by Kasey Michaels, Ruth Langan, and Carolyn Zane; assorted (2001)
Harlequin, $6.50, ISBN 0-373-48444-5
This anthology is annoying. The heroines are annoying. The plots could have been decent if everything else isn't so annoying.
Ooh, this anthology is just plain annoying!
Kasey Michaels' novella Sapphire Bride is the worst. The Harlequin concept editor must be pressing an AK-47 to her head while the other editors are holding her family hostage while she is writing this drivel.
Harrison Colton thinks that the Hamiltons are scums, except for the "smart one" Savannah. After all, Savannah was just in school when he dumped her scheming hussy sister.
Now, Savannah comes to him with a problem. See, her family is broke and her father is forcing her to marry a lecherous rich scumbag. No, wait, she's forcing herself.
See, her mother had an affair with another guy, and Savannah is a bastard that resulted. Poor Savannah now feels obliged to make up for the hurt her mother caused her father by doing as her father tells her to!
To readers out there who are even now typing in "How dare you fail a story without reading the rest of it?" let me say this: any story with this premise alone deserves to flunk the class at once.
I did skim the next few pages though, and let me just say this: Savannah is a moron. The end.
Ruth Langan's Colton's Bride is the most decent, although that's not saying a lot.
According to Colton legend, the men of Colton will find their right brides when the women make some Colton gems shine or some nonsense of that ilk. Oh yeah, all those Colton men must be dashing the street, making all the women they meet wear gems or something.
Anyway, in this sole historical novella, William Colton ends his engagement after his arranged marriage bride-to-be doesn't make the diamond shine. No, I'm not talking about a lack of lubrication during a boinking scene. Despite that this being a marriage of convenience, he calls off the engagement, and gets disinherited as a result.
Later, the romantic dumb fool is now a cold-hearted land supervisor or something that falls for virtuous widow Molly Warner.
Of course, Molly's previous marriage sucks, and since William is kind to some kids despite having thrown off so many tenants off their lands (I'm sure, of course, that it's not the gifts he lavish on her, because heroines are just too, uhm, "virtuous" to enjoy them - right, Harlequin?), she loves him, finally gets her first orgasms, and my, the Colton gems positively glow from all that euphoria.
Carolyn Zane brings me back to present day with Destiny's Bride. What's a Harlequin chamber pot product without a single but pregnant woman, eh? Elizabeth Sonderland gets knocked up by a scum (scums in mediocre novels are the most fecund SOBs in the world), goes to a wedding, and falls for the groom's brother Jason Colton.
I would fall for him too. He's such a babe, and all that bank account makes me see dollar, excuse me, heart signs in my vision.
Things go swimmingly in a rescue fantasy thing until the author pulls out a feud thing and has the heroine going "Oh, oh, I'm the s**t for being such an unworthy Colton girlfriend!"
You sure are. Any woman who can't hold on to, much less fight for, her love, especially under such ridiculously lightweight "conflict", deserves to live in abject poverty and die, die, die, that stupid dingbat.
Brides Of Privilege, hmm? Even Pokemon Brides aren't this stupid or annoying. The Coltons can flush themselves and their wives down the toilet for all I care.
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