Read Royal Bridesmaids: An Original Anthology by Stephanie Laurens Gaelen Foley Loretta Chase Online


In this original anthology, New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley, and Loretta Chase tell us what it really takes to get the bride to the royal altar. They need to do more than "smile, wave, and look delighted"!Stephanie Laurens: A Return EngagementLady Nell Daughtry has her hands full getting her reluctant bride sister safely married to the PrIn this original anthology, New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley, and Loretta Chase tell us what it really takes to get the bride to the royal altar. They need to do more than "smile, wave, and look delighted"!Stephanie Laurens: A Return EngagementLady Nell Daughtry has her hands full getting her reluctant bride sister safely married to the Prince of Lautenberg. Then she learns she's paired with Robert Knightley...the fiancé who walked away.Gaelen Foley: The Imposter BrideLady Minerva must ensure her country's princess is wed to handsome Prince Tor. Then the bride bolts, and bridesmaid becomes—bride!Loretta Chase: Lord Lovedon's DuelWhen Chloe Sharp hears the handsome Earl of Lovedon say her sister's royal marriage is a match made in money, she challenges him to a duel—for love and honor....

Title : Royal Bridesmaids: An Original Anthology
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ISBN : 18432077
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Royal Bridesmaids: An Original Anthology Reviews

  • Ƥʋиʏα [Punya Reviews...]
    2019-03-01 22:15

    My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...Note that my review and rating is solely based on Gaelen Foley novella, “The Imposter Bride” (4 stars) and Loretta Chase novella, “Lord Lovedon’s Duel” (4 stars).“The Imposter Bride”, Gaelen FoleyMy exact thoughts after the abrupt ending of this novella by GF:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!Seriously! I mean, why oh why this isn’t a full novel? I was loving it, LOVING it!!!I know I’m beginning to repeat myself but this novella of about 40 pages or so was excellent. I’ve been wondering since I started reading the Inferno Club series where has the ‘old’ Gaelen Foley gone? I say ‘old’ because, for me, that series doesn’t compare to her earlier work, which is where the Ascension trilogy comes in, a series I adored. And “The Imposter Bride” gave me Ascension vibe all over it.Two countries (make believe names but situated in Europe), Rydalburg and Saardova, are always fighting with each-other. There is just too much bloodshed, so the crown prince of Rydalburg, Tor, against his father, the King’s wishes, decides to marry the crown princess of Saardova, Giulietta after they defeat Saardova. He wants this bloodshed to end. But, Guilietta is a spoiled brat who has never lifted a finger in her life to do anything. And so, her parents send some of her ladies-in-waiting with her, the head of them were Minerva Messina, the General’s daughter. Minerva has been with Giulietta for a long time, they’re close in age and so she knows what kinda trouble the bratty princess can create. Minerva was send almost against her wishes, as she was about to attend the university as the first woman ever to do so in Saardova. I thought this was really weird. They use camel caravans to travel and swords to fight but Minerva is thinking of taking classes in the coming Autumn... ummm... well, pretty confusing. When they arrive in Rydalburg, it was apparent that both countries were misinformed about each-other. Big, blond and blue-eyed Rydalburgers are the reserved, cool sort, while dark hair and eyed Saardovans are passionate and lusty (at least the men are!). The women of Saardova wear veils to protect themselves from lusty men. Anyway, they meet the Royal family, Minerva can’t help but have a look at Tor, who is also like any other Rydalburger but she is still attracted to this big warrior. Now, I was hoping for a little dislike here since Tor was the one who cut off one of her father’s legs in the recent war. Even though the General asked Minerva to remember that Tor didn’t kill him when he had the chance and what’s best for the country, it still felt a bit weird to me that she won’t harbor any ill will for a man who hurt her father! But I’m not complaining that big since Tor wasn’t a brute and war is war.Minerva knows it too. Even though she’s attracted and checks him out well enough, she knows Tor is supposed to be for Giulietta, however spoiled she is. Minerva thinks maybe Tor’s steady hands are what they require to control the princess. Now, the fun was, because of the veil, Tor doesn’t see the face of any of the women, including Minerva and Giulietta. Tor’s friends even make good-natured joke out of it, that what if the girl is plain looking or something. Tor has also heard about the brat of a princess but he’s an understanding man and will do his duty. The marriage was to take place the next day but Minerva senses something wrong with Giulietta. But being very tired, she doesn’t pay much mind to it. Of course, the dense and self-centered princess does something equally dense and makes a mess out of the whole situation, leaving Minerva the only choice; to step into Giulietta’s shoes to avoid imminent trouble. I think you can guess from the title where this was going...To me, the best thing of this novella was the relationship build up between Tor and Minerva. It definitely left me wanting more, yet I felt that they belonged together from the beginning. Tor was such an adorable hero; big, beautiful and sort of an awkward warrior who just wanted to make his wife happy. He fell for Minerva hard. I especially loved the wedding night scene and his words to Minerva. *sigh*As a heroine, Minerva was smart, just the type I want to read about. I understood why she did what she did. She wanted the best for the two countries and not knowing then that Tor isn’t the ogre they think Rydalburgers are she had to rely on her own judgments. Even though it’s a novella, it still gave me a feeling of completion because of the way the plot was structured. You even get a big mis, along with the emotional turmoil between Tor and Minerva. But only because it’s a novella, the scope of exploration was limited. I REALLY wish that this was a full novel. Could’ve been a great start to a series IMO! I saw characters that I liked and wished their relationships also had a chance of better exploration, i.e. Giulietta’s rakish brother, the crown prince of Saardova, Orson and Tor’s sister, the crown princess of Rydalburg, Katarina. Even, Giulietta herself and that Roma gypsy prince. I was sensing fun from whatever little I got about them. As to the complaint, apart from the fact that I wanted more of this story, the abrupt ending. It just ended and you already know my reaction to that! Even a small epilogue would’ve been great, if not anything else between Tor and Minerva.4 stars, with a lot of sighing to go with it. Fun:Tor:now. Minerva: Yesh you arrree babe! *rwarr* And, .*heehee***********“Lord Lovedon’s Duel”, Loretta ChaseThis one was just F.U.N. OMG I loved this novella!! Superrrrrrrrrrrr in one word.I know I’m acting crazy but “Lord Lovedon’s Duel” was about 30 pages of pure goodness. This is the LC I love to read, fun and interesting, with an adorable H and h!I have to tell you at first that there are the mentions of recurring characters here from LC’s old novels, especially Don't Tempt Me. There are mentions of minor characters from the Dressmaker’s series too. I’m indicating because I know some people might get lost. Duke and Duchess of Marchmont are the H and h of Don't Tempt Me and it’s in Marchmont’s castle, De Grey, where the story starts with a wedding...Chloe’s sister Althea is marrying a Prince, Prince Louis of A-Name-I-Can’t-Pronounce to be precise. But then, there was James Bransby, The Earl of Lovedon, who just about now, on her sister’s wedding day, killed the fun for them and made Althea cry. The two sisters accidentally eavesdrop and hear James talking about Louis’s lady love and that he’d abandoned the woman for this marriage to Althea, which’ll definitely help him with his poor financial conditions. James is Louis’ close foreign friend, so might be telling the truth. Althea is distraught hearing this, because they all thought it was a love at first sight with Louis. Whereas Althea, the youngest is sort of soft-hearted and too trusting, Chloe the eldest is smart and outspoken and right now, she is mad as a hellcat at James. How dare he ruin her sister’s wedding day so callously? Chloe would take revenge on his clumsy Lordship, damn if she doesn’t! She finds the earl and challenges him outright in a duel, in front of his gawking friends and her own sister, Sarah and friend Amelia.The funny thing was, Chloe’s family, even though very rich, is commoner as her father is a lawyer. They dress at Maison Noirot FGS, which is the best and most expensive French lady’s milliner’s shop! I don’t think I have to introduce Maison Noirot to anyone who has read LC’s new series, the Dressmakers. Chloe’s family, the Sharps and Amelia’s, the Renfrews (also commoners) are two of the most important patrons of Maison Noirot and have been mentioned, on occasion, in both Silk Is For Seduction and Scandal Wears Satin. The setting is similar to the Dressmakers series. Now that the intro part is done, let’s get back to the story. Chloe is drunk too, so is James but he holds his alcohol far better than her. What ensue afterwards are some really funny scenes with Chloe drunk and challenging duels, James trying to apologize for something, what, he doesn’t really know about. I was so enjoying this. But even in all this chaotic situation, James notices Chloe. There was this thing between them from the first scene that I couldn’t deny. Love at first sight? I don’t know but it was definitely there... James helps her out when he figures it won’t be good for her sister’s reputation as a princess if the guests find her drunk as a skunk. Chloe was misinformed about James as well. She thought James is one of those spoiled aristocrats who don’t care about anything but themselves. But as I got to learn more about James, I begin to admire him, as did Chloe. I was so glad that she never fought against this thing between them. Well, James is a bit on the arrogant side as any aristocrat, mind you, but he has a romantic heart too, which he hides. And it’s said that he’s not handsome, not in the classical sense at least but has a killer bod! Of course Chloe has noticed the killer bod part but she is determined to keep her mind to the revenge part. On the other hand, now that James has taken a good look at Chloe (totally appreciating whatever he saw) and learned that she’s full of spirits, he is attracted to her like a moth to a flame. The next day, they exchange a list of funny messages to each-other regarding the duel. Loved those notes. And then comes the dueling part... Note that Chloe’s friend, Amelia, is acting as her second, as James’ acquaintance, Mr. Bates is acting as his. I saw something, however small, forming between Amelia and Mr. Bates. I think there was an indication of another story here. I certainly hope so! I won’t go to the duel (yes, there was one), which was hilarious. I mean this novella was just fun, did I mention it? Oh, sorry, guess I did... So, just read it! Even with the lack of love scenes (and I wanted some here definitely), this novella stole my . I wish it was a full novel. *sigh* 4 stars.Fun:James: Told you, you won’t be able to get rid of me so easily, now that you’ve caught my eyes.Chloe: Babe, who said I wanted to? Me?(in happiness of course, lol). Overall, 4 happy stars.This ARC was provided to me by Avon/HarperCollins via edelweiss which didn’t influence my review and rating in any way.

  • Letitia
    2019-03-07 22:17

    Overall Rating: B Cute, charming, and silly stories that will surely tickle you royally.A Return Engagement by Stephanie Laurens - Rating: C+ ... Heat: Sweet 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: WarmThe 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 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.-- A Romantic Book Affairs ReviewFind us on Twitter and Facebook too!

  • willaful
    2019-03-05 16:57

    I can't believe the publisher had the face to charge $6 for the paperback edition of this book. Even the $2 for the ebook seems excessive, considering that of 179 pages, only 90 are actually story and the rest are ads excerpts. The book is basically just one big coming attraction, designed to rouse interest in the three series its authors are currently writing.Not being into Laurens or Foley, I only read the Loretta Chase story, which is very short (20 pages) and charming in a self-conscious way.

  • Katie Michaels
    2019-03-18 16:01

    This anthology features a collection of historical short stories, featuring royal weddings where the bridesmaids find love. I was excited for this one, as I enjoy all three authors. I knew the stories would be short, but I was unprepared for how short, especially when the entire ebook was 181 pages."A Return Engagement" (S Laurens) - I didn't really love this one because so little of it actually focused on the romance between the hero and heroine. That would be a problem in any story, but it's even more pronounced in a short story like this one. Nell and Robert were an item nine years ago, but he never proposed when she thought he would and their romance ended abruptly. Now the two of them are thrown together as Nell's sister prepares to marry the prince Robert works for. Most of the story centers on the wedding and Nell & Robert's efforts to make it happen. There just isn't enough about the two of them and their feelings for each other to make me care about their future one way or the other. 31 pages."The Imposter Bride" (G Foley) - This one, I did enjoy. The prince and princess of two warring nations have agreed to marry to make peace. But the night before the wedding, the bride runs away, leaving her lady in waiting, Minerva, to assume her identity and take her place at the altar. Minerva quickly falls for her new husband, Tor. But how long can she keep up the charade? The story was a little predictable, but I really liked Minerva and the chemistry between her and Tor. Sweet and a little sexy. 38 pages."Lord Lovedon's Duel" (L Chase) - Probably the best in the bunch. It's based loosely in the Dressmakers world. Just after Chloe's sister is married to a duke, the women overhear some men saying the groom married for money and not love. Angered over the hurt it causes her sister --and just a little bit drunk-- Chloe confronts Lord Lovedon, the man speaking most disparagingly of the match. She demands a duel, sparking his attention and a witty banter which evolves into a relationship. It was funny and sassy. 21 pages.If you do the math, you'll find that the short stories make up 90 of the 181 pages of the ebook. The rest of the space is filled with previews and excerpts of future Avon historicals, from the featured authors as well as Carla Swafford, Alice Gaines, Candis Terry, and Anna Randol. If that's something you're interested in, that's great, but it frustrated me. It was more tease than substance. Rating: C*ARC Provided by Avon

  • Kuroi
    2019-03-01 21:51

    Loretta Chase's story is quite fun, but the others are just terrible.

  • Ewa
    2019-03-24 15:06

    The second and third story is the best.

  • Aurian Booklover
    2019-02-24 20:57

    Stephanie Laurens: A Return EngagementLady Nell Daughtry has her hands full getting her reluctant bride sister safely married to the Prince of Lautenberg. Then she learns she's paired with Robert Knightley . . . the fiancé who walked away. Lady Cornelia (Nell) Daughtry is accompanying her your sister Frances and her parents to the small country of Lautenberg, where her sister will marry its Prince. To her surprise, the man she never stopped loving in nine years, Lord Robert Knightly is working as an aide to the Prince. The marriage is very important to the British Foreign Affairs Ministry, and Robert and all his family, are highly appreciated diplomats. Nine years ago, Nell and Robert were a very nice couple, but to her surprise, Robert suddenly withdrew himself and never proposed to her, as she was expecting. So far, no man has tempted her into marriage. And now they will have to work closely together, as Nell will be her sister’s chaperone, and Robert will go wherever the Prince goes. But nothing is as simple as it seems, all the women in Nell’s extended family suffer from some strange kind of curse, severe wedding nerves to the point of running away, even when they are very much in love. As her sister is with her Prince, and Prince Frederick is with Frances. So every time Nell sees those signs of stress in Frances, she steps in and steers her sister clear by distracting her. Of course Robert notices these strange occurrences as well, and he demands an explanation. Robert ensures Fredericks’s help in keeping his lovely bride distracted, and all goes well, the couple grows even closer together because of this. But Robert also suddenly understands Nell’s behaviour, why she seemed to change her mind about their courtship, and he is determined to make her his wife. For in his heart, he never stopped loving her, and he never considered marrying someone else. A lovely short story, I really enjoyed this. This case of nerves was fun and original, and it explained what happened, as the woman who has those nerves, also doesn’t know when it happens to her or what she does when it strikes. So both parties thought the other was withdrawing and of course a real gentleman does not pursue where he is not wanted. When Robert understands what has happened, he knows what he has to do, and this time, he will not be a gentleman if it comes to that …I liked how Nell cared about her sister, how she encouraged her and loved her and was there for her. As the bride to be, her sister was the main focus, and Nell had only a few moments with Robert together, but it was enough for me to believe in them as a couple that really belonged together. I always like my main characters a bit older than debutantes as they are just mature adults and behave like such. 8 stars.Gaelen Foley: The Imposter BrideLady Minerva must ensure her country's princess is wed to handsome Prince Tor. Then the bride bolts, and bridesmaid becomes - bride!I disliked this story from the first page. Two European countries at war with each other. One in the Alps, the other near the coast. Okay, I can go for that. One country is inhabited by Vikings though, who are warriors through and through, and emotionless. Hmm Vikings living in the Swiss/Italian/Austrian mountain range. No. The other country with passionate people, where men have multiple wives. At first described like Venetia, so, no. The Bride goes to her Bridegroom on the back of an elephant. No. There are also camels. No. The females remain completely veiled until they are married. No. They also have a custom of being half naked acrobats doing acrobatic things with long silk banners hanging from the ceiling. Both men and women do that when they are young. Really? Never heard of that except in the circus. The Vikings have a lot of horses, described like the famous Spanish horses and how they perform with them. No. The Viking prince has a hobby of plants, and how to “crossbreed” them for better crops. No. The Bride runs away on the night before her wedding, her guard sets out to find her, and is looking for her day after day. Her best maid marries the prince in her stead, and they fall in love. Until the Bride’s brother shows up, something he swore he would never do, and knows this is not his sister, but her best friend. How did he know who she is if he has never seen her unveiled? But the plot is destroyed, the fake Bride locked in the tower, where she promptly escapes with the help of her husband’s sister, with one of those famous silk banners. No. And within hours she finds the missing princess, while riding a strange horse through a completely unknown country side, while dozens of men did not find a trail off her at all. No. And she then persuades the spoiled princess to come back with her and prevent the duel between her brother and her groom.I don’t buy anything about this story and all those inaccuracies spoiled what could have been a pleasant little story. The author did not do any research about European countries at all, mixing European people and some Eastern desert people or something like that. Perhaps because I am European it hit me all wrong, if you know nothing about us at all, you might find this entertaining.I really liked the prince, he was not a fierce warrior after all, he was kind and gentle with his wife. And Minerva was a good friend who wanted to go to university and become a doctor, but she sacrificed her future for her country and married the Viking prince Tor instead. 4 stars.Loretta Chase: Lord Lovedon's DuelWhen Chloe Sharp hears the handsome Earl of Lovedon say her sister's royal marriage is a match made in money, she challenges him to a duel - for love and honor.Chloe’s sister Althea has just gotten married to her own Prince Charming, when the two sisters overhear Lord Lovedon tell his friends that this is not a match made in love, but in money. Her prince needs money to fix his castles, and he has forsaken a sweetheart back home in order to marry Althea. Of course it is rubbish, but it takes Chloe a lot of time to get Althea back to being happy in love with her Prince, as much as he is in love with her. So when Althea is back inside the ballroom with their guests, the feisty and slightly drunken Chloe goes of in search of the nasty Lord Lovedon. Finding him in the picture gallery, she then slaps him in the face with her glove, throws a glass of champagne in his face, and challenges him to a duel for ruining her sisters’ weddingday.Lord Lovedon is slightly drunk as well, but he suddenly notices Chloe and becomes interested in her. Of course he won’t agree to a duel with a lady, but when Chloe’s best friend and an other sister drag her away from him and his friends, he knows he has to make repairs before this story gets into royal ears. I had fun reading this story. Of course it is slightly ridiculous, but it was short and well written and I could understand Lord Lovedon becoming interested in this little miss who shows a lot of character. And for Chloe, she is not used to interacting with the ton, her father is a lawyer, her sister really did make a lovematch. So when Lord Lovedon helps her get home without embarrassing her family for being drunk, and for arranging for a fake duel the next day, she is intrigued with him as well.Very short, but characters I did like, and well, just fun.8 stars.So, 2 nice stories, and one very bad one. There are also some excerpts about other books by these authors, so the stories are even shorter than you think they are. If you are a die hard fan of one of these authors, I say go for it. I am a big Stephanie Laurens fan, and I am glad I read her story. I don’t think Gaelen Foley is for me at all, but I might try another Loretta Chase book some day.© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

  • Sarah Webber
    2019-03-21 16:14

    It's only worth reading for the Loretta Chase story, which is related to Maison Noirot. It is utterly charming, if brief.

  • Marionela
    2019-02-28 21:51

    Лорета Чейс във вихъра си. Много забавно и за съжаление - кратко.

  • Stacy Charlesbois
    2019-03-09 14:06

    Mostly for Loretta Chase's novella

  • philura
    2019-03-22 21:52

    Easy read.

  • Susan
    2019-03-21 20:10

    Stephanie Laurens's In A Return Engagement Lady Nell Daughtry has her hands full getting her reluctant bride sister safely married to the Prince of Lautenberg And matters only get worse when she learns she's been paired with Robert Knightley her ex-fiance in the wedding partyNell has been tasked with getting her sister through the pre-wedding festivities. The women in the family seem to have some sort of panic disorder relating to weddings causing them to sometimes act irrationally. Nell has the ability to keep her sister calm. She was not expecting to see Robert in the prince's wedding party. They had courted many years ago then he had suddenly pulled away before proposing. Now they had to work together to make the wedding happen. I liked them both. They were able to put the past behind them and do what was needed. It also gave them a chance to get to know each other again. I enjoyed their teamwork. I also liked the way that Robert looked at Nell and their past differently after he learned about the panic attacks. The shortness of the story didn't allow for much depth, but overall I enjoyed it.The Imposter Bride is Gaelen Foley's story about Lady Minerva who must make sure that her country's princess weds Prince Tor What can she do when the bride bolts? Since the prince has never set eyes on his betrothed she'll have to marry the prince herself.This one starts with a war being ended with plans for a royal marriage. Prince Tor is the cool, always in control Viking-like warrior. His bride is from a Mediterranean country and known to be hot-headed, spoiled and emotional. When she runs away it leaves the potential peace at risk, so Minerva marries the prince in her place. I really liked both these characters. Tor's traditions are that you don't show your emotions, but it was obvious that he had them. I liked the way he didn't destroy the other city at the end of the war. When he had Minerva alone he showed a lot of compassion and patience knowing that the marriage had been a political one. He came to care for her quite quickly which made her deception that much harder for him to accept when it was found out. I really enjoyed Minerva's intelligence. She was a much better match for Tor. I loved the way that she was so amazed at his activities and came to realize how much she loved him. The exposing of the deception created a very tense situation and the resolution was pretty well done. Again, I think the story would have been improved by being a bit longer.Loretta Chase's contribution Lord Lovedon's Duel tells the tale of Chloe Sharp When Chloe hears the handsome Earl of Lovedon say her sister's royal marriage is a match made in money, she challenges him to a duel—for love and honor.I think this one was my favorite. When Chloe and her sister hear Lord Lovedon's disparaging remarks, first she has to calm her sister down. Once she has done that she goes back to confront him. I loved the way that she called him on his obnoxious behavior. She even goes so far as to challenge him to a duel. Unfortunately she has had a bit too much champagne with predictable results. I liked the way that he stepped up to help her. Until she confronted him he hadn't really paid much attention to her but he likes her courage and loyalty to her sister. They have a rather witty correspondence the next day as they set up their duel. I loved the actual duel and the way that they then continued their interest in each other. Even this one would have benefited from a longer length, but it was still good.

  • Mary
    2019-03-24 13:58

    First in the book is Stephanie Lauren's "A Return Engagement". Not being familiar with this author, I am uncertain if this is a novella that is part of an existing series.Nell has accompanied her family to a Lautenberg where her sister is to marry the prince. Unbeknownst to her, the prince's right hand man is Robert Knightley, a suitor from nine years ago that she still has unresolved emotions for. As they work together to ensure a smooth wedding, the two finally clear up the misunderstanding that ended their courtship almost a decade ago and they reconcile for a happily ever after.This story was so fluffy in the light-hearted romantic sense but lacked much substance and left me unsatisfied. It may be that the short length limited the author in character development and therefore it felt very shallow and unmemorable.===Second is Gaelen Foley's "The Imposter Bride". Set in (fictional?) Europe, a Mediterranean princess is sent to marry an Alpine prince following the their defeat in the war.The temperamental princess refuses to sacrifice herself for the treaty and runs away from her duties, leaving her lady-in-waiting Minerva to pick up after her. Not wishing to jeopardize the strain between the two countries, she takes her princess' place in the wedding ceremony when searches for the runaway have proven unsuccessful. What she didn't count on was falling in love with Prince Tor and then worrying about how she will be able to get out of this mess once she is found out.Once again, this story is short and sweet but lacking real depth in character. Some added details felt like after-thoughts to provoke some dramatic effect but were wholly unnecessary. The ending hastily ties up the loose ends and felt lacking - like it could have been dealt with more neatly.===Finally is Loretta Chase's "Lord Lovedon's Duel" and the main motivation for my picking up this book. Passing mention is made of her Dressmakers series but this novella works as a stand-alone story.At the most joyous day of her sister's life - the wedding to a Prince - Chloe overhears Lovedon making disparaging remarks regarding the newlywed couple. Filled with a sense of indignant outrage (and helped along with all that champagne), she calls him out to a duel to defend his honor as a gentleman. She awakens sober and mortified the next day, but Lovedon is too intrigued with her to let her cry off so easy.Chase has always had a knack for bringing minor characters to life. Though the story was short and very sweet in its witty sense of humor, I found myself caring about Amy and Bates as well. Do they get a happily ever after as well? I certainly hope that we see more of these characters in her future books!

  • Janga
    2019-03-23 13:53

    This is an anthology, available only as an ebook, that includes stories from the same three authors who produced last year’s Royal Weddings. This time, as the title implies, the central characters are not the central figure at the wedding but an attendant lady.In “A Return Engagement” by Stephanie Laurens, the bridesmaid is Lady Nell Daughtry. Nell’s sister is marrying the Prince of Lautenberg, and since the women in the Vane family suffer from a curse that causes a case of nerves so severe they become runaway brides, Nell’s chief responsibility as bridesmaid is to see her sister is kept calm and steady. This role doesn’t leave much time for the development of the romance between Nell and Robert Knightley, friend to the Prince, an English diplomat, and the man Nell disappeared from Nell’s life before declaring himself. The story is slight, and the characters are not particularly interesting or appealing.In “The Imposter Bride” by Gaelen Foley, there is a marriage of national convenience between the princess of some Mediterranean-like country that has been conquered and the crown prince of some Scandinavian-like country that did the conquering. Obviously, the princess is less conquered than her country because she runs away rather than marry the dour prince, leaving her bridesmaid, the intelligent, self-sacrificing Lady Minerva to take her place so that the treaty between the two nations is not threatened. The prince turns out to be not dour at all, Minerva is less intelligent than she is billed, the fiery-tempered brother of the disappearing princess reveals all, and the course of true love proves bumpy indeed before winding its way to the HEA. Despite the improbabilities that included an elephant and camels and gypsies, I liked Tor and Minerva, but I just kept getting distracted by geography.In “Lord Lovedon’s Duel by Loretta Chase, bridesmaid Chloe Sharpe overhears a group of inebriated wedding guests sympathizing with the groom’s need to forgo a love match to marry for money. Since Chloe, tipsy from the wedding champagne, is the sister of the bride who is the subject of the gossip, she feels bound to avenge said sister’s honor. She focuses on Lord Lovedon, the worst offender, slaps him in the face with a glove and challenges him to a duel.Clearly Chloe is not conventional maiden. Lovedon’s attention is captured. Perhaps his heart is too.This is the best of the group. The exchanged letters setting up the duel and the dueling pistols alone make it worth reading. It’s froth, but it’s Loretta Chase, and so it’s delicious froth.

  • Jo(Mixed Book Bag)
    2019-03-17 19:57

    Each of the three authors of a story in Royal Bridesmaids was given the same framework and each wrote a story around that framework. In each story someone is marrying the Prince of a small country and her best friend or sister is one of the bridesmaids. The story is about the bridesmaid not the bride.You can see the different twist that each author gave the story when you read what Goodreads has to say about Royal Bridesmaids. I received a free ARC of Royal Bridesmaids from Edelweiss and if I had purchased the book I might have been a little upset. The stories take up less than half of the book. Sample first chapters from books by the three authors and sample chapters from books by other authors take up the other half. It is available for 1.99 as an ebook and if you love these authors that is the way to go. I would never recommend paying for the mass market paperback priced at $5.99.The stories, while fun, can only be classed as short novellas or even short stories.I enjoyed all of the stories but it should be no surprise that Lord Lovedon’s Duel by Loretta Chase was my favorite. There were mentions of characters in some of her novels and that added to the enjoyment. She is one of my favorite authors and the reason I asked for the book.A close second was A Return Engagement by Stephanaie Laurens. Her story had an interesting twist to it and even though it involved the bride it gave a new insight to the brides sister.Other than the price my only objection to the Royal Bridesmaids was that the stories were too short. All of the authors did a good job of developing the stories and building the main characters. Stephanie Laurens’ story even has the possibility of further stories featuring two of the side characters. Even so I would have loved additional scenes in each story.

  • Maura
    2019-02-23 18:57

    Half of this book is excerpts from future novels. What a crock! I pick up a book to read a story, not excerpts - it's like going to the movie theatre to watch an hour of previews and an hour of movie. No thank you. This is not how you sell books. These authors would benefit more from putting more effort into the stories in the anthology - because that's how I decide whether to read a full length novel by the same author. As for the stories themselves...well it's obvious very little effort went into them.Stephanie Lauren's story is pretty awful. There's some promise with the Vayne family failing and all that - but after following the bridesmaid around for 75% of the story and there being no tension between the couple suddenly their love is rekindled and they get married. This was a huge disappointment. (Took up 20% of the book and the following excerpt took an additional 5%)Gaelyn Foley's story was quite incredible. The ending felt terribly rushed but the story itself was delightful (especially considering it took up another 20% - so it was very short) This story alone is the reason the book got any stars at all. (Follow up with another excerpt at 5%)Loretta Chase's story could have been promising. It started out that way. But it was only about their meeting and none of their romance. They meet, ensuing drama occurs, he agrees to court her and then the story says "4 weeks later" and then the ending occurs. Where's the actual romance? They kiss once in the whole story (in the 4 weeks later part). Super disappointing. (This ends at about 70% of the book) Then the last 30% of the book is nothing but excerpts!!!! Why publish this? If I had spent money on this (instead of borrowing from my library) I would have been extremely angry. Don't waste your time on this.

  • Ada
    2019-02-25 14:00

    This was a cute read. All 3 stories were short and sweet.Stephanie Laurens - A Return Engagement -- A story about the bridesmaid, Nell, who tries to help her sister hide and get through the family curse. She's forced to work with her former love in keeping her sister from bolting and in return, both Nell and Robert find out what lead to their demise years ago and whether or not they have a future together.Nothing I love more about strong women with high family values and Nell has them in spades. Despite the initial discomfort over seeing Robert again and having to deal with the stress of her sister's curse, she still exudes all source of confidence and love.Gaelen Foley - The Imposter Bride -- A story about the joining of Prince Tor and the daughter of his neighboring enemies, Giulietta. Except Giulietta flees before the wedding and her lady-in-waiting Minerva jumps in to save the peace treaty between the feuding families. Of course war nearly erupts again when the truth comes out but Minerva had already worked her way into Tor's heart.Only criticism I would have had was that we didn't get enough from Tor's perspective. The story starts out with us viewing things from Tor's POV but then turns quickly to Minerva's POV and stays with hers for the rest of the story. I would have liked to have seen the anguish Tor felt for being betrayed and finding out the truth in the charade. Still a great read.Loretta Chase - Lord Lovedon's Duel -- Chloe Sharp stands up for her sister's honor and challenges Lord Lovedon to a duel.....and finds love in the bargain.This was the shortest of the 3 reads and the most fun. I wish it had been longer, there was much to enjoy about the interactions between Chloe and Lovedon.

  • Diana (DomesticGoddess)
    2019-03-06 22:18

    3.5 stars overall.To be fair, I'm not the biggest fan of short stories; it may color my experience of anthologies in general. I picked this one because I've enjoyed a few of Loretta Chase's novels and it's free to borrow from my library. Along with the shorts, included are a bunch of excerpts.A Return Engagement by Stephanie Laurens2.5 stars.At times I felt the author was overreaching – trying to write beyond her ability. I picture her desperately searching through her thesaurus. Some passages end up sounding unnatural. The story itself? Meh: somewhat repetitive; the premise doesn't make a lot of sense; the heroine is a Mary Sue. The lone love scene: yeah, they did it, but the description is fairly clean and just plain boring. The excerpt, the beginning of The Lady Risks All, is surprisingly well written, with none of the awkward style of the short story. It's something I might actually want to read. The Imposter Bride by Gaelen Foley3.5 stars. Now, that's more like it. This one feels complete and completely enjoyable. Lord Lovedon's Duel by Loretta Chase4 stars.Very cute, with tie-ins to the Dressmakers series.

  • Melanie
    2019-03-17 16:59

    Three of my all-time favorite authors in one anthology? No way I was going to pass this one up!Authors such as these three women, do this once in a while for one purpose alone: to advertise to all those readers that have never read them before. I’m on board with that. That’s how I stumble on many authors that are now on my keeper shelf. You should know this ahead of time that this was going to be three short stories, and accept that. It is a gift actually. Not just to those that have never read anything by these awesome women, but to their faithful fans as well. We are always hungry for their next books and series, so when an anthology such as this, in between of eagerly awaited next instalment of their long-awaited books, this to us is like ‘manna’ from Heaven!All stories are well written and executed within its limitation of length. You’ll like some more than others [what happened Ms. Foley!?], but all three are fast paced, interesting, funny and sweet. I recommend it, and urge you to research all three authors. They are awesome!Melanie for b2bComplimentary copy provided by the publisher

  • kris
    2019-03-14 18:15

    I made the mistake of reading all 3 stories, which makes this review difficult. A Return Engagement, Stephanie LaurensNell is her sister's maid of honor and has to protect her against the family curse while also avoiding her former sweetheart Robert. NO ESCAPE. There is so much focus put on the family curse that the relationship part of the story falls apart. 1.5 stars. The Imposter Bride, Gaelen FoleyMinerva is a lady in waiting to a spoiled princess (of a fake country), and when said princess bolts before marrying the prince of a neighboring (fake) country, she steps in. Creating two new countries, putting them at war, and expecting the necessary world-building to fit into a short story is not a good idea. 1 star.Lord Lovedon's Duel, Loretta ChaseChloe challenges Lord Lovedon to a duel after he upsets her sister at her wedding. CHARMING. DELIGHTFUL. HALF AS LONG AS THE OTHER TWO. COULD HAVE BEEN TWICE AS LONG AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN PLEASED. NEEDED MORE OF THESE TWO IDIOTS BEING ADORABLE IDIOTS TOGETHER!! 4 stars.

  • Christiana
    2019-03-10 21:05

    Royal Bridesmaids was borrowed from the public library, mainly to read Loretta Chase's short story, Lord Lovedon's Duel.I loved the Noirot sisters' stories so far, Marcelline in Silk is for Seduction and Sophie's in Scandal wears Satin. So I was happy to find that this little tale was about the daughters of Mrs Sharp who was a loyal customer of Maison Noirot and that the bride and groom had been introduced by Lord Longmore. I knew I was in for a luscious sartorial treat! It was the best of the 3 stories although it was very short but well worth the read. I would rate this story a 4 star read on its own.The other 2 stories were a bit underwhelming.The first one kinda dragged on but was not terrible, The second story by Gaelan Foley was a bit farcical, taking place in a make believe polygamous land with gondolas, camels, royal elephants - a veritable Venetian circus complete with acrobats! It was mildly entertaining in a fairy tale way. I was not impressed enough to want to add any of Stephanie Lauren's or Gaelen Foley's books to my TBR pile.

  • Fedora
    2019-03-16 18:14

    Three and a half stars.Stephanie Laurens's A Return Engagement is about a sister tasked with keeping her engaged sister on track to be married to the Prince of Lautenberg. Of course the prince's best friend and wing man is none other than her ex. While Nell, the heroine, is likable and Robert, her ex is likewise, the plot hinges on an issue that once revealed, seems utterly ridiculous to me. While it was an OK read, it's not a keeper.The Imposter Bride by Gaelen Foley features Lady Minerva and Prince Tor. When her best friend/the bride-to-be bolts, Minerva steels herself to do her duty and marries the prince herself. She and prince are both charmingly written, and overall, I enjoyed this sweet, short story.Loretta Chase's Lord Lovedon's Duel is also a brief but entertaining read. Chloe's tipsy but impassioned defense of her sister leads her to call out one of her new brother-in-law's friends, the Earl of Lovedon... Hijinks ensue, of course :)A fun trio of reads, easy to fit in when you have the time.

  • Devz Milady
    2019-02-27 14:09

    Ive 3 different ratings for this book for each of the novellas.The GOOD=====The Imposter Bride:Ooh, this story could easily be one on its own. Actually I found myself wishing more of Tor and Orsino. I had never read anything from Gaelen before and this gives me an interest to start.The Bad=====Lord Lovedon's Duel:This is not so bad if you consider it as a comic novella with a romantic touch. Cos neither the plot nor the characters felt romantic.The UGLY===Return Engagement: Yawwwwwwwn. Really? The only reason why the hero didnt propose to heroine was a "family curse" that afflicted all women in the heroine's family made her act cold and he shied away. And then after 9 years of no communication, its BADAAABOOOM- Love Again!I've read Stephanie Lauren's original Cynster novels and had liked them though it had started to get boring with same character patterns. Now its sad to note she had gone the way of having no real good plot as well!

  • Jane Mercer
    2019-03-04 15:05

    The 3 stories in the anthology are less than half the book, the rest is filled with extracts from other books which is disappointing. You look at the book and think you're going to get 3 decent stories and instead get 2 short stories and 1 very short stories.They were ok, nothing special, Stephanie Laurens tale of a sister protecting the bride from a family curse of inexplicable panic attacks was far fetched but alright, Gaelen Foley's tale was so memorable I've forgotten it already, something about substituting bridesmaid for bride.Loretta Chase's tale of the bridesmaid challenging the grooms best friend to a duel was my favourite and could have done with being a lot longerSo overall ok but they could have saved a lot of trees by cutting out the pages and excerpts

  • Candice Gilmer
    2019-02-24 17:57

    Three short stories, and I have to say, I liked the second one the best. The first, and the third didn't do as much for me. I felt like both the first and third were more rushed, emotionally for me. Though in the third one, the dueling pistols were hilarious. I thought that was great fun. They were all nice, and unique stories, I thought, though. Not re-hashes of the same old thing. So good job to the authors for that aspect. I get that it's probably hard to get the full emotional pow in a shorter story, and there were emotions in them, just not as much as I like. I will likely get a full length book from each author, because I liked the styles of all three, and would like to see what they do with full length books.

  • Donna
    2019-03-17 14:56

    Surprisingly, I thoroughly disliked the Laurens novella even though she would be my favorite of these authors. I thought the entire plot was completely implausible, especially the "family curse" thread. Admittedly, the "years of separation due to a misunderstanding" is one of my least favorite plots(right behind the "secret child" plot), but I really didn't like much about this one. I loved the Foley novella. I was completely charmed by it and was sorry to come to the ending! I was just ambivalent about the Chase story. I just didn't have strong feelings either way about it. I did look up the pistols online and found that was a delightful twist.

  • elstaffe
    2019-03-05 19:01

    I really need to stop going for Avon Impulses. I was encouraged by the apparent length (har har) of this one, but it turned out that at least half the page count was devoted to excerpts from other (presumably full-length) books. It was enjoyable enough for what it was (a quick read that I wouldn't have to worry about leaving off in the middle of, as it was very easy to just finish one story...or the next...or the book), but I don't know that I'd seek out stories in this format again. Unless I got authored into it (again).

  • Dawn
    2019-03-07 14:58

    The first story is Stephanie Laurens' 'The Return Engagement'. It is about Nell and Robert. Her sister is marrying the prince of a country on the continent. She accompanies her to her wedding where she encounters Robert, an old love. He is Britain's foreign attache and the prince's best friend. They reconnect and their HEA is sweet.There must be some way to recover a review that you inadvertently click out of. I'm not retyping it again. The last two stories were both good. But I preferred the Loretta Chase one even though it was the shortest. I'm just not a big fan of anthologies.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-13 21:00

    Stephanie Laurens: A Return Engagement *** As fanciful as most of her books are, "the family curse" made the story fun. Enjoyed seeing Robert and Nell get together. Look forward to next novel after reading preview.Loretta Chase: Lord Lovedon's Duel ***** Very funny and what an unusual idea for a story. Chloe and Loveton had personalities of joy which made the whole story a joy to read.Galen Foley: An Imposter's Bride *** Typical Foley story with the "fate of the kingdom" in the hero and heroine's hands.

  • Lita Bouquard
    2019-03-09 17:11

    Loretta Chase's short story from the dressmakers series was cute. The rest of them were excerpts or odd romances. The first story was about a girl with temporary hereditary anxiety. It seems many of the women in her family freak out when getting married. She travels to another country to become the princess. The story really focuses on her sister who helps her negotiate the stressful situations. The sister meets a man she loved several years ago. Other stories were just beginning chapters. A disappointment. Skip it unless you want more of Chase's characters.