the worst and refusing to give up on him.
Four stories set in the Regency period, two of them not really worth spending any money on and two definitely worth discovering. Iím off to reread all my other Lisa Cach books and to look for any Claudia Dain books I can get my hands on. Two out of four is not bad. And one new discovery is always a treat. Still, get the paperback release coming out in October 2003, and leave the hardcover version on the shelves for the die-hard fans.