Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Untameable, A Regency Anthology

Title: Untameable
Author(s): Catherine Blair, Kate Huntington, Donna Simpson
Genre: Regency Romance (traditional)
Publisher: Zebra
ISBN: 0821774158
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
List Price: Out-of-Print
Reviewed: December 5, 2004
Rating: 4 stars (3.8)
Warnings: None

Since each story is quite unique, I'll comment on each novella separately...

The Rogue's Wife by Catherine Blair: I give this story 2.1 stars. Something about it gave me an icky chill. These two characters, according to a totally unbelievable storyline, fall in love but they are so blind they don't "see" each other. Lady Charlotte thinks the best thing she can do for her husband is push him into all the icky things he supposedly loves to do, namely, drink, gamble, and womanize. John, of course, thinks he should be able to keep his former life—until his wife actually pushes him into it. Both these characters seemed lifeless, abstract, completely one-sided. (July 15, 2009 - I read this and can't believe how harsh I sound. I will re-read this story and reassess my opinion.)

A Breath of Scandal by Kate Huntington: 4.3 stars for this story. In the beginning, I found Miss Abigail Pennington more annoying than anything. The fact that she raised her niece and loved her like a daughter for some reason made it imperative that she obsess over the girl's engagement to a very deserving young man. Enter handsome, charming, wonderfully strong Gabriel Bourbonnais, who may or may not be royalty. Abby's niece takes one look at the enigmatic foreigner and thinks he's perfect, much to her fiance's chagrin. Somehow, according to Abby, this is all Gabriel's fault—which I found rather annoying. Once Abby loosened up a bit, she was an interesting person. Gabriel was mysterious enough to be completely fascinating. The budding romance was more believable in this story than the previous and a certain scene near the end almost had me in tears.

A Rogue's Rescue by Donna Simpson: A whopping 5 stars for Ms. Simpson's touching tale of love and revenge—with an amusing bit of comedy thrown in for good measure. Lord Ingram is one of my all-time favorite Regency heroes. There is just something about a darkly handsome, brooding lord with a reputation based mostly on gossip. The heroine was quite likable, too. Ariadne Lambert is a spinster over 30 and plain as can be. Her self-esteem, however, is wonderful. I was truly impressed. After being told that a certain unscrupulous man is blackmailing a friend of a friend, Ari is determined to teach him a lesson. Her plan is going swimmingly until Ingram decides to rescue her. Not realizing she is trying to set the other man up for a fall, Ingram lets her know the man preys on silly, plain, rich spinsters for their money. It takes him a while to see through Ari's "brainless" act to the intelligent woman beneath. Their falling in love is gradual, believable, and very lovely. Of course, with all these misunderstandings, a mild element of humor is inevitable.

Overall, this book rates only 3.8 stars. Due to my love for the second and third stories, however, Untameable is one of my "keepers."

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