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3.7 out of 5
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  • Entertaining Regency themed novellas

    These four enjoyable and entertaining Regency themed novellas evolve from the premise of gossip. I particularly enjoyed the fun story by Eloisa James but was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a new to me author, Jacqueline Navin, that I will check out for her other works. The stories not only charm the reader but made me think how gossip can change and alter a person’s present and future. First novella: A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James. This is a fun, fun story of a not so proper lady who tries to find a way to inveigle her reluctant betrothed to finally proceed with their wedding. I loved the strength of character of Emma & the addition of the information and details on scene painting. Novella #2: The Vicar’s Widow by Julia London. This tale exemplifies the title of the book “Talk of the Ton”. What can happen when gossip is helped along by lies and misinformation? Luckily for the reader, all works out all right for Kate & Darien in the happily ever after ending. There is a touch of spice in this story along with chemistry and a sweet romance. The third novella, Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagan Lee, is the reason that I purchased Talk of the Ton. It is book 4.5 in her Free Fellows League series. This is the Earl of Barclay Jonathon’s story and I didn’t want to miss his tale. As a book in the series, it’s length precludes some of the anguish and romance of the rest of the series but it provided an intriguing premise and an important step in the series. Novella #4 Miss Jenny Alt’s First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin is a story that has a sweet ending but deals with gossip spread about the heroine Jenny not only by members of the Ton but by and initiated by her cousin. Unfortunately the cousin, has decided that she wants the hero Miles and is willing to create mischief and scandal to achieve her goal. The characters are well drawn and the subject matter definitely fits the title of the anthology but I was more squeamish about a relative starting the gossip. I found the denouement a little rushed and would have appreciated some more romance. All in all, four delightful romances that are also thought provoking.

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