With Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn listed, I couldn't resist picking this up at the library. This anthology is a collection of three novellas written by Lisa Kleypas, Kinley MacGregor, and Julia Quinn. The overwhelming theme is being betrothed to the wrong person. Normally, I really don't care for the trope even if the society at the time had a more blase attitude towards marriage as a business rather than an emotional connection but these three writers did a fine job.
First up is Kleypas. It is sort of a Gamblers and Bow Street Runners series smash up reunion except that it deals with the next generation. It's Derek and Sara Craven's daughter and she has become engaged to Lord Wray. However, Dr. Linley's son, Jake who are best friends with Wray but he loves Lydia. And Lydia is finding that her sensible approach to marriage isn't what she had thought it would be. Things happen quickly and humorously. It's funny seeing Derek as the father and the father-in-law from hell. Aside from the great moments, it still felt rushed. Not bad, just rushed.
Next is Kinley MacGregor whom I have never heard of until this anthology. This story is set a medieval period and the story set up is more along the lines of Cyrano De Bergerac. It's also the contrast between the learned man and the celebrated jock though they are allies rather than adversaries. The story is well developed for the short time. It works because of the letter writing set up and the medieval time period. Otherwise, it would have been too rushed as well. But this story manages to jam pack history and action as well as the relationship woes and misunderstanding.
Finally, Julia Quinn's story which develops Ned Blydon (I'm not sure if he belongs to a series but his name looks familiar) and Charlotte Thornton. Again, I hate the story where a couple has arranged their nuptials and then fall in love with a sibling. It irritates me to no end. However, Quinn pulls it off for me. The contrast between Charlotte and her older sister, Lydia helps. The situation is totally contrived as well as the resolution but the characters are the highlight and what I enjoy the most of Julia Quinn's writing. I take that over plot driven any day.
Overall, it was a fun read. I should probably give it a 2.5 since I didn't hate the stories and were pleasantly entertained. However, I still dislike the trope and can't bring myself to like it.