Title: Three French Hens
Author: Lynsay Sands
Format: Kindle, 83 pages
Published: April 9th 2012 by Avon
ISBN: ASIN B007ED709A
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Previously published in the print anthologies Five Gold Rings and A Historical Christmas Present.
Brinna, a twelfth-century scullery maid, gets the chance to play a lady—and win the true love of an impoverished lord. Her fate changes when a new guest, Lady Joan, arrives at the castle. Desperate to escape her arranged marriage to Royce of Thurleah, Joan suggests that look-alike Brinna take her place at the Christmas festivities. Suddenly, Brinna finds herself being wooed by a true gentleman, getting perhaps the best Christmas present of all: a new life. A classic novella from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands.
Careful what you wish for…
Three French Hens by Lynsay Sands is an entertaining festive historical novella. I read it within A Historical Christmas Present anthology in which it was one of three stories. It’s a standalone read not related to any series. This sweet romance details what happens when two women – a scullery maid and a spoiled highborn lady - switch identities. Lady Joan wants to get out of a pre-arranged marriage. Brinna, the scullery maid, would like to help her elderly friend, Aggie, retire and not have to worry about finances. Brinna plays her hand too well as, while playacting as Lady Joan, she falls in love with Lady Joan’s betrothed, Royce, dooming Brinna to a broken heart.
I really liked both lead characters. They were caring and strong – both inside and out. Lady Joan was full of herself. I pity the man who ends up with her. Brinna’s chaperone while impersonating Lady Joan was an entitled hoot. Some of the stories she told to justify Brinna’s behavior as Brinna struggled with adapting to the different class norms were absolutely hilarious.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes Three French Hens:
“Were you hurt? Is anything broken?”
“Nay.” She signed wryly. “But the snow went up me skirts so far me arse is a block of ice.”
“She hurt her hand.” Sabrina managed a frown. “Terrible, really. Awful accident. Sad. Horribly painful. She almost lost full use of her hand.”
“Whatever happened?” he asked.
“Happened?” Sabrina blinked at the question, her face going blank briefly, then filling with desperation. “She… er… she… er… pricked her finger doing embroidery!” she finished triumphantly, and Brinna nearly groaned aloud as what sounded suspiciously like a snort of laughter burst from Lord Thurleah.
“Is everything all right, ladies?”
Sabrina whirled to face both men as they dismounted. “Oh, my, yes. Everything is fine. Why ever would you think otherwise?”
Brinna could just see Lord Thurleah’s face as he arched one eyebrow, his lips appearing to struggle to hold back an amused smile. “Mayhap because Lady Joan has fallen in the snow?”
“Fallen?” Lady Sabrina’s genuine horror seemed to suggest ladies simply did not do anything as embarrassing as fall off the back of the wagon into the snow.
She gasped, “Oh, nay. You must be mistaken, my lord. Why Lady Joan would never have fallen. She is the epitome of grace and beauty. She is as nimble as a fawn, as graceful as a swan. She is ---“
“Presently lying in the snow,” Lord Thurleah pointed out dryly.
I was wracking my brain while inhaling this read, trying to figure out how the author was ever going to be able to provide Brinna and Royce the happy ending they deserved. I didn’t see a way, but, I shouldn’t have doubted her, as she pulled one off that left me happy as can be! If you enjoy escaping into quick, sweet and humorous Christmas romances, Three French Hens is a wonderful option!