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4.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable read, 20 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Wedding Gamble: AND Marrying the Major (Regency Lords and Ladies Collection) (Paperback)
2 historical reads in one book, both excellent.

The Wedding Gamble - Julia Justiss
Sarah Wellingford did her duty and married the compelling Marquess of Englemere, a man who awakens passions within her. Nicholas Stanhope's tragic past has convinced him that women are not to be trusted. But this marriage of convenience is becoming very inconvient as he is periously close to falling for his wife.

Marrying the Major - Joanna Maitland
Back from the Pennisular Wars, Major Hugo Stratton is much altered from the man Emma Fitzwilliam has longed for. Beautiful Emma inflames Hugo's blood, but Hugo considers himself far from the eligible match she deserves. How will they far when a marriage is forced between them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A wounded veteran finds love where he least expects it, 15 Nov 2009
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wedding Gamble: AND Marrying the Major (Regency Lords and Ladies Collection) (Paperback)
This book contains two Georgian romances and is 14th in the series of Regency Romance double novels. Both stories tell the story of a marriage which became more passionate than either party expected.

"The Wedding Gamble" by Julia Justiss begins with a tragedy, which leaves the Marquis of Englemere in desperate need of an heir. Having suffered a disastrous first marriage, the handsome and wealthy widower does not look forward to trying again, but he promises his grieving mother that he will find a new bride within the year.

He eye is first caught by a fiery redhead, Clarissa, daughter of Lady Beaumont. Clarissa and her friend Sarah Wallingford are nicknamed "Fire" and "Ice" by the ton, because Clarissa is always losing her temper and causing scenes which her calm, tactful friend Sarah has to calm down. Since if he has to marry again, the Marquis would like nothing better than a calm, collected wife, he starts to reconsider which of the two friends would make him the most suitable partner. But the girl he marries turns out to be nothing like what he had expected ...

"Marrying the Major" by Joanna Maitland is the middle story in a loose trilogy, all three books of which have been published both on their own and as part of this series. The trilogy consists of:

1) A Penniless Prospect (Historical Romance) by Joanna Maitland, also published as part of volume 13 in this collection, Jewel of the Night: AND A Penniless Prospect (Regency Lords and Ladies Collection)

2) "Marrying the Major" published as part of volume 14 in this Regency Lords and Ladies Collection, and also on it's own (Link: Marrying the Major (Historical Romance)

3) Rake's Reward (Historical Romance)Rake's Reward" by Joanna Maitland, also published as part of volume 28 in this collection (Link: The Unknown Wife: AND Rake's Reward (Regency Lords and Ladies Collection))

As a young man, Hugo Stratton had dreamed of little else but joining the army and winning glory fighting against Napoleon. In 1805, shortly before going to his regiment, he visits the home of Sir Edward Fitzwilliam in the company of his friend Richard Hardinge (hero of "A Penniless prospect") and unbeknown to himself, makes a lasting impression on Sir Edward's only child, twelve-year-old Emma.

Eleven years later, Major Hugo Stratton returns to England scarred both physically and mentally after being seriously injured in 1815 at the battle of Waterloo. Emma has become a beautiful young woman, who instantly attracts Hugo's attention. Neither of them would have considered for a moment that the sombre and disfigured war veteran could possibly be a suitable match for the lovely and wealthy heiress, until Hugo's young brother, the handsome rake Christopher (Kit) Stratton, makes two serious mistakes which will affect all their lives ...

Both novels are froth and nonsense in the regency tradition, but both are very entertaining. Not a patch on Georgette Heyer, let alone Jane Austen, but an amusing way to while away a couple of hours.

There are thirty volumes, each containing two novels, in the "Regency Lords and Ladies Collection" series. One minor niggle is that the front cover does not display either the series number (it's on the side) or the story titles, many of which have been published separately. So you if you are an avid collector of regency romances and don't want to buy a story you already have, you may need to be a little careful with this series. However, this should not present any serious difficulty.
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