Review: Four Weddings and a Sixpence by Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, & Stefanie Sloane

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Four Weddings and a Sixpence by Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, & Stefanie SloaneFour Weddings and a Sixpence: An Anthology by Julia Quinn, Stefanie Sloane, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke
Published by Avon on December 27, 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Anthologies, Short Stories
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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four-stars

Beloved authors Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, and Stefanie Sloane deliver the stories of four friends from Madame Rochambeaux’s Gentle School for Girls who find an old sixpence in their bedchamber and decide that it will be the lucky coin for each of their weddings…

“Something Old”
Julia Quinn’s prologue introduces her heroine Beatrice Heywood and the premise for Four Weddings and a Sixpence.

“Something New”
In Stefanie Sloane’s unforgettable story, an ever-vigilant guardian decrees that Anne Brabourne must marry by her twenty-first birthday. But love finds her in the most unexpected of ways.

“Something Borrowed”
Elizabeth Boyle tells the tale of Cordelia Padley, who has invented a betrothed to keep her family from pestering her to wed. Now she’ll need to borrow one to convince them she’s found her true love.

“Something Blue”
In Laura Lee Guhrke’s story, unlucky Lady Elinor Daventry has her sixpence stolen from her and must convince the rake who pilfered the coin to return it in time for her own wedding.

“... and a Sixpence in Her Shoe”
Julia Quinn finishes with the story of Beatrice Heywood, who never believed that the sixpence was anything but a tarnished old coin—until it led all of her friends to true love. But her faith in the coin is tested when it keeps sending her to the wrong man!

While I’m generally not an anthology/novella person, I’m making an exception for romance anthologies, because that seems like an efficient way to discover new romance authors whose style I like. Plus, it’s a mission of mine to read everything Julia Quinn writes. Even though it’s not all Quinn, Four Weddings and a Sixpence didn’t let me down in the slightest.

“Something Old” by Julia Quinn: The anthology launches with a brief prologue/introduction by Quinn. This sets up the connection between the four stories, each about one of four best friends. Even though it’s not so much a story in and of itself, it does a great job setting up a cohesive anthology (I really love that they’re not just thematically linked but actually make up one whole) and the characters to come. The frame story is vaguely Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, with the schoolgirls passing around a lucky sixpence that will help them find love and marriage. Plus, in typical JQ fashion, it’s hilarious. 4/5

“Something New” by Stefanie Sloane: Like all the authors but Quinn, Sloane’s new to me, but I will absolutely be reading her Regency Rogues series ASAP. I’m not as much into the roguish heroes typically, but I love the rogue in “Something New” so bring it the fuck on. The heroine, Anne, needs to wed before her 21st birthday or lose her inheritance. She’s searching for a biddable husband and actively avoiding love. Rhys, attracted to Anne but not wanting to settle down, decides to help her in her search, so that he can spend time with her, but oops catches feelings. They are absolutely adorable and bantery, and this is the kind of friends to lovers romance I can absolutely get behind. 4.5/5

“Something Borrowed” by Elizabeth Boyle: After a super strong start, “Something Borrowed” was a bit of a letdown. It starts off strong, because Cordelia’s chaperone Kate is a total spitfire and absolutely hilarious. And the set up is great: Cordelia, who has told her matchmaking aunts that she’s engaged to get them off her back, asks her childhood bestie Kipp to pose as her intended and then cry off, so she’ll have some time without matchmaking attempts. They’re pretty cute at times, but something’s missing. There’s also a mega awkward masquerade where they both dress up in exotic Indian costumes, which no. The short story suffers from lack of focus (sections from the POV of Miss Holt and one of her suitors for no reason whatsoever) and completely fails to take advantage of the side-ship of Kate and Captain Talcott. Not terrible, but it could so easily have been way better than it is. 3/5

“Something Blue” by Laura Lee Guhrke: Though I’ve got one story left to go, since it’s JQ’s, I’m going to go ahead and call this far and away the darkest story of the collection. Obviously, romance tends to only get so dark, but still. Ellie and her childhood friend Lawrence fell in love over the course of years in an idyllic romance. But then, in his role as a barrister, he found evidence that her father committed treasonous acts and they had a massive row over the fact that Lawrence was going to pursue the investigation. That’s pretty heavy shit, and it comes to a surprisingly complex conclusion. Lawrence and Ellie have good chemistry. I’m not usually into the ex-lovers stories, but the hate element adds a frisson of excitement and newness. “Something Blue” is also notable for being maybe the only romance where the heroine doesn’t orgasm from vaginal intercourse (he did make her orgasm with his fingers beforehand, though, don’t worry). 4/5 stars

“…and a Sixpence in Her Shoe” by Julia Quinn: Quinn’s story may be short, but it absolutely does not fell to deliver the cutes. Bea and Frederick get off to an awkward, grumpy start but bond over their mutual love of science, and it’s ADORABLE. Also, there’s a loving, matchmaking shipper of an aunt, who is hilarious and has excellent priorities. 4.5/5

In general, I’m not the biggest fan of anthologies, because they’re such mixed bags, but this one is an exception to that. With the exception of Boyle’s story, everything in this one is fabulous, and I’m leaving it with a big smile on my face from Quinn’s story. I also really wish more anthologies had such cohesive narratives.

Favorite Quote:

“I’m so tired these days, all I can do is make bad puns.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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