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Monday, August 22, 2011

To Woo a Lady by Erin E.M. Hatton

To Woo a Lady by Erin E.M. Hatton
Publisher: Highland Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (242 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

A marriage of convenience. A sailor separated from the sea. An ill-advised wager. A spinster at her last prayer. A long-abandoned manor. A snob who must learn to look twice. From the flush of first love to an unexpected second chance, from the wilds of Upper Canada and the splendours of the Continent to the ballrooms of the ton: Six ladies will discover their hearts, and six gentlemen will learn what it takes to Woo a Lady. Set in the days of Jane Austen, a collection of 6 short stories.

Even though you know how the class system works and what is allowed and what is not, how do you tell your heart not to fall in love?

Ms. Hatton has written a series of short stories covering Regency England and the historical standards and expectations that existed then. Each story is different, offering different circumstances and different challenges. Each solution is unique and interesting. I especially liked how she made her characters vulnerable, yet strong. There are no wilting wallflowers here. The women know what they want (or think they do) and they are willing to work to get it. The men are strong, stubborn and even a bit understanding about the women’s expectations and the realities of the times and world they live in.

The author’s storylines are believable, enjoyable to read, and take you to a world of time past, with all its warts and pimples as well as beautiful homes and good times at public functions. It’s not all peaches and cream, but it’s real.

Ms. Hatton offers you a young lady who can have the man she was hoping for since she now has sizeable dowry – but now she’s not sure she wants him… Or, two that they marry to secure their future but never planned on falling in love. There are several more, but the one I thought was the most fun was the young man who bets he can get married in two weeks to whomever his friends pick. This one has the most interesting ending.

All of Ms. Hatton’s stories are well paced and fun to read. She does an excellent job of depicting the arrogance and ego of the day as well as how little choice or chance young women had for a love match marriage. Her stories will make you smile.