cover image The Arrangement

The Arrangement

Sylvia Day, Minerva Spencer, and Kristin Vayden. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3102-9

Though Day receives top billing, it’s Spencer and Vayden who give this spicy historical romance anthology its heart. Day’s “Mischief and the Marquess” (originally published in 2007) is packed with steamy love scenes but is light on plot. It follows scandalous single mother Lady Sophie Milton-Riley as she tries to foil her mother’s attempts at pairing her with Justin, the Marquess of Fontaine, even as Justin resolves to show Sophie how perfect they would be together. In “The Duke’s Treasure,” Spencer gives the plain, heartbroken Josephine Loman, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, a second chance at love with Beau, the Duke of Wroxton. Though Beau marries Jo for her fortune, his journey to respecting and then loving her is genuinely sweet. Vayden’s “An Inconvenient Countess” also begins with a marriage of convenience, but the romance between destitute Diana Lambson and roguish Charles Brook, Earl of Barrington, develops into a tender and consistently surprising tale of honest friendship and unexpected love. Each of these three takes on arranged marriage is loaded with passion and tenderness. This sparkling collection is a surefire hit. Agents: (for Day) The Whalen Agency, (for Spencer) Hopkins Literary Agency, (for Vayden) L. Perkins Agency. (Feb.)