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Talk of the Ton

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Nothing sets tongues wagging like a scandalous dalliance. In the salons of the Ton, no tidbit is more delicious than a rumor of amour--the more outrageous the better. Rakes and rogues, ladies of high station and low morals are choice fodder for the gossips of society. Now, four of today's most popular Regency authors titillate the Ton with tales of how untoward talk can fa Nothing sets tongues wagging like a scandalous dalliance. In the salons of the Ton, no tidbit is more delicious than a rumor of amour--the more outrageous the better. Rakes and rogues, ladies of high station and low morals are choice fodder for the gossips of society. Now, four of today's most popular Regency authors titillate the Ton with tales of how untoward talk can fan the flames of passion. Eloisa James - A Proper Englishwoman Betrothed since they were children, Gilbert Baring-Gould, Earl of Kerr, and the Honorable Emma Loudan are not quite what one would call a perfect match. The whole Ton knows him to be a complete rakehell, hardly the ideal spouse for a lady. When he horrifies the Ton by announcing that he won't go through with the marriage until Emma is carrying his child--or did he say that she was already carrying a child?--the gossips (and Emma) go wild. Obviously she should hand this Beelzebub his ring back directly. But curiosity, and a strong wish to teach her brazen-faced fiancé some manners, demand that she beat him at his own game. So she does. It's the story of a reluctant bridegroom (engaged since childhood, and hasn't seen his fiancée in years), a bride who's losing her patience, and a wild night in which the said bridegroom meets a wicked, delicious Frenchwoman... or is she? Julia London - The Vicar's Widow Darien, Lord Montgomery, has always had a thing for the vicar's wife. He is convinced she is the loveliest creature on earth, and even managed a passionate kiss with her one time during a party. When her husband dies, Darien is ready to court her as soon as she throws off mourning. However, a young miss making her debut wants Darien for herself. She decides to spread two rumors. The first is that Darien is on the verge of offering for her, and the second is that Mrs. Beckett (the vicar's widow) is loose with her morals. Both rumors spread like wildfire, with sad consequences for Mrs. Beckett and Darien. Rebecca Hagan Lee - Clearly a Couple (Free Fellows League #4.5) This novella ties in with her Free Fellows series. Jonathan Manners, Earl of Barclay, plans to return home to London after picking up a package for one of his Free Fellows colleagues. When Jonathan is nearly killed by a murderous Turk with a scimitar, he discovers that the "package" is Lady India Burton, a noblewoman who was kidnapped by Barbary pirates and spent the last six years as part of a sultan's harem. She's recently been ransomed and needs an escort to London. As Jonathan and India talk (and work on thwarting her horrible keeper) they quickly fall for each other. India shares details about her amazing and difficult life, and Jonathan knows he's in love with her. Jacqueline Navin - Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss Jenny Alt is a poor relation who tends to fade into the background while her more flashy cousin steals the spotlight. Jenny eschewed a season of her own for several years, but finally goes to London with her aunt when her cousin Cassandra makes her comeout. Jenny has spoiled Cassandra for years, giving in to her every whim. Now the group is taken by surprise when the aunt's distant cousin Miles comes to town. He needs help finding a new wife and asks for her guidance. There is almost an immediate spark between Miles and Jenny, but Cassandra wants him for herself and starts unkind rumors about Jenny. Jenny tries to give Miles up and even discourages his advances, but--well, you can guess how that goes.


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Nothing sets tongues wagging like a scandalous dalliance. In the salons of the Ton, no tidbit is more delicious than a rumor of amour--the more outrageous the better. Rakes and rogues, ladies of high station and low morals are choice fodder for the gossips of society. Now, four of today's most popular Regency authors titillate the Ton with tales of how untoward talk can fa Nothing sets tongues wagging like a scandalous dalliance. In the salons of the Ton, no tidbit is more delicious than a rumor of amour--the more outrageous the better. Rakes and rogues, ladies of high station and low morals are choice fodder for the gossips of society. Now, four of today's most popular Regency authors titillate the Ton with tales of how untoward talk can fan the flames of passion. Eloisa James - A Proper Englishwoman Betrothed since they were children, Gilbert Baring-Gould, Earl of Kerr, and the Honorable Emma Loudan are not quite what one would call a perfect match. The whole Ton knows him to be a complete rakehell, hardly the ideal spouse for a lady. When he horrifies the Ton by announcing that he won't go through with the marriage until Emma is carrying his child--or did he say that she was already carrying a child?--the gossips (and Emma) go wild. Obviously she should hand this Beelzebub his ring back directly. But curiosity, and a strong wish to teach her brazen-faced fiancé some manners, demand that she beat him at his own game. So she does. It's the story of a reluctant bridegroom (engaged since childhood, and hasn't seen his fiancée in years), a bride who's losing her patience, and a wild night in which the said bridegroom meets a wicked, delicious Frenchwoman... or is she? Julia London - The Vicar's Widow Darien, Lord Montgomery, has always had a thing for the vicar's wife. He is convinced she is the loveliest creature on earth, and even managed a passionate kiss with her one time during a party. When her husband dies, Darien is ready to court her as soon as she throws off mourning. However, a young miss making her debut wants Darien for herself. She decides to spread two rumors. The first is that Darien is on the verge of offering for her, and the second is that Mrs. Beckett (the vicar's widow) is loose with her morals. Both rumors spread like wildfire, with sad consequences for Mrs. Beckett and Darien. Rebecca Hagan Lee - Clearly a Couple (Free Fellows League #4.5) This novella ties in with her Free Fellows series. Jonathan Manners, Earl of Barclay, plans to return home to London after picking up a package for one of his Free Fellows colleagues. When Jonathan is nearly killed by a murderous Turk with a scimitar, he discovers that the "package" is Lady India Burton, a noblewoman who was kidnapped by Barbary pirates and spent the last six years as part of a sultan's harem. She's recently been ransomed and needs an escort to London. As Jonathan and India talk (and work on thwarting her horrible keeper) they quickly fall for each other. India shares details about her amazing and difficult life, and Jonathan knows he's in love with her. Jacqueline Navin - Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss Jenny Alt is a poor relation who tends to fade into the background while her more flashy cousin steals the spotlight. Jenny eschewed a season of her own for several years, but finally goes to London with her aunt when her cousin Cassandra makes her comeout. Jenny has spoiled Cassandra for years, giving in to her every whim. Now the group is taken by surprise when the aunt's distant cousin Miles comes to town. He needs help finding a new wife and asks for her guidance. There is almost an immediate spark between Miles and Jenny, but Cassandra wants him for herself and starts unkind rumors about Jenny. Jenny tries to give Miles up and even discourages his advances, but--well, you can guess how that goes.

30 review for Talk of the Ton

  1. 4 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    3.5 stars I think Random Number generator thinks it is Friends' Recommendation month because it picked another one! Thanks to Nia for the enjoyable recommendation :) This collection of short regency stories seemed to be connected by having a little bit steamier tone and jealous women. With no stories rated below 3 stars, I quite enjoyed this anthology. A Proper Gentleman by Eloisa James 3.5 stars It was good for a man to know straight off that there were times when he might---be obeyed, and the 3.5 stars I think Random Number generator thinks it is Friends' Recommendation month because it picked another one! Thanks to Nia for the enjoyable recommendation :) This collection of short regency stories seemed to be connected by having a little bit steamier tone and jealous women. With no stories rated below 3 stars, I quite enjoyed this anthology. A Proper Gentleman by Eloisa James 3.5 stars It was good for a man to know straight off that there were times when he might---be obeyed, and there were others when he should understand his place. My favorite of the collection and the hottest (funny how that worked out, huh ;). A long standing betrothal, hero who gains a reputation for liking French women a bit too much (really spent a couple months in Paris drowning his sorrows because his brother died), fervent gossip, and a forgotten fiancée who decides to take charge. The heroine decides to go to a masque ball and pretend to be French and entice the hero. The reasoning involving a Shakespeare quote the hero supposedly said mixed with some gossip is all a bit forced but I'll let it go because the heroine taking the reins was fun. There's some hot flirting, sexual tension, and disrobing. The hero and heroine both give as good as they get and I was there for it. The Vicar's Widow by Julia London 3 stars "Nefarious?" She laughed. "Lord Montgomery, how you tease me! I'd wager you've not a wicked bone in you body!" He gave her a look that suggested she knew better than that, leaned slightly toward her, and said low, "You'd be quite wrong, madam, were you to wager. I've more than one wicked bone in this body." Probably my least favorite with us getting a decent amount of pov from the villain of the piece; a jealous girl who spreads reputation hurting gossip. Heroine and hero have a forbidden kiss but then heroine's vicar husband dies a year later and hero hasn't forgotten her. Hero was a bit drab with his overly calm ignoring, not caring about the gossip circulating about him having serious intentions about the jealous girl and how heroine's reputation was getting dragged through the mud as jealous girl started rumors. Hero and heroine were sweet together but too much town gossip focus for such a short story. Clearly a Couple (Free Fellows League #4.5) by Rebecca Hagan Lee 3 stars "You belong to yourself now, Lady India, you're not obliged to service any man in order to survive." The most intriguing with our heroine being captured by pirates and forced to live in a harem for five years (we only get told, not shown this). Hints of steamy naughtiness because heroine knows every which way Sunday to pleasure a man and has a jewel in her belly button that hero can't look away from. Hero somewhat stumbles upon her and must escort her to London but the majority of story is their one night in cabin. I was completely interested in this one but it was hurt by the short restrictions and our hero and heroine fall in love within a night and are married within a head spinning time. The hero seemed calm, cool, and sexy and our heroine would have given him a great run for his money (she sort of does anyway) if given a full length novel. Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin 3.5 stars "Why, I get the distinct impression that you do not approve of me." Back to the jealously, our heroine is the poor relation cousin who has spent her life making sure her cousin shines, making cousin turn out to be a spoiled little bi…umm, miss. Recluse earl cousin comes to stay in London to find a wife, jealous girl wants him but he is intrigued by shy cousin. Look, I eat shy miss, only guy to see the hidden gem trope up with a spoon. I liked hero and heroine back and forth with their challenging each other's comfort zones and their blossoming sexual tension. Hater girl hates but gets a little comeuppance in end and our bluestocking gets her happily ever after. Satisfying quick regency stories if in a time crunch or looking for a quick fix.

  2. 5 out of 5

    kris

    A Proper Englishwoman, Eloisa James Gilbert Baring-Gould has a fiancee in the country that he will marry "not until she has [his] baby in her belly and [his] ring on her finger." Emma Loudan takes his mangled Shakespeare as a direct challenge and while disguised as a Frenchwoman, seduces the crap outta him. CHECKMATE. This was pretty entertaining, if not a bit neat. Yes, Emma discovers that Gil isn't really cheating so much as flirting a lot with random French ladies; and yes, Gil realizes that i A Proper Englishwoman, Eloisa James Gilbert Baring-Gould has a fiancee in the country that he will marry "not until she has [his] baby in her belly and [his] ring on her finger." Emma Loudan takes his mangled Shakespeare as a direct challenge and while disguised as a Frenchwoman, seduces the crap outta him. CHECKMATE. This was pretty entertaining, if not a bit neat. Yes, Emma discovers that Gil isn't really cheating so much as flirting a lot with random French ladies; and yes, Gil realizes that it's Emma under the mask before anything too sexy happens, but it's still a fun little romp. 3.5 stars. The Vicar's Widow, Julia London Mrs Kate Beckett is the widow of apparently the only vicar in all of London. Darien, Lord Montgomery, is into vicar's widows. There's also a female rival who throws around some nasty rumors because gossip is the work of catty girls, amiright. Kate and Darien, meanwhile, flirt, bone, angst, etc. I could not entirely follow the wildly inappropriate """flirting""" between Kate and Darien because it felt so...inappropriate for the time period? And it seemed to come out of NO WHERE because they barely interact after Darien lays a smooch on her while she's still married but once she comes out of mourning he is there with bells on his boner. And she's RIGHT THERE WITH HIM. The ~~drama as created by the romantic rival was also somewhat ridiculous especially because the hero and heroine address it to one another and then STILL LET IT CAUSE ANGST. 3 stars. Clearly a Couple, Rebecca Hagan Lee Lady India Burton was captured by pirates and sold to a harem. She is ransomed and discovered by Jonathan Manners, Earl of Barclay. Obviously her Turkish harem pants give him English boners. YIKES. This is not a great thing. Like, ignoring the obvious racist overtones of the "savage Middle East" and the eunuch threatening all the "infidels", there's also this bothersome element of the "experienced but still virginal" heroine. I.e., that she ~knows things but don't worry she's still basically pure for her lucky hero!!! 1 star. Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss, Jacqueline Navin Miss Guinevere "Jenny" Alt is the shadow of her pretty cousin. Miles, Earl of Haverleigh, comes to town in search of a second wife to replace his faulty first. Miles has eyes for Jenny; Jenny has eyes for Miles; Jenny's cousin is not amused and attempts to wreck havoc with gossip. This would have been more enjoyable if everyone were slightly more consistent instead of performing whatever nonsense was necessary to keep the plot moving. Miles, for example, realizes early on that he's definitely intrigued by Jenny but then continues leading the cousin on and discussing all the women he needs to meet to find a wife. Jenny is content with her solitude except that she is also secretly a Babe In Hiding because she's Afraid of Men or something?? IDK: boners. 2.5 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves

    I've read only the first and the second story. A Proper Englishwoman Good but not as good as it could have been. I like the way it began with letters from various characters to each other, setting the tone and piquing interest. A long-engaged couple, with the H uninterested in setting a date and the h okay with the status quo till rumors of his uninhibited behavior with French demireps reach her along with various versions of the derogatory things he has supposedly said about her. So the very prop I've read only the first and the second story. A Proper Englishwoman Good but not as good as it could have been. I like the way it began with letters from various characters to each other, setting the tone and piquing interest. A long-engaged couple, with the H uninterested in setting a date and the h okay with the status quo till rumors of his uninhibited behavior with French demireps reach her along with various versions of the derogatory things he has supposedly said about her. So the very proper Englishwoman decides to go to town and bring him to heel – by seducing him. Yes, we’ve heard of it all before. The ending is certainly cute though. The Vicar's Widow The h is so different. A vicar’s widow who is happy, open, flirtatious and certainly not repressed or bowed down by guilt or duty. I had reservations about her kissing the H while still married but she may flirt but is not one to fool around. Not even with the very besotted lord! The book is mostly from his pov. On the contrary, she was far too clever for it. She had pegged him a roué, and a roué he was—he'd not deny it. But a roué, a rake, could be reformed, could direct all of his attentions on the one woman he might love. Again, a sweet ending with the troublemaking ow getting a nice comeuppance.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    This was an Anthology with four stories\novella's all revolving around scandal in some form usually something that happened in the past that is for some reason revisited in the present (the present being the Regency Era). A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James Individual Rating ***** The Hero Gilbert (Gil) aka Earl of Kerr is known to have a thing for Frenchwomen due to something he did a number of years earlier. He really hasn't done much to make it appear otherwise and Emma his betrothed since c This was an Anthology with four stories\novella's all revolving around scandal in some form usually something that happened in the past that is for some reason revisited in the present (the present being the Regency Era). A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James Individual Rating ***** The Hero Gilbert (Gil) aka Earl of Kerr is known to have a thing for Frenchwomen due to something he did a number of years earlier. He really hasn't done much to make it appear otherwise and Emma his betrothed since childhood is getting tired of waiting for him to remember she exists. Tired of being ignored Emma comes up with a brilliant plan to make sure that Gil not only notices her but never forgets her again. In order to pull it off she uses information received in letters from the Countess of Bredelbane. It is inevitable that she makes a couple of slips during her masquerade but thinks nothing of them until she realizes a number of days later that her "cover was blown" you see although there is a fact she knew which she actually told her sister about she seems to have forgotten exactly that. This was a definite page turner and I would love to read more about Emma and Gil. The Vicar's Widow by Julia London Individual Rating ** Periodically I find myself reading a book or story by Julia London and with the exception of this story I like her story lines but not her style so she's an author I tend to make a point of staying away from. This IMHO had to be one of the suckiest storylines I've read thus far by any author. I don't know where to began and still be nice so I'll just leave it at for me personally the characters were just not likable and the storyline didn't appeal to me. Clearly A Couple by Rebecca Hagan Lee Individual Rating **** This is my 1st time reading this Author and I can see myself reading her again. Lady India Burton (Heroine) through no fault of her own has spent the last 5 years in a Harem. Due to some bad luck (if you believe in such a thing) she has also lost her parents and Maternal Grandmother(there is no mention of the other set so I don't know about them but they aren't in the picture). Her Maternal Grandfather has spent the last 5 years trying to find her and then arranging for her safe return. Not sure how he knows she's still alive other than he never gave up hope. The Hero is Jonathon Manners 11th Earl of Barclay he has offered to help out a friend by picking up a package for him thus saving his friend the trip because he will be in the area. The package he is to pick up turns out to be shall we say quite a seductive surprise with a very scary addition. (view spoiler)[ When India was allowed to return to England after the terms for her release had been met one of the stipulation's was that until she is placed into the care of either her Grandfather or his Representative Mustafa (one of the Harem Guards) is to stay with her. He's big, he's scary and he's mean. India in the beginning doesn't have any clothes other than what she wore in Turkey. I picture her looking like Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie (hide spoiler)] She and Jonathon form a connection and by the time she is ready to be introduced to society amid what is surely to be a scandal since she's seen as a fallen woman it is obvious that she and Jonathon are Clearly A Couple Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin Individual Rating ***** This is my 1st time reading this Author and I can see myself reading her again. The best summary\review I can think of for this one is Ugly Duckling becomes a Swan and wins the Prince because unlike the Evil Stepsister she isn't blatantly trying to be what society thinks she should be, acting a snob, obviously vain to everyone who is not like her and thinks she is better than "certain" others. Jenny Alt (Heroine) is having to live with an Aunt due to the loss of her parents at age 14. She's not treated like a servant but is seen as the poor relation who needs pity and is expected to do some servant activities. Her Cousin is pretty, knows it and is a snob about it. Having been placed in the background for so long Jenny has decided she likes it there. When Miles aka Earl of Hatherleigh (Hero) requests help from his Aunt Iris to be reintroduced to the ton having not been a part of it for several years. The reason is explained during the story. His Aunt Iris also happens to be Jenny's Aunt with whom she lives. We are given the impression that his interest lies with Cassandra (Aunt Iris' Daughter) but learn that is not the case and it never was. Like most Heroes in the books I read he seems to go for the girl who beats to a different drum than the rest of the female population. In closing this entire book is worth reading even the one I didn't like.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary23nm

    Read Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagan Lee 3/5 stars. Read The Vicar's Widow by Julia London 4/5 stars. Read Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagan Lee 3/5 stars. Read The Vicar's Widow by Julia London 4/5 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    February 2013: I have just finished reading this again. The reason? I read a book by Rebecca Hagan Lee (Barely a Bride) and loved it so much that I wanted to read her story in this anthology. I want to add that I now understand my discomfort with the antagonists and their mean spirited gossip. They are not only women but they are women that I need to forgive and the forgiveness is difficult for me. They are not women who are going to go away and never be seen again. They are women who are part o February 2013: I have just finished reading this again. The reason? I read a book by Rebecca Hagan Lee (Barely a Bride) and loved it so much that I wanted to read her story in this anthology. I want to add that I now understand my discomfort with the antagonists and their mean spirited gossip. They are not only women but they are women that I need to forgive and the forgiveness is difficult for me. They are not women who are going to go away and never be seen again. They are women who are part of society and will stay part of society. I still don't like them and that is why I think I'm uncomfortable with them in these stories. Did they add to the love story? In Julia London's story, the answer is definitely yes. I liked this story even more this time through than last time. November 2012: I liked all four stories. Eloisa James is a favorite of mine and I loved the surprise twist in her story, i.e., how was she going to redeem the hero in the heroine's eyes after she succeeds in seducing him while in disguise? I mean, would you marry someone you know can be seduced by a stranger? Well, Eloisa does it and it's why I love her writing. I'm also familiar with Julia London and loved her "Scandalous" series. I disliked the antagonist which is as it should be, and delighted in the couple destined to fall in love. I especially liked the hero pursuing the heroine. Rebecca Hagan Lee is a new author to me and as this novella completes a series I paid attention to references of the other characters. Sounds very interesting. I enjoyed this short novella also. Jacqueline Navin, is also a new author to me. Her story has a "love to hate" antagonist also. This story illustrates quite clearly how a behavior (avoidance) can be interpreted in two opposite ways: "disinterest" or "guilt-ridden interest". Very frustrating for the one being misjudged but juicy when it all works out. These stories focused on the developing relationship between the characters and not so much the sexual fever that can result which means the pages, though short in number, are full of substance. This is my second time reading this book and I definitely will read again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    I'm going to rate this stories individually: A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James - 3.5 stars. I really liked her, I was suspicious of him. Interesting background on theater set design so props for originality. The Vicar's Widow by Julia London - 3.5 stars. I love Regency that gets out of the ballrooms, so this one about a vicar's widow was right up my alley. I'll be seeking more Julia London Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagan Lee - DNF I couldn't even finish it. It was overly complicated, racist i I'm going to rate this stories individually: A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James - 3.5 stars. I really liked her, I was suspicious of him. Interesting background on theater set design so props for originality. The Vicar's Widow by Julia London - 3.5 stars. I love Regency that gets out of the ballrooms, so this one about a vicar's widow was right up my alley. I'll be seeking more Julia London Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagan Lee - DNF I couldn't even finish it. It was overly complicated, racist in its depictions of Muslims, and just blech. Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin - 4 stars. I really liked the character of Jenny, who is the poor relation sacrificing for the happiness of her aunt and cousin. I liked the emotional development, the sparring and banter between Jenny and Miles was charming. I'll be looking for more stories by this author as well.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I liked each of these 4 stories. But with anthologies, they are so short I didn't feel I ever really became emotionally connected with any of the characters. They were just 4 sweet stories. I especially liked the last one, Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss, by Jacqueline Navin. I had not heard of her before, but I will be looking for other works by her. Worth the read for some light romance. I liked each of these 4 stories. But with anthologies, they are so short I didn't feel I ever really became emotionally connected with any of the characters. They were just 4 sweet stories. I especially liked the last one, Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss, by Jacqueline Navin. I had not heard of her before, but I will be looking for other works by her. Worth the read for some light romance.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    I can literally rank these titles in the order of the author list; the Eloisa James novella is definitely the best one in this. I like these anthologies, especially as no one is publishing straight Regencies any more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    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 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ftkinard

    Eloisa James' story, "A Proper Englishwoman," had quite a few LOL moments. The opening with the correspondence did not hold my attention; however, I persevered because I enjoy this author's work. It was totally worth it. The means by which Emma employed vying for her fiance's (Kerr) affection was laughable. Julia London's, "The Vicar's Widow" was well written and respectful and true to the roles of each main character. Darien while a rogue, loved the Widow, Kate Becket. Clearly a Couple" was an or Eloisa James' story, "A Proper Englishwoman," had quite a few LOL moments. The opening with the correspondence did not hold my attention; however, I persevered because I enjoy this author's work. It was totally worth it. The means by which Emma employed vying for her fiance's (Kerr) affection was laughable. Julia London's, "The Vicar's Widow" was well written and respectful and true to the roles of each main character. Darien while a rogue, loved the Widow, Kate Becket. Clearly a Couple" was an original take on a ton romance. These two as a couple was not believable in that short span of time. Also, I was not convinced that he could overcome her background so completely without major conflict. There was no reaction from his Mother? Unbelievable! Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss" well written and somewhat amusing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diane Peterson

    This is just a review of the RITA-nominated novella, "A Proper Englishwoman" by Eloisa James. The Earl of Kerr and Emma Loudan have been in an arranged engagement since they were children. While Kerr is traveling and womanizing (according to gossip) Emma is waiting quietly at home for him to come and claim her. When the rumors and wagers become too much for her she takes matters into her own hands. A cute, clever story with terrific secondary characters. The letter writing is adorable. This is just a review of the RITA-nominated novella, "A Proper Englishwoman" by Eloisa James. The Earl of Kerr and Emma Loudan have been in an arranged engagement since they were children. While Kerr is traveling and womanizing (according to gossip) Emma is waiting quietly at home for him to come and claim her. When the rumors and wagers become too much for her she takes matters into her own hands. A cute, clever story with terrific secondary characters. The letter writing is adorable.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is a book of 4 novellas. I liked the first story. The second started slow but was good overall. I didn’t like the third at all — the pace of the romance was unrealistically quick (even in the world of unrealistic romances), and there were major issues that were not addressed. And the fourth story was good.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Eklund

    A bit embarrasing to read, but I discovered this book by accident on our library bookexchange shelf. And of course, just because it is Regency it is not Jane Austen. Not bad pulp, but now I estimate Austen even higher.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    This book is a set of novellas, some more successful than others. Overall, they were fun escape reads.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    Loved it! Made me laugh out loud and wipe tears away. Each story was different and still lovely. I’d highly recommend; a great read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clara Smith

    Read "A Proper Englishwoman" by Eloisa James and "The Vicar's Widow" by Julia London Read "A Proper Englishwoman" by Eloisa James and "The Vicar's Widow" by Julia London

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    I really liked Eloisa James - A Proper Englishwoman, though wish it was longer. the other stories were just ok.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah S

    First two stories were pretty good, third story was not at all something I wanted to read so I skipped it, and the fourth was okay.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Well the final story redeemed this... otherwise yikes it was awful! Ha! Sorry!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Eloisa James has a lovely and witty story in here, and Julia Quinn's is okay, but the other stories just didn't do it for me. Eloisa James has a lovely and witty story in here, and Julia Quinn's is okay, but the other stories just didn't do it for me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is (obviously) an anthology of Regency romances, all centering (more or less) on gossip and rumors. In the first, A Proper Englishwoman, rumor draws a young lady to London to answer her fiance's remark that he would not marry her until she had his ring on her finger and his baby in her belly. Now, that is a Shakespeare quote, and I knew it, and the hero knew it, and the heroine knew it, and a good chunk of the story's humor came from that, which I appreciated. The second story, The Vicar's This is (obviously) an anthology of Regency romances, all centering (more or less) on gossip and rumors. In the first, A Proper Englishwoman, rumor draws a young lady to London to answer her fiance's remark that he would not marry her until she had his ring on her finger and his baby in her belly. Now, that is a Shakespeare quote, and I knew it, and the hero knew it, and the heroine knew it, and a good chunk of the story's humor came from that, which I appreciated. The second story, The Vicar's Widow, is mostly just a very sweet love story between the titular vicar's widow and... I think he's an earl, but it's interrupted by malicious rumors spread by a young debutante who wants to marry the earl. Not my favorite; I'm not a fan of women against women, but at least the debutante admitted she was wrong. Third story is called Clearly a Couple, and this is the one most loosely connected to the theme, since there's only about four characters and the problem is the inevitable gossip rather than gossip that actually took place. It's also.... weird.... I think it's loosely based off the legend of Aimée du Buc de Rivéry. Essentially, our heroine has just been rescued from a sultan's harem and is being returned to her grandfather via our hero, who wasn't aware that the "package" he was supposed to pick up was in fact a person. Communication, folks. Anyway, the story is... weird... IDK, it's hard to describe, but it's weird and rushed and vaguely racist. Not a fan. Then there's Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss, which is also kind of weird and rushed but at least isn't vaguely racist. It's a similar plot to The Vicar's Widow-- nobleman and unlikely woman fall in love, jealous debutante tries to sabotage-- except the debutante and the unlikely woman are cousins, and the nobleman is an even more distant cousin. So there's things about class differences and penniless relatives and things like that, but it's clunkily written and a little weird. Still, better than Clearly a Couple. Overall, cute book, especially the first two stories, but the last two are... odd.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maura

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A Proper Englishwoman – Eloisa James – 3/5 – This had such promise. I liked the characters and where the story was going. Their quick romance was actually quite believable. However, the one sexual experience was lacking in any sort of detail or emotion and overall I felt they lacked passion. But I really liked the premise and wish the ending had taken just a teensy bit longer. I have to admit...I so far haven't been much of a fan of Eloisa James, so maybe she isn't for everyone. The Vicar’s Widow A Proper Englishwoman – Eloisa James – 3/5 – This had such promise. I liked the characters and where the story was going. Their quick romance was actually quite believable. However, the one sexual experience was lacking in any sort of detail or emotion and overall I felt they lacked passion. But I really liked the premise and wish the ending had taken just a teensy bit longer. I have to admit...I so far haven't been much of a fan of Eloisa James, so maybe she isn't for everyone. The Vicar’s Widow – Julia London – 3/5 – Another interesting premise. This one started out a little disturbing for me with an adulterous kiss and rather irritating flirting that felt really superficial…but I liked how the rumors got started and all. I didn’t actually like this story until it was practically over. (The ending at the Ball made the difference for me). Clearly a Couple – Rebecca Hagan Lee - 2/5 – Whirlwind falling in love. Little too fast and unbelievable for my tastes. India, the heroine, who has been held in a harem for 5 years is just a little too comfortable offering herself to the hero – it suggests that she isn’t the least bit traumatized by the sexual aspect of her experience…which may very well be but we’re never offered an explanation for that. Instead, she fears the violence that was inherent in living within the harem itself. The premise of this story was really rather farfetched (and had me giggling/thinking of Bertrice Small's Love Slave) This just didn’t do much for me… Miss Jenny Alt’s First Kiss – Jacqueline Navin – 4/5 – My absolute favorite. What a sweet and endearing story. It wasn’t particularly steamy and the plot has surely been done before, but this just read so well. It was paced nicely, the characters were likeable and I just found the story thoroughly enjoyable.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    Always tricky to rate an antho. In this case: interesting tie-together concept (how gossip can shape relationships), wide variety in how much results appealed to this reader. Eloisa James story: charming and skillfully written, would make me buy a full length novel if I wasn't already convinced of this author's style = 5 Stars Julia London: pleasant story, convincingly told, would interest me in a full length novel by this new-to-me author = 4 stars Rebecca Hagen Lee story: first seven pages classic Always tricky to rate an antho. In this case: interesting tie-together concept (how gossip can shape relationships), wide variety in how much results appealed to this reader. Eloisa James story: charming and skillfully written, would make me buy a full length novel if I wasn't already convinced of this author's style = 5 Stars Julia London: pleasant story, convincingly told, would interest me in a full length novel by this new-to-me author = 4 stars Rebecca Hagen Lee story: first seven pages classic illustration of infodump and 'As you know, Bob' opener, with two elderly gentlemen characters commiserating with each other about economic and family losses that took place before story begins, in a way that was both uninteresting and confusing in terms of off-stage characters mentioned. This may well be a terrific story, but I don't know because the opener killed my will to find out. Might read more from this new-to-me author, since everyone can have an off-day, but am not rushing to do so. DNF = 1 star Jaquelin Navin story: For first few chapters, had no strong opinion to the good or bad, but noted that the author appeared to have taken to heart the advice to show emotion through physical actions/reactions. When reached point where the heroine puts her cup and saucer down on the table where she is seated, and a few moments later is so nervous she spills it down '....her bodice' (really? how, unless her chair places her at chin level with the table?), realized was not interested in characters or premise enough to read fully. Skimmed rest. = 2 stars OVERALL - 3 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    Damn it. I've read this book before. They changed the cover on me and I forgot. What a waste of my Booksfree order. Actually, it could have been worse. At least this collection of stories is fairly good. The first is by Eloisa James who can usually be counted on to spin a good yarn. This time, it's about a childhood betrothal that has never been fulfilled. The Earl of Kerr is too busy running around with french women to to actually go through with his wedding. So, Miss Emma Loudan disguises hers Damn it. I've read this book before. They changed the cover on me and I forgot. What a waste of my Booksfree order. Actually, it could have been worse. At least this collection of stories is fairly good. The first is by Eloisa James who can usually be counted on to spin a good yarn. This time, it's about a childhood betrothal that has never been fulfilled. The Earl of Kerr is too busy running around with french women to to actually go through with his wedding. So, Miss Emma Loudan disguises herself as a frenchwoman and proceeds to seduce her relunctant fiance. The second story is about a vicar's widow who becomes the subject of gossip when a jealous debutant starts spreading lies. However, the malicious lies only serve to send the eligible bachelor into the widow's arms. Julia London, sometimes good, not totally consistent though. "Clearly a Couple" was actually pretty interesting. I'll have to try and find more books by Rebecca Hagen Lee. The story has an Englishwoman who had spent five years in a harem being transported back to her grandfather by an eligible bachelor. Okay, they fall in love and decide to get married in two days but still a good story. "Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss" was probably the weakest of the four but it didn't make me want to toss the book across the room so it was just fine. Typical, guy gets himself engaged to the pretty girl but then discovers plainer cousin/friend/sister is really his soul mate.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Minh

    I'll be honest and say I only picked up this book because of Eloisa James. While the big name stories were somewhat fun to read the third story caused me almost physical pain while reading it, hence the terrible rating. Eloisa James used the old betrothed from childhood tale, I enjoyed the flirtation between the couple but had to skip all and any mentions of their more amorous events. Julia London's story of a Vicar's widow and the eligible bachelor pursuing her was probably my favourite of the I'll be honest and say I only picked up this book because of Eloisa James. While the big name stories were somewhat fun to read the third story caused me almost physical pain while reading it, hence the terrible rating. Eloisa James used the old betrothed from childhood tale, I enjoyed the flirtation between the couple but had to skip all and any mentions of their more amorous events. Julia London's story of a Vicar's widow and the eligible bachelor pursuing her was probably my favourite of the four. It featured the ever fun 'bitchy side girl who gets her comeuppance'. Rebecca Hagan Lee wrote a terrible story. I disliked the characters, the setting, the plot, everything! And the ultimate sin, the confession of love after 1 day of meeting each other -_-. I think this summary is more than enough to show the reasoning for my distain, 'Lady India Burton has just returned from years of captivity in a sultan's harem, her reputation in ruins. But she proves a seductive challenge to a staunchly single member of the Free Fellows League...' Jacqueline Navin's concerned a young wallflower always outshone by her vivacious (bratty) cousin. When a distant cousin comes to stay with them she is dismayed to find herself the center of his attention. Cute and unsurprising. All together, not a book I would recommend.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lil' Grogan

    Yikes, not a good collection. Feel bad that James' story was in amongst this group. James' was good, the rest had me rolling my eyes. Eloisa James "A Proper Englishwoman" - 4/5 a fun story with an unexpected heroine. Liked intro with letters and the humour of gossip spreading. Julia London "The Vicar's Widow" - 1/5 The star for the humour in the little villain and deaf Lady Southbridge spreading gossip. The rest was pretty awful, it all seemed very shallow and the leads were unlikeable. Rebecca H Yikes, not a good collection. Feel bad that James' story was in amongst this group. James' was good, the rest had me rolling my eyes. Eloisa James "A Proper Englishwoman" - 4/5 a fun story with an unexpected heroine. Liked intro with letters and the humour of gossip spreading. Julia London "The Vicar's Widow" - 1/5 The star for the humour in the little villain and deaf Lady Southbridge spreading gossip. The rest was pretty awful, it all seemed very shallow and the leads were unlikeable. Rebecca Hagan Lee "Clearly a Couple" - 1.5/5 Started off well, the situation was akin to some of those older, unbelievably crazy historical romance plots that were a porn set-up waiting to happen. When my fond reminiscing of giggling over those books with my friends cleared, I realized the writing was awkward. It got as Disney as a porn set-up historical romance could get. I pictured Gaston singing and swinging his way through the village. Jacqueline Navin "Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss" - 2/5 Kind of a Cinderella story with an evil-ish pretty cousin. A dash of a myth (take off your glasses and you turn into the most beautiful woman ever!). A pinch of martyrdom. I'll give her that there was actually conversation between the pair that convinced me they might be interested in each other.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Trianna Hyde

    My new favorite genre has become historical romance novels so i read them fairly quickly. I have real trouble putting them down. Here is my rating of the individual stories A Proper Englishwoman By Eloisa James = A woman betrothed to a wondering man seeks to show him that all the woman that catch his wondering eye are nothing compared to her. 4 out of 5. The Vicar’s Widow By Julia London = A widow catches the eye of one of the most eligible bachelors around, sparking the jealousy of a young woman My new favorite genre has become historical romance novels so i read them fairly quickly. I have real trouble putting them down. Here is my rating of the individual stories A Proper Englishwoman By Eloisa James = A woman betrothed to a wondering man seeks to show him that all the woman that catch his wondering eye are nothing compared to her. 4 out of 5. The Vicar’s Widow By Julia London = A widow catches the eye of one of the most eligible bachelors around, sparking the jealousy of a young woman who spreads rumors and gossip to break apart the love between them. 4 out of 5. Clearly A Couple By Rebecca Hagan Lee = A woman has returned to London after years of being held captive, hoping to salvage her already ruined reputation, what she doesn't expect is to fall in love with her escort and all the challenges along the way. 3 out of 5. Miss Jenny Alt’s First Kiss By Jacqueline Navin = when a man comes to London in search of a wife he finds a companion in the house his distant relations. His new companion is rumored to be a man hater, but as his search for a wife continues he quickly learns that his so called "man-hater" is not what she seems. His search for a wife leads him back again and again to her, while her man-hater status grows and grows with his attraction to her. 5 out of 5.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I actually brought Talk of the Ton by Eloisa James, Julia London, Rebecca Hagan Lee and Jacqueline Navin during my travels around Canada. I completely fell in love with the bookshops in Canada and the incredible romance sections they had! I even started reading Talk of the Ton in Canada, but only finished it a few weeks ago... A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James tells the story of Emma Loudan and the Earl of Kerr (Gil) who have been engaged since childhood. Yet in those years of engagement Emma I actually brought Talk of the Ton by Eloisa James, Julia London, Rebecca Hagan Lee and Jacqueline Navin during my travels around Canada. I completely fell in love with the bookshops in Canada and the incredible romance sections they had! I even started reading Talk of the Ton in Canada, but only finished it a few weeks ago... A Proper Englishwoman by Eloisa James tells the story of Emma Loudan and the Earl of Kerr (Gil) who have been engaged since childhood. Yet in those years of engagement Emma has hardly ever seen her finance, but boy has she heard about him. In particular she’d heard about his love of French woman. So what does any scorned English woman do? Why pretend to be French of course! More specifically pretend to be a French lover from her husband’s past. Not to win Gil’s heart, however, but instead to win control and force him to finally get married. “I have to win the challenge,” Emma explained, “because otherwise Kerr will see no particular reason not to continue in his indifferent ways. I think it best to take him in hand before we marry.” Gil isn’t against marriage but he’s always found more important things to do... Read the full review: http://buff.ly/1HQjIY9

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Eloisa James- Proper Engishwoman. Julia London - The Vicar's Widow - Shows how gossip can travel and expand into something hurtful. Rebecca Hagan Lee - Clearly a Couple. India was held captive in a harem for long 5 years. She was determined to survive as her governess demanded of her before she was killed. Jonathan was sent to Plum Cottage to pick up a "parcel". He found the parcel to be a woman dressed in harem clothing, a beautiful woman. Jacqueline Navin - -Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss Jenny live Eloisa James- Proper Engishwoman. Julia London - The Vicar's Widow - Shows how gossip can travel and expand into something hurtful. Rebecca Hagan Lee - Clearly a Couple. India was held captive in a harem for long 5 years. She was determined to survive as her governess demanded of her before she was killed. Jonathan was sent to Plum Cottage to pick up a "parcel". He found the parcel to be a woman dressed in harem clothing, a beautiful woman. Jacqueline Navin - -Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss Jenny lives with her Aunt Iris and cousin Cassandra. At 22 she dresses down so Cassandra at 18 can have her coming out. A distant cousin comes to find a wife. Cassandra does all she can to get all of Miles attention. Jenny tries to stay in the background and let her cousin enjoy him but Jenny finds herself caring from Miles herself.

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