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Three Weddings and a Kiss (edition 1995)

by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Lisa Kleypas (Author), Loretta Chase (Author), Catherine Anderson (Author)

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316735,147 (3.44)3
Member:mom2lnb
Title:Three Weddings and a Kiss
Authors:Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Other authors:Lisa Kleypas (Author), Loretta Chase (Author), Catherine Anderson (Author)
Info:Avon (1995), Mass Market Paperback, 389 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Romance, Romance Historical, Romance Historical American Frontier/Western, Romance Historical Regency, Romance Historical American Antebellum South, Romance Historical Anthology

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Three Weddings and a Kiss (The Kiss / Fancy Free / The Mad Earl's Bride / Promises) by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Collection of quick reads. My favorites are Fancy Free and The Mad Earl's Bride. ( )
  lesmel | Aug 24, 2014 |
April 10, 2014

THE KISS

I am not going to write a review for the Kathleen E. Woodiwiss story. I am posting this so those that might read this review will know that THE KISS is the first part of the prelude to A SEASON BEYOND A KISS. The second part of the prelude is BEYOND THE KISS. If you have any plans to read A SEASON BEYOND A KISS then you definitely should read the two prelude stories. These stories are about Jeff Birmingham, Brandon's brother from A FLAME AND A FLOWER.

PROMISES

This is probably not going to be a very long review. It is hard to write a good review for such a short story. The characters always seem a little shallow in a novella. It is hard to get to know them and for them to develop a relationship with so few pages. Maybe that is why Eric De Gray and Lidina Acland aren't as wonderful as some of Ms. Kleypas's other characters. The story is a good story but it could have been great with a few more words. There would have been great potential for developing the villain into a really nasty man. Ms. Kleypas does do a pretty good job of making Chance Spencer look like most young woman’s worst nightmare. He is an arrogant, self-centered, misogynist. Eric gives him the thrashing that he deserves.

Eric De Gray is a caring, loving son and brother. He suffers from survivor’s guilt after losing his brother in a hunting accident. He has become a serious man that takes his responsibilities for his family very seriously.

Lidina Acland has taken on the management of the estate her father left. His death hit both her mother and Lidina very hard. Lidina is a little naive and a little too trusting. She has never been courted and has few friends she could talk to about life and men. She is kind and serious and intelligent.

There are several love stories going on in these few pages. It might have been better to just have concentrated on one and written the other at another time. This story is worth the time to read even if it is just to get a taste of Ms. Kleypas's talent for telling a good story that will keep you turning the pages to get to the end. ( )
  LadyIsis | Apr 10, 2014 |
I KNOW I read three out of the four stories years ago. In Fancy Free, the western heroine starts out to embarrass Matt as revenge for her sister. But she gets the wrong brother, ends up asleep with him at church and has a shotgun wedding; In The Mad Earl, the earl is convinced that he's dying of the same brain disease as his mother. Enter Gwen, who will marry him almost sight unseen for money for her hospital. She diagnoses him to have only migraines - not a terminal disease; In Promises, the heroine is pining away for Chance - only he's not pining away for her. Eric De Gray meets her and her mother. He falls in love with her, and his widowed uncle falls in love with her widowed mother; In The Kiss, the heroine is about to be handed over for money to her "uncle's" friend, except a stranger steps in and buys her for himself - then marries her! ( )
  nancynova | Mar 30, 2014 |
"The Mad Earl's Bride" - Loretta Chase

Interesting... kinda dark, almost Gothic at the beginning at least! But that's what you get when you use the moors as your setting—Wuthering Heights. I thought Dorian ("Cat") and Gwen(dolyn) were great! Though NOT romantic, their reasons for marrying made sense, as did their reasons for falling in love. The medicine was really intriguing, but as soon as the coffee incident happened, I knew EXACTLY what his issue was! Caffeine = Excedrin = migraines I'm glad he isn't going to go crazy and die after all, but his poor mother was essentially tortured to death! :( :( :( (Well..... plus the head trauma...)

"Fancy Free" - Catherine Anderson

This story was a western. I'm used to my western romances being of the Christian variety, so it was a bit weird having a hero that was hanging out in saloons, drinking, and being..... overly friendly with women. It was cute, but I thought the i-suck-at-being-a-wife thing went on too long. Suck it up and get new glasses already! And it was a SHORT story, so the fact that it seemed long is kinda sad! Clint and Rachel were a cute couple though!

"Promises" - Lisa Kleypas

Lidian fell in love with Chance a year ago, then he left her hanging with a "wait for me while I go whoring around Europe for a year!" LAME!!! So when Eric shows up, she's NOT interested...... Except he's SO handsome and her tummy gets all butterfly-y when he's around.... Their interactions were interesting. I liked that Derek Craven was in the book, but I dunno.... It seemed to move SLOWLY! Like she was over Chance for 50 pages before Eric FINALLY made a move! I get that he wanted to make sure she was over Chance, but still! Come on! Plus, with the way time was moving in the story, it seemed like they only saw each other once a month! That gave the other romance time to blossom (yay!), but.... The pacing just seemed strange....

"The Kiss" - Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Cute but (1) I felt like you have to have read [b:The Flame and the Flower|896623|The Flame and the Flower|Kathleen E. Woodiwiss|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1305316569s/896623.jpg|979799] to really understand 3 of the 4 characters, including the hero, and (2) I think it would have been better as a full-length novella (100ish pages), rather than a 28-page SHORT short story... It needed MORE... it all happened WAY too fast... we needed some more back story, and then maybe a nicer "love" scene at the end... ( )
  saraferrell | Apr 3, 2013 |
Fancy Free by Catherine Anderson – Fancy Free was a cute story, but nothing particularly unique to a long-time fan of Catherine Anderson like I am. It features her usual small, historical western town in Oregon as the setting, and one of her typical, mostly alpha cowboy/rancher heroes who happens to have a big family of brothers. In fact, parts of the story reminded me of Keegan's Lady, although since it was written after Fancy Free, it looks as though the author may have borrowed a few things from this story while writing Keegan's Lady. She also seems to be partial to certain names, as the heroine of Fancy Free shares the same one, Rachel, with the heroine of Summer Breeze. The one different thing about this Rachel though is that she is not nearly as tormented as most Catherine Anderson heroines. She does have low self-esteem due to her poor eyesight that requires her to wear Coke bottle spectacles in order to see well. This, in turn, makes her feel ugly, so that she avoids wearing them except when absolutely necessary. When her glasses break and she is too embarrassed to admit she is as blind as a bat without them, it does lead to some household catastrophes that were good for a few laughs. As with most of Ms. Anderson's heroes, Clint is pretty patient with Rachel's foibles and her virginal skittishness, and eventually is able to make her feel beautiful in spite of the unattractive glasses.

The story moved along fairly quickly, and even though it was spread out over a two month time period, I just didn't quite feel the blossoming love between Clint and Rachel the way I would have liked. They also had what was in my opinion a silly misunderstanding which could have been solved with a simple conversation, but of course they both acted stubbornly, causing them to be separated for a month. I guess I can mostly forgive it though, because it led to a sweet HEA. I also found myself with several questions throughout the story, but surprisingly, all but one about how a respectable young lady like Rachel happened to be friends with a saloon girl, were answered to my satisfaction. The sexual tension in this novella was somewhat high, but there were no detailed love scenes, which should make it appropriate for most romance readers. Fancy Free did have a few weaknesses, and for the most part, it followed the typical Catherine Anderson formula. It may not have been one of her absolute best stories, but overall, it was a fairly entertaining read that held my attention, and the lack of any truly tortured characters made it an unusually light and pleasant story by this author. Star Rating: ****

The Mad Earl's Bride by Loretta Chase – A couple of years ago, I read and loved Loretta Chase's incomparable Lord of Scoundrels, but the next two of her books I read, definitely did not catch my fancy. Because of that, I went into reading The Mad Earl's Bride with a bit of trepidation, but this little novella has put Ms. Chase back on my watch list. I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the plot and characters.

Dorian, the hero believes that he is dying of the same incurable brain disease that apparently killed his mother, but not before making her go mad. He is tortured both by the knowledge of his impending madness and demise, as well as by ghosts of the past which haunt him. His grandfather tried to control the entire family, but I admired Dorian for standing his ground and not allowing the old earl to get the best of him even though it meant living in near poverty and performing menial labor for years. Dorian has a very acerbic wit that I enjoyed too. I loved Gwendolyn, the heroine. She has untamable red hair and isn't particularly attractive by the standards of the time. To make matters worse, Gwen is a woman aspiring to be a doctor in an era when that wasn't allowed, but she is a far more talented healer than most of the trained doctors they encounter. She is a total geek who absorbs medical knowledge like a sponge and can get really wrapped up in her studies, but she also has a lovely bedside manner, treating Dorian with the utmost care and concern. I thoroughly enjoyed Gwen's spunkiness and no-nonsense manner about everything, and how her passionate nature matched Dorian's measure for measure.

The interactions between these two are full of humor and refreshing honesty. Gwen admits right up front that she wants to marry Dorian to realize her dream of building a hospital, and he boils his acquiescence to marry her down to wanting sex after a year-long, self-imposed celibacy. I love how they both seem to intuitively understand each other, and a large part of their dialog was very snappy and witty. The geek in me can't resist citing this quote from Dorian to Gwen: “I spent hours yesterday talking of little but medical symptoms and insane asylums. And you listened as though it were poetry and all but swooned at my feet. It is too bad I don't have any medical treatises about. I'm sure I need read a paragraph or two, and you will become ravenous with lust and begin tearing my clothes off.” There was another similar passage, both of which showed an understanding of classic geekiness at it's best, and made me totally LOL. In spite of some great dialog, there were a few places that it was a bit sluggish, and there were some narration heavy areas of the story that I thought also slowed the pace. I did figure out what Dorian's malady was fairly early on, but his mother's mysterious death kept me guessing.

Overall, I really liked The Mad Earl's Bride, mainly for it's unusual storyline, but also for the exploration of medical and psychological conditions in a historical setting, which fed my own geeky fascinations. The Mad Earl's Bride is the fourth story in a group of books usually known as the Scoundrels series. It is preceded by The Lion's Daughter, Captives of the Night, and Lord of Scoundrels, and followed by The Last Hellion. Gwen is a cousin of Jessica and Bertie Trent, and another unconventional granddaughter of Genevieve, all of whom first appeared in Lord of Scoundrels. The amusing, dim-witted Bertie plays a big part in this novella, and Dain the scrumptious hero of that book makes a cameo as well. After reading The Mad Earl's Bride, I am now finally looking forward to finishing the series. Star Rating: ****

Promises by Lisa Kleypas – For a Lisa Kleypas novella, I found Promises to be a rather lackluster read. There just wasn't a lot to it plot-wise, so I had a hard time becoming invested in the outcome for the characters. In addition, the characters themselves were uncharacteristically weak, so I had an equally difficult time relating to them. The story was somewhat on the melodramatic side too.

I admired Lidian on some level for standing by her mom and helping to run their estate after her father died of a heart condition, but ultimately, she seemed rather naïve. Eric was very much an alpha male who reminded me of the bodice-ripper heroes of old, the way he essentially forced kisses on Lidian at first and declared that he would make her forget her other love. I've just never been much of a fan of heroes who behave this way, but of course, Lidian slowly begins to eat it up. I did enjoy their visit to Vauxhall, but overall, I just didn't feel enough of a connection between Lidian and Eric to buy into their blossoming love. There was a secondary romance between Lidian's mother and Eric's uncle, but there wasn't enough development to that relationship to suit me either. The “villain” lacked any real bite. His reason for kidnapping Lidian was kind of silly, and he was dispatched with little fanfare.

I detected some passivity in the narration which is quite unusual for Lisa Kleypas. Even the one love scene was very mild and the sexual tension throughout was minimal, definitely not up to her typical standard of steaminess. Promises was written somewhat early in her career, so perhaps she hadn't fully developed her trademark style yet. I would call it a worthwhile read for Kleypas fans, but in my opinion, definitely not one of her best efforts. Promises is sometimes listed as part of the Gamblers series because of a brief appearance by Derek Craven and Eric visiting Craven's gambling hell, but from everything I can tell, this novella has no real bearing on the series and can easily be read as a stand-alone story. Star Rating: ***

*The Kiss by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss - This short novella is the second story in Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's Birmingham Family series, and the first in a trio of stories about Jeff Birmingham and his lady love, Raelynn. The Flame the the Flower, the first book in this series, will never be a favorite of mine like it is with so many other romance readers, but while reading it, I did admittedly fall for Jeff. He was a dashing Southern gentleman who truly knew how to treat a lady with respect, and I'm glad to see his charm carried over to the beginning of his own story. In one fell swoop, this confirmed bachelor falls madly in love at first sight with the ragged, but becoming Raelynn when she literally runs into him. He then saves her life, and also rescues her from the clutches of her unscrupulous uncle who was about to sell her to another equally unpleasant man. Of course, Jeff was only trying to be kind and chivalrous, but the minute he realizes how badly his actions have compromised the lady, rather than trying to make her his mistress as everyone expects, he immediately offers to marry her and even to delay his claim to conjugal rights until they've had a chance to get to know one another. With Jeff so grandly proving his gallantry, it's no wonder Raelynn instantly fell in love with him too. Normally, the love at first sight trope doesn't work very well for me, but this time, I was completely convinced that these two were meant for each other. Their meeting was pure serendipity.

The Kiss is only about the length of a chapter, and essentially, that's exactly what it is, the opening chapter in Jeff and Raelynn's love story. Raelynn is a sweet young woman who's had a run of bad luck, and Jeff becomes her white knight, taking her away from her troubles and giving her a life of luxury she'd never dreamed of. This novella was a quick but very enjoyable and satisfying read that has me looking forward to the next two stories in this couple's saga, Beyond the Kiss and A Season Beyond a Kiss. Star Rating: ***** ( )
  mom2lnb | Dec 19, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathleen E. Woodiwissprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, CatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chase, LorettaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kleypas, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Anthology:
Fancy Free by Catherine Anderson
The Mad Earl's Bride by Loretta Chase
Promises by Lisa Kleypas
The Kiss by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380781220, Mass Market Paperback)

Everyone loves a wedding...

Nothing lifts our hearts like the joyous peal of wedding bells. Or the sight of a happy couple being showered with confetti and good wishes. Now the most exciting new names in romantic fiction and the bestselling author who started it all—escort you down the aisle to a place of honor at four glorious celebrations of everlasting love:

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss reintroduces us to the beloved characters from The Flame and the Flower including Jeff Birmingham, who seals an impetuous proposal with one brief, precious and passionate kiss.

Catherine Anderson calls us to meet a tempestuous pair of wild western hearts, in a tale of a frontier revenge that backfires.

Loretta Chase melts our hearts with a story of an unconventional young woman's offer of marriage to a "mad" and presumed dying earl.

Lisa Klepas shows us how true love will always win in a romance about one stubborn lady—and the persistent suitor who opens her heart.

So come join the celebration and experience Three Weddings and a Kiss.

Love for now...and always.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:31 -0400)

Everyone loves a wedding... Nothing lifts our hearts like the joyous peal of wedding bells. Or the sight of a happy couple being showered with confetti and good wishes. Now the most exciting new names in romantic fiction and the bestselling author who started it all--escort you down the aisle to a place of honor at four glorious celebrations of everlasting love. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss reintroduces us to the beloved characters from The Flame and the Flower including Jeff Birmingham, who seals an impetuous proposal with one brief, precious and passionate kiss. Catherine Anderson calls us to meet a tempestuous pair of wild western hearts, in a tale of a frontier revenge that backfires. Loretta Chase melts our hearts with a story of an unconventional young woman's offer of marriage to a "mad" and presumed dying earl. Lisa Klepas shows us how true love will always win in a romance about one stubborn lady--and the persistent...… (more)

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