Avon isn’t the only imprint offering short stories to celebrate the wedding of William & Catherine of England, but I still don’t quite get it. These weddings are royal in name only, as none of the couples concerned are themselves royal. To earn the Royal Weddings moniker, the events take place during other weddings – but not at them. I know, I already said the marketing confused me. So let’s ignore it. Is this worth your cash? I think so? This isn’t a bargain priced full anthology, these shorts are super short, but it’s two bucks. What’s two bucks these days? (Ok, yes, it could be lunch. I give you the point.)
Stephanie Laurens and I have been planning to break up. I read the final book in her last series and just couldn’t bring myself to read The Black Cobra Quartet at all. Imagine my surprise when the best, most satisfying short is hers. Taking a woman who’s drifted into wedding planning and a French aristocrat, she delivers a tasty bite size treat without annoying me at all. It’s like running into an ex at a party and realizing they don’t make you feel vaguely sick anymore, but not quite waking up at their place the next day.
Gaelen Foley wasn’t for me. We split up during her India series and I’m not even sure what she’s done since. In this one she takes the set up of a happily (from the outside) married couple and their failure to talk. While she gets the biting internal conversations down, the story itself did nothing for me. Pout, have sex, change jobs. Or something like that. Mostly it felt like an erotic short which works for plenty of people but bored me. (Gaelen, we weren’t meant to stay together. I know you don’t miss me. It’s ok. I still have Loretta.)
Loretta Chase can call me up at 3 am, ask me to meet her in a pouring rainstorm in a dodgy area of town and I’ll have my keys in my hands before she stops speaking. (At least, she can right now. I’m fickle, the future is uncertain, void where prohibited by law.) Her couple were supposed to be at the wedding of Princess Victoria and Prince Albert (Now there is a setting – go to the wedding people!! Describe it! Be there! Discuss it! That’s your marketing… oh never mind.) but instead find themselves… elsewhere. It’s such a short and so beautifully constructed I don’t want to tell you anything about it. It’s like someone starts folding up paper and I yell “Goldfish!” before they’ve got to the tail. Ultimately, it left me wanting. The characters were ready for a full length book, or at least a longer novella. I enjoyed every bit of it but it’s like settling down with a lovely dessert, slowly savoring it, licking the fork between bites and suddenly someone walks up and says “Wow! I love this cake – thanks for sharing!” sticks a fork in and takes the rest away. It was perfect, but it’s gone.