Review: Royal Bridesmaids: An Original Anthology


Royal Bridesmaids: An Original Anthology by Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley, & Loretta Chase
2012-07-17 (Avon Impulse)

Overall Rating: B

Cute, charming, and silly stories that will surely tickle you royally. ‘Read More’ to see individual story reviews.



A Return Engagement by Stephanie Laurens

Rating: C+
Heat: Sweet

Heroine: Nell Daughtry - Lady, Sister to the Bride
Hero: Robert Knightley - Diplomat, Groom's Right Arm
Setting: Lautenberg


This tale revolves around Nell, elder of the Daughtry daughters, and her struggle to get her sister to the alter to marry Frederick, the Prince of Lautenberg. Helping her with her mission is her past beau, Robert Knightley, diplomatic envoy to Lautenberg.
And it isn't an easy mission for Nell, no matter how dedicated and steadfast she is. The Daughtry women suffer from Gamophobia, or something similar. An apparent fear of weddings or the days leading to them. So as Nell's sister suffers panic attacks, Nell must remain poised and composed.

Robert, once a suitor of Nell's, is charged with making sure the wedding goes through smoothly. For the good of England's relations with Lautenberg. After learning of Nell's family's phobia, he finally understands why Nell withdrew from him just as he was going to propose nine years ago. Since then he has focused on his career, all the while carrying a tendre for Nell still.
A Return Engagement is cute—light on the romance. It centered mostly on Nell's sister and getting her to the alter. Would have enjoyed it more if it had focused more on Nell and Robert and their emotions and feelings.


The Imposter Bride by Gaelen Foley

Rating: B-
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Minerva - Lady-in-waiting, Mistaken Identity
Hero: Tor - Prince, Warlord
Setting: Rydalburg


The lands of Saardova and Rydalburg have been warring and feuding for years. When this story begins, Prince Tor of Rydalburg has beaten his enemy and is poised to claim victory. Prince Tor's father, however, is blood thirsty and doesn't want to simply defeat the Saardovans, he wants to destroy them.

In an effort to make peace between the two, Tor decides to claim Princess Guilietta as his prize and unite the two lands.

But Guilietta is spoiled and self-centered and, on her wedding day, escapes into the woods. Which leaves Minerva, her lady-in-waiting, with a difficult choice. Tell Tor his bride has ran away, and possibly cause war to break out again, or pretend to be Guilietta and marry him herself.

The pace at the end sped up a bit too much, the resolutions happening one after another. And said resolutions felt forced, which took away from the story as a whole. Still, The Imposter Bride had a charming, fairy tale feel to it... A delightful faraway quality to the setting and time.


Lord Lovedon’s Duel by Loretta Chase

Rating: A-
Heat: Sweet

Heroine: Chloe Sharp - Sister of Bride, Tempestuous
Hero: James Bransby - Earl, Whimsical
Setting: England 


Lord Lovedon's Duel started with a splash and ends with a bang... Sort of.

Chloe, after hearing Lord Lovedon say some very insensitive things about the Bride (her sister) and Groom -- and, well, a few too many glasses of champagne -- demands satisfaction from him. A duel at dawn. And, once the alcohol-induced fog has lifted and Chloe no longer requires said duel, Lovedon is not about to let it go.

This story had such a silly, fun plot. Chloe is a spitfire and Lovedon is an eccentric. It’s the shortest of the trio but it also packed the most punch. My only complaint? That it had to end. I could’ve read an entire novel featuring these two.


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