From the back cover:
Three brand-new stories about getting that special man to the altar!
USA Today bestselling author Sharon Sala
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT that Georgia society belle Harley June Beaumont went to Vegas--and woke up married! How could she explain her hunk of a husband, Sam Clay, to her family back home when she could barely explain to herself why this sexy stranger made her heart beat so madly?
Award-winning author Dixie Browning
MARRYING A MILLIONAIRE was exactly what Grace McCall was trying to keep her baby sister from doing. Not that Grace had anything against the groom--it was the groom's arrogant uncle Chandler Daye who got Grace all hot and bothered. Hmm...maybe Grace just needed to make this millionaire her own!
National bestselling author Stella Bagwell
THE BRIDE'S BIG ADVENTURE was escaping her handpicked fiance in the arms of a hot-blooded cowboy! And from the moment Gloria Rhodes said "I do" to rugged Spencer Tate, she dreamed their wedded bliss would never end!
And my review:
Sharon Sala's IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT was just okay, but nothing outstanding. As this is a novella, the page restriction really hurt the author here. I think that if she'd had room to fully develop the characters, this would have been a really good read. But it felt rather choppy and rushed, and I never felt the emotion between the characters. It often felt like great sex was all that was holding them together. Not that this was a lust-soaked story, but there just didn't feel like much of an emotional connection between them.
Also, in the beginning of the story, the heroine is understandably freaked out at waking up with a tattoo on her butt, a pounding hangover, and a stranger for a husband. She runs. The hero tracks her down, then announces to her boss that the heroine is quitting her job to come live with him. Without even bothering to ask her what she wants. You would think her running away without so much as a note would be a clear enough message. Grr. I don't like domineering men, so this made it hard to like him as the story progressed. If he's wooed her, it would have been romantic. Issuing orders just because a piece of paper signed in a drunken haze in Vegas says they're husband and wife? Not romantic. I did manage to finish this story, though, without too much effort, so I'll give it three stars.
Dixie Browning's MARRYING A MILLIONARE uses an old plot: the relatives scheme to keep young lovers apart, only to fall in love with each other in the process. Not that I have a problem with often-used plots, because a good author can breathe new life into them. I was actually enjoying this story when the hero does a complete about-face and suddenly decides that it's okay for his nephew to marry the heroine's half-sister. There was no explanation for his change of heart. After spending so much time and energy fighting to keep the teens apart, he sees them together for two seconds and says "Oh well, I guess there's not much I can do about it." Huh? It just didn't make sense. A more gradual change would have been more believable. I suspect that the author realized that she was running out of pages and had to hurry to wrap the story up. Two stars.
Stella Bagwell is an author that I have enjoyed before. I personally recommend her book Just For Christmas (Maitland Maternity). But THE BRIDE'S BIG ADVENTURE suffered from an extremely naive heroine. Really, if you want to prove to your dad that you are a grown woman who is mature enough to make her own choices, do you
(a) talk to him about it
(b) refuse the marry the boring, passionless man he's hand-picked for you
(c) refuse daddy's money, get a job and start paying your own bills
(d) run away and throw yourself at the first stranger you meet, pressure him to temporarily marry you, and don't bother with a prenup until HE insists on one, even though you're loaded and he's so broke the bank is about to foreclose on him.
Well, as this is a catagory romance, I'm sure you can guess that the last choice is the one the heroine picked. It was just so silly. She throws herself at the hero, a man she's known for all of two minutes. She has no idea if the guy is an ax murderer. She tries to talk him out of a prenup, even though she's the one with everything to lose. She is also determined that the marriage will be temporary, lasting only six months.
And she does all this to prove to her dad how mature she is? Umm...how is a hasty marriage to a stranger, followed by a quickie divorce going to prove maturity? I think that's going to prove the exact opposite, that you have no idea how to run your life successfully. I can accept some unbelieveability in romance, but this was a little too much. One star.
Romance anthologies are always a hit-or-miss situation. Some novellas are wonderful, but most suffer from the limited space, as it doesn't allow much room for satisfying character development. This collection is not recommended by this reader.