I just finished reading With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry. The first story--The Husband Maneuver by Karen Witemeyer--is an impossible (as in, it doesn't happen like this in real life) romance (ok, maybe most novels don't happen like real life, but this one seemed more fictitious than some) between a young girl and her dad's ranch hand. She is determined to win him over, but she doesn't realize that he is already interested in her. (I say "impossible" because he is very self-aware and becomes verbal but is the gruff, throw chairs out of the way as she backs against a wall, so he can tell her his feelings before passionately kissing her type of guy.) Good, but fiction.
Next came another very unlikely story--but it's one of my favorite storylines, so I didn't mind! Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings. Two young people have to pretend like they are married (very chaste though!) in order to fool the potentially bad guy. Of course they also secretly like each other, but they don't find that out until the end.
The third novella is Runaway Bride (yes, this title has been used before). It's by Mary Connealy. Need I say more? She is such a good writer! Again, she nails the combo of action and romance. My only problem is it seemed the character development was abruptly cut out to make the story short enough for this collection. And...I'm not going to tell you the storyline. So there.
The last one is Engaging the Competition by Melissa Jagears, another he-woman heroine like many characters these days, though this time to the extreme. Seriously, that girl needs to read For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn or maybe attend the "Love and Respect" seminars by the Eggerichs'. But the guy that falls for her, despite being everything she is not (oh my word, he is such a guy in boasting about how well he can shoot...when obviously she can shoot better...but she lets that one slide, thankfully!), is a good, strong-character guy, willing to take a bullet for her, even though he can't see how many fingers he's holding his eyesight is so bad. It is an interesting romance though--they are so opposite but they can see beyond their differences and truly love each other.
I stayed up late reading this novella collection, so I think I liked it. :) My only negative would be that it's not the kind of book you want to read during the Christmas season when you're single with no prospects. Doesn't help. :P
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
"Releasing him she took a step back. 'Are you proposing to me, [insert name]?'
'No, I'm not.' His jaw hardened. 'I've got a parson that you done clocked in the head with a hammer to attend to. You wait your turn.'" (Regina Jennings, Her Dearly Unintended)