book review: the lady most likely…
Title: The Lady Most Likely…
Author: Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie Brockway
Category: Romance, Regency
Publisher: Avon, December 2010
Starred Review: 3 out of 5 stars
I never miss a Julia Quinn book. She’s had a few collaborative books before — both Lady Whistledown novels comprised of interconnecting short stories. But this was an entire novel in three parts. Basically, what this means, is that there were three couples, each created and penned by a different author.
It’s certainly not my favorite Julia Quinn novel. At times, it felt somewhat disjointed, which can obviously be attributed to having been written by three authors with distinct tones. At the same time, it wasn’t like I could pick out who wrote which part. I had my suspicions, and I was right, at least, about Quinn’s couple, but that’s also because I’ve read a lot more Quinn than either of the other two.
In The Lady Most Likely…, the Earl of Briarly decides he needs a wife, so he enlists the help of his sister in securing one. He treats it like he’s purchasing a horse, something he knows a lot more about. So Caroline draws up a list and throws a country house party, inviting them all. Of course, if you read any Regency romance, you know that country house parties are notorious for hook ups. Chances are pretty good that couples will become engaged at a good country house party.
In the case of this novel, three couples do. It was fun that we followed so many couples in their frustrations and misunderstandings and followed them through to success. (I don’t feel like I’m being very spoilery at all here because in romance novels, the girl always ends up with a guy. The surprise in this book is which one snags which.) But because we did follow three couples, everything happened quickly. The backstories, the relationship, the romance — everything that would happen in the course of one romance novel, happened 3 times as quickly in this one.
Maybe I’m biased, but my favorite couple’s thread was Gwendolyn and Alec, which was Julia Quinn’s. They both felt like well-rounded, three-dimensional, thick characters – the kind of characters I’ve come to expect from her. As for the others? Kate, Captain Oakes, Hugh, and Georgiana — they didn’t measure up for me. I didn’t find them that interesting. I wanted more of Gwen and Alec. Obviously, this only proves my point that the only romance author I truly enjoy is Julia Quinn.