Taran Ferguson, laird of his clan, is determined that his ancient (if not so honorable) birthright be secured before he dies. When both his nephews refuse to wed, the old reprobate takes matters into his own hands: he raids a ball and makes off with four likely brides . . .
Miss Marilla Chisholm—the bonniest lass in Scotland, and an heiress to boot.
Miss Fiona Chisholm—her older sister, another fine choice (but for that tiny stain on her reputation).
Lady Cecily Tarleton—true, she's an English beauty, but very, very rich.
Miss Catriona Burns—without name or fortune, clearly someone made a mistake.
Oh, yes. And one very irate duke.
Because somewhere there must be one lady most willing to love a Scottish lord.
In this book, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway each write a romance that fits into an overall story. This story features Taran Ferguson, an eccentric, Scottish laird, who decides to kidnap three women as bridal candidates for his two nephews. He ends up kidnapping three women and a duke (the horror!). Due to a snowstorm, everyone is trapped in Taran’s broken down castle, forced to spend time socializing.
In Julia Quinn’s part, we meet Catriona Burns and John Shevington, the Duke of Bretton both of whom are kidnapped by mistake. Catriona is a local girl who has no dowry and isn’t considered a marital prospect. The Duke was simply in his carriage at the wrong time. Mostly left out of the marital machinations, Catriona and Bretton spend quite a bit of time together and fall in love. The problem is Catriona’s unsuitable background and Bretton’s marital expectations. There is a great deal of witty banter between Bretton and Catriona, creating a fun delightful read.
Eloisa James contributes the second story which is the romance of Fiona and Bryon. Fiona isn’t quite suitable for one of Taran's nephews because a scandal in her past. Yet, Bryon, who is an Earl and one of the nephews, is drawn to the local beauty. Fiona pokes and prods at the staid and uptight Bryon – something that Bryon desperately needs. Their journey to true love is sometimes contentious, but supremely satisfying.
The last story is Connie Brockway’s part, the romance of Cecily and Taran’s other nephew and heir, Robin – who is a French comte. Robin is immediately taken with Cecily, but hides away from her for most of the story. Robin has a very rakish reputation and doesn’t feel worthy of the object of his affections. Cecily, however, is quite determined to make the most of her time stranded at the castle. She is the pursuer in this story which is rather heartwarming.
While each other author writes one of the romances, the three make up a complete story. They include secondary characters as well as Taran and the fourth woman kidnapped, Marilla. Marilla is the most beautiful of the women, is Fiona’s younger sister, but is also the most difficult of the group. Her exploits (and Taran’s) figure throughout all three parts. Quinn, James and Brockway did a superb job at interweaving these threads into their parts. I did guess where this thread was headed, but it worked well.
“The Lady Most Willing . . .” is a fantastic and festive romance. While Taran is an over-the-top character, I appreciated his quirky behavior, and it added quite a bit of color to this story. The three individual romances are all quite different but complement one another wonderfully. This is the perfect historical romance to read on a winter’s day to keep the snow at bay!
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Book Disclosure: A book was provided by the publisher.