I recently listened to the Audible edition of The Lady Most Willing, a historical romance novel in three parts. This cooperative effort is made up of the work of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway. I also own the Kindle edition of this book, but sometimes it’s easier to listen than to read.
The story begins with a kidnapping. Laird Taran Ferguson decides that it is time that his nephews- Robin and Byron- settle down and marry. So, he does what any rational man would do- he kidnaps several eligible young heiresses from a house party at a neighboring house and brings them to his decrepit castle. Robin and Byron are mortified by this, and then the situation becomes even more complicated when a snowstorm cuts off the castle from the main road, forcing everyone to hunker down for a few days. And then added to the mix, we have two unexpected guests- a charming young lady who is most certainly not an heiress and a very angry young duke who was sleeping in his carriage when the vehicle was used to spirit the kidnapped women away.
By using simple math, we can determine that we have three eligible bachelors and four eligible young ladies. I will refrain from discussing the particulars of the three couples so as to not spoil potential readers regarding the identities of the couples.
All three of the stories are sweet and relatively light as the characters try to make the best of their situation. One character- Marilla- stands out because she is very aggressive in her efforts to land herself a titled husband, and it is interesting to see the results of this strategy.
I would recommend The Lady Most Willing to fans of historical romance. Because we are dealing with novellas inside of a novel, there is not as much time to fully explore the characters, but the three authors do a fine job with the constraints of this format. I don’t think any of the three stories weakened the core narrative, and I was very pleased with the way things turned out.