An anthology featuring Lisa Kleypas, Kinley MacGregor and Julia Quinn, Where's My Hero is supposed to be the stories of three of those secondary characters that we sometimes meet in romance novels who are just crying out to have their own stories told. Only problem with this is that I had never read any of either Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn's books! I still read their stories, but in reality I picked this book up because I really wanted to read Simon's story by Kinley MacGregor.
the first story in the book was Lisa Kleypas' Against the Odds, which featured Dr Jake Linley who apparently is a character who appears in several of her books (on her website she refers to them as book hoppers). Jake has secretly been in love with Lydia Craven since the first day they met. Of course it wouldn't do to admit that, so Lydia and Jake have been extremely antagonistic to each other ever since they met. Lydia is portrayed as being extremely clever, and has agreed to become betrothed to a fellow mathematician who will not mind her working once they are married.
On the night of Lydia's betrothal to another man, Jake kisses Lydia and she realises that she has no passion with her husband to be, but decides that it doesn't really matter, much to her mother's horror. Her parents (Sara and Derek from Dreaming of You) still have an extremely passion filled marriage, which we get glimpses of in this book.
Three days before the wedding, Lydia and Jake find themselves locked in the cellar with no way of getting out, and they finally talk about their feelings and realise that they both have had unrevealed feelings. Jake knows that marrying him would mean no longer living the life of luxury she is accustomed to...is this something that Lydia can do?
This was a very enjoyable story, but I can't help but feel that it almost deserved a full story. Doesn't really matter though, because it did make me want to pick up more of Lisa Kleypas' books. (And yes Kristie, that does mean Dreaming of You!!) I could totally see how Jake would steal scenes in other books, so I gave this a 4/5.
The second story was Kinley MacGregor's Midsummer's Knight, the reason why I got this book in the first place. Our hero was Simon, who was in Born in Sin as one of the few friends that Sin has, and travelled with him to Scotland. Simon was also in Master of Desire, although I haven't read that myself. Simon is the man who stands behind the other men, unobtrusive and ignored by all the girls. He has been the famous knight's Stryder's friend, ally, bodyguard and personal secretary for quite some time, and for the previous year he has been answering letters sent to Stryder by the lovely Kenna MacRyan, signing them off as Your Ever Loving Knight, S. Simon has poured out his heart to Kenna, and she to him, but Simon knows that he could never hope to marry Kenna - she is just too far out of his league. So when Kenna turns up at a tournament thinking that she is betrothed to Stryder, it becomes very awkward all round!
Once it is revealed that Stryder can not even read or write let alone write letters pouring out his soul, it becomes clear that the author of the letters is Simon, and after spending the day alone together Kenna knows that it is Simon that she loves. She asks her cousin King Malcolm to allow her to marry Simon, but he will not do so, because Simon has neither title nor land - certainly not a suitable prospect for marriage. It is therefore agreed that if Simon wins the tournament then they can be married. That however means that at some point Simon will have to defeat Stryder, a task that noone else has ever been able to achieve.
I really enjoyed this novella, and was glad to see Simon in the spotlight. I gave this 4.5/5.
The final novella was A Tale of Two Sisters by Julia Quinn featured Ned Blydon who apparently was in a book called Splendid.
It is three days before Ned's wedding to the daughter of his neighbour, Lydia Thornton. Ned has resigned himself to the fact that his days of living life as a rake (albeit not all that notorious) have come to an end and that he will now have to do the responsible thing and get married. So what if he doesn't love Lydia...not everyone has to love their wife when they first get married do they?
Whilst escaping from the wedding hullabaloo, Ned comes across Charlotte Thornton, Lydia's sister and maid of honour. He is immediately captivated by her, and as the days prior to the wedding pass quickly he begins to wonder if he is marrying the wrong sister.
What he doesn't know is that his betrothed is secretly in love with one of the other neighbours, and is planning to elope before the wedding with Rupert.
For me, this was the weakest of the three stories. I didn't quite see how Ned would become a scene stealer in the same way as Simon and Jake were. It was still fun, especially some of the deliberately bad poetry, but Ned's reaction when he found out that Lydia was eloping was a bit over the top, especially seeing as he wanted the bride's sister anyway, but other than that it was okay. 3.5/5 for me.
Overall rating 4/5