Fancy Free by Catherine Anderson
Matt Rafferty broke poor Molly's heart and publicly humiliated her. That's why her sister, Rachel, has sworn revenge. Rachel's going to get him so drunk he's going to pass out and wake up in church Sunday morning minus his pants, the only problem is when she sees Mr Rafferty walking out of the saloon it's the wrong Mr Rafferty. Clint is tired of cleaning up after his younger brother and tired of life on the ranch with his 7 brothers and no woman to clean up after them so when he wakes up in church on Sunday discovering he's spent the night passed out with the Marshal's daughter he's more than willing to marry her.
This was the most light hearted of the three reads and I have to say the first few chapters greatly outshone the others but then it quickly crumbled. Rachel was SO silly, vain and childish. She was only 18 so that explained most of the behavior but still she refused to wear her glasses and couldn't keep house, even though Clint made it abundantly clear he only married her so she could cook and clean up his home, which is described as a frontier version of house featured on "Clean Sweep" with mounds of dirt, laundry, trash, even blood lying around. I got annoyed with her excessive need to please simply because her husband was handsome and her endless failures to do so because of her broken glasses and had to skim to the end.
2 1/2 stars
The Mad Earl's Bride by Loretta Chase
Dorian's going to die. He's suffering from the same ailment that killed his mother 8 years before and all he wants to do is die in peace and perhaps a bit of dignity, if he can manage that. The only problem is his one and only friend wants him to marry his cousin so that he can beget a child before he kicks off, something that Dorian thought was a fine idea when dosed with laudanum, but not so much when he was no longer under the affects. Gwen always wanted to be a doctor, something she would never be able to do because she's a woman, but her interest in the mentally ill and need of money to start a hospital with modern medical ideals leads her to agree to marry.
The best of the bunch being it's quite different than your standard regency. The romance aspect isn't all that well developed, they just sort of fell in love then had to deal with his dying and Gwen's interest in trying to use her medical knowhow to make his last days pleasant. This wasn't light or fun per say, but it was quite entertaining and Gwen and Dorian were very interesting characters.
4 1/2 stars
Scandal's Bride by Samantha James
Victoria is faced with an ultimatum; say yes to one of the three marriage offers she currently has on the table or her father is going to pick one for her. Instead she decides to create a scandal by kissing a stranger and hopefully getting all three offers rescinded. However, she never expected her father to force her to marry Miles after walking in on them kissing.
This is pretty standard fare and nothing too exceptional. He thinks she's a superficial shallow girl who couldn't last five minutes away from London, while she thinks he's cold and unfeeling. Miles rejects her three or four times, then decides he wants her then she discovers he lied to her about the existence of his ward because he thought she would be mean and cruel to the young girl, Heather because she has a limp. I didn't like the ending of this. He truly was very callus and unfeeling towards Victoria, treating her exactly like he expected she would treat Heather. She forgave him far too quickly throughout the whole story. I know it's a novella but still the girl isn't supposed to forgive him until he grovels and his apology stating he didn't trust her not to be mean and superficial is making things worse not better.