Seven Wicked Nights Anthology Review
There are a lot of boxed sets available now on Amazon and iBooks. Romances, mysteries , paranormals and gothics galore between the $2.99-99 cent price point. In the past, I have bought a few of these book bundles and liked one or two of the stories. I hit the jackpot with Seven Wicked Nights.
Seven Wicked Nights contains seven stories from authors Courtney Milan, Caroline Linden, Tessa Dare, Carolyn Jewel, Sherry Thomas, Leigh LaValle and Erin Knightley. Each contribution varies in length from four chapters to thirteen chapters. Each story is unique and complete. With a total of 170,000 words the book is comparable to two-full length novels well - worth the 99 cent investment.
I had read the short stories by authors Courtney Milan and Erin Knightley and enjoyed re-reading them. I enjoyed each story especially One Starlit Night by Carolyn Jewel and Claiming The Duchess by Sherry Thomas.
I have read and listened to the audio version of Courtney Milan's Unlocked. It's such an interesting tale of people, first impressions and the path to forgiveness and acceptance. I bought the novella when it was on super special. I was impressed by Ms. Milan's writing and have bought and read each of Ms Milan's books.
Several of Caroline Linden's books on my kindle and I have not made the time to read them. I was curious to see if I would enjoy Ms. Linden's contribution When I met My Duchess. I loved this story of a busy Duke who sent his man of business to propose to one sister only to be captivated by her older widowed sister. I enjoyed how Ms Linden crafted the story of Gareth and Cleo's unlikely romance and how it played out. The minor characters were enjoyable and added to the story. This short story was part of the At The Duke's Wedding anthology, I loved this story so much that I plan to buy the original anthology.
Tessa Dare is one of my must - read authors. I enjoyed reading How to Catch A Wild Viscount. Cecily is a strong heroine. She has waited four years for Luke to come home from the war. Luke returned changed by his wartime experiences. I was immediately drawn to the story when Cecily thought Oh, Luke. What has happened to you ? Can she convince him to move forward with her?
The characters in One Starlit Night by Carolyn Jewel captivated me. I was immediately drawn to the heroine and hero, Portia Temple and Crispin Hope, Viscount Northword. Portia and Crispen were in love ten years ago. Crispin married someone else and is now a widower. Portia is about to marry a local man to escape her awful sister-in-law Eleanor. This second chance at love story is told with compassion and understanding. I loved it and I teared up at the end of the novel.
Claiming the Duchess by Sherry Thomas is an excellent, albeit, short read. The reader meets Clarissa , the Duchess of Lexington as she is thinking about hiding her stepson's fossils from her husband. Clarissa is interrupted by her husband, his friend Lord Hatchford and Hatchford's cousin Mr. James Kingston who are visiting guests. A few days after the house party ends , Clarissa receives a letter and begins a correspondence with Julia Kirkland. I loved how the letters told the story of their friendship over a four - year period. During this time, the Duke dies, Clarissa thinks about Mr. Kingston, she satisfies her mourning duties and throws another house party where she's invited Julia and Mr. Kingston. The last chapter is written with heart and feeling.....I only wish it was a bit longer.
I adored Catherine Rayborne, the heroine in Leigh LaValles The Misbehaving Marquess. Catherine made a new life for herself when her husband Jamie left her and traveled for five years without contacting her. She cared for the villagers and tenants and was rebuilding cottages so that widows and their children would have a safe place to live. Catherine is not the young, immature wife that Jamie left behind. Will he fall in love with the more mature, self confident Catherine? Can Catherine forgive Jamie? The events that take place in the final three chapters of this short story are filled with some unexpected surprises.
Love the characters of Eleanor and Nicholas from their first kiss! This couple starts out as friendly rivals who love to spar verbally and fence with swords. The dialogue during the fencing scenes is superb! The reader could see that this couple had feelings for each other!! Loved how Ms. Knightley crafted this well written romance!
I recommend this boxed set to anyone who enjoys a great romance novel or two or seven!
Reviewed by Susan Gorman