The True Love Wedding Dress by Catherine Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I enjoyed all the stories in this volume. The Casey Claybourne story was 4 stars, but the rest were 5 star stories. This collection reminded me that I've been negligent in reading two of my favorite authors, Connie Brockway and Catherine Anderson.
I'm feeling a little lazy, so this won't be a long review. This is what I thought of each story:
The concept of this story collection was nice, a lovestruck Highland Scottish seamstress (who had been disrupted from her lands by the Highland Clearances) forced to make the bridal dress for her beloved's wedding to an Englishwoman, who decides to use her hereditary sorcery to help women in the future have a happy wedding and marriage, since it's clear she'll be denied that future. This is the prologue written by Catherine Anderson. It's very short, but I liked that she got her happy ending with her true love.
Barbara Metzger story was a traditional regency, with a marriage-shy Viscount (his first wife cheated on him after giving birth to their son, dying in the arms of her lover) tasked with investigating the family of his nephew's intended. He ends up meeting the mother of the bride and falling in love with her. Poor Katie was betrayed many years ago, and never got a wedding, although she did have a child to raise. She's made lemonade out of lemons and raised her daughter very well. Now, she wants to see her daughter happily wed in a lovely wedding gown--the one she would have worn to her own wedding, had her fiance not been killed running off from the wedding. The gown chose her and wouldn't settle with being worn by the daughter. I enjoyed the humor in this story. The hero, Viscount Forde is a pompous lordly character, who is about to find true love for the first time in his life, and in an unlikely place, with a country-dwelling 'widow.' This was a fun story with good humor.
Connie Brockway's writing is like enjoying a decadent dessert, full of rich flavor that engages the senses. She is wonderfully descriptive, and has a deft, refined ease to her storytelling. I fell in love with her couple, rooting for Alex and Lucy to get back together after their mutual pride and fears drove them apart two years ago, when Alex went off to war. I was sent into an advanced state of drooling adoration by the deliciousness of Alex, battle-scarred, yet resolute to reclaim Lucy's heart, even to the point of parading around the street of Pall Mall in the wedding dress, which magically fit his 6'4" tall, muscular, broad body. I asked myself why have I stayed away so long from this lovely woman's writing. I am so glad I have several of her books in my collection to indulge myself in. Definitely my favorite in this volume.
Casey Claybourne's story was good. I didn't get emotionally engaged though. That's crucial for me, and it's the dividing line between a 4 star and a 5 star read. It was a nice read, and I did like the fact that the daughter of the hero brought this couple together, and the wedding dress was there for this heroine to aid her in getting her wedding to the man of her dreams.
Catherine Anderson struck gold again with her story. It's about Joseph, who is the brother of Kaitlin, from Keegan's Lady. He's simply irresistible, as most of Catherine Anderson's heroes are. He takes in Faith and her daughter Caitlin, who are on the run from Faith's nasty father, who's trying to barter her into yet another marriage, when Faith gets the wedding dress from a peddler, and sees an announcement in a window for a housekeeper. Joseph is actually a better housekeeper than Faith (she was trained in being a lady, but little else), but he's not about to let her end up working in a bawdy house, because there aren't many other options in No Name. Instead, he gives her some on the job training, and they both take lessons in love together. Ms. Anderson managed to pack quite a punch with this short story, and it reminded me to get back into her books, since I'm way behind on her.
The epilogue is also written by Catherine Anderson, and it's very sweet. There's hope for a poor mother who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. The wedding dress is there, yet again, to bring luck and love into her life.
The True Love Wedding Dress turned out to be a pleasant read, full of hope and the magic of true love coming to fruition, with the help of an enchanted wedding dress. It's nice to read books that make smile, and this book did that for me.
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