My review originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/the-lady-most-likely
Hugh Dunne, Earl of Briarly, has decided to take a wife. The problem is, Hugh spends more time in the stables than society, so he hasn’t a clue who to pick. Luckily, he’s come up with a perfect solution: he’ll have his sister, Carolyn, come up with a list of prospective wives. Carolyn takes things a step further and plans a house party at which all of the women will be present, along with a gentleman or two to entice her widowed friend Georgiana, who swears she will never remarry.
Which lady is most likely to capture Hugh’s heart? Is it the most beautiful girl of the season, Gwendolyn Passmore? How about the lively Miss Katherine Peyton? Or even Georgina, a woman Hugh’s known since childhood? There’s only one way to tell…
Oh, what fun it would be to be a guest at a house party which Julia Quinn, Connie Brockway, and Eloisa James created! The Lady Most Likely… is one of the most charming romances I’ve read in a while. Had I not already been a fan of the authors, I would be intruiged by the format alone. The Lady Most Likely… is a novel in three parts, not an anthology. The sections written by each author are bookended with chapters that bridge one romance to the next. The result is a smoothly-flowing story that makes you feel as if you’re actually at Carolyn’s house party.
It’s fairly easy to figure out what the romantic pairings will be once the book starts, but I don’t want to ruin the fun. I will say that all three romances in The Lady Most Likely… were absolutely lovely and each couple was simply made for each other. As I don’t want to spoil which lady captures which hero’s heart, I’ll stick with talking about each of the six protagonists. Gwen is my absolute favorite character of the lot. She’s absolutely gorgeous and men flock to her. The only problem is, she hates all the attention and crowds make her uneasy. She’s intelligent and witty, but also shy. She endeared herself to me immediately and just for her alone I would adore The Lady Most Likely… But Gwen’s joined by two other strong, likeable protagonists. Kate is bold, forthright, and only can be knocked off her feet by her hero which, of course, made her journey so much fun to read. Georgie is a widow who didn’t have a fantastic marriage, but neither was it traumatic. She doesn’t want to marry again and her reasoning is understandable. She makes mistakes when it comes to the man she falls in love with, but those mistakes serve to humanize her.
With three such wonderful heroines, not to mention talented authors, how can there be anything but three sexy heroes? Hugh, the man whose quest for a wife is the basis of the book, is horse-mad and socially oblivious. He spends more time in the stables than anywhere else and I admit, I worried at first that his heroine wouldn’t be able to compete for his attention. Happily, I was wrong; Hugh does put the people he cares about first and the fact that he is so devoted to the few people he lets in his heart makes his love for them all the more special. But while Hugh is looking for a wife, his friend, Alec Darlington, Earl of Charters, has no plans on searching for a bride any time soon. That changes, of course, when he meets the woman of his dreams. Alec is the definitely the earl most likely to make this woman swoon. He’s funny and kind, handsome and wickedly tempting – in other words, perfect hero material. I’d unequivocally say he’s my favorite hero of the lot, were it not for the fact that Captain Neill Oakes fairly stole the show for me. Neill has a reckless reputation he earned and deserved in his youth, but he’s a far more responsible grown man than anyone gives him credit for. Neill has the bad boy appeal to blend which his honorable nature. Add in a dash of vulnerability when it comes to the woman that owns his heart and what a combination that is!
One novel, three romances, and six protagonists that you’re sure to adore makes The Lady Most Likely… a surefire hit. Mses. Quinn, Brockway, and James are each amazing authors in their own right. As a team? They’re unstoppable. The Lady Most Likely… is the novel most likely to capture readers’ hearts.