Donna Cummings was caffeinated enough to send me a copy of this anthology. Granted, it’s still a little ways from the holidays (especially when I read it at the end of August, but heck… swoony Christmas-y cheer is never a bad thing.
So this compilation has six short stories by some cool authors, and that’s what I like about these compilations. You get to “meet” new authors.
I reviewed each story in a little paragraph, So here we go…
The Christmas Affair by Heather Boyd
That was absolutely adorable. In this Cinderella story our Cinderella is a whore looking for shelter in (what I think to be) late 1800s, it’s winter and a prostitute killer is lurking. Amy finds herself taking shelter in a shopkeeper’s store.
Harper Cabot is a widower and still grieving his wife when he finds Amy Mellish outside his shop, freezing half to death. And Harper is immediately taken with her.
Amy’s circumstances and Harper’s loneliness are like two pieces of a very sad puzzle, but they find their happily ever after eventually. With a few unexpected surprises along the way.
Love at First Dance by Barbara Monajem
Great premise. I loved the concept of an incubi and succubi involved in inducing romantic connections, and the conniving aspect of it all was fun.
Despite all that, not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. It’s very well written, and a cute read, but I felt like I couldn’t get into it.
I think the too complex and so many characters involved in this one made it too much to swallow, especially it being a novella length story.
Joy to the Earl by Nicola Davidson
Such a fun little story. This is just what I enjoy. A bit of drama, an evil family, a little humor, a good portion of naughty sex mixed with dirty talk and a child who makes it all so much cuter.
Jack and Rosalind meet by chance and while are from different stations in society, they’re actually all reversed. Especially when jack’s real title is revealed.
I loved everything in this story. Wish it could’ve been a full length novel.
Mistletoe and the Marquess by Wendy Vella
This one I especially loved, though the end was a bit anticlimactic.
Harry and Jemma rendezvous at a masquarade ball and fall in love as Hero and Leander without knowing who the other’s identity really is. It’s Jemma’s last night of freedom before she is set to wed her bethrothed, an old and clickly Lord Crickley. Crickley has a hold over her father so she has little choice in the matter.
Harry is hell bent on finding his Hero and Jemma is hell bent on putting that night behind her, though she’s longing for her Leander.
When they realize who the other is, Harry will do everything in his power to help Jemma out of her glum destiny.
Naturally this ends well, and the way towards the end is fantastic. My guess is that if this wasn’t a novella it’d be a lot more elaborate and fun.
Lord Misrule by Donna Cummings
Juliana and Nicholas are absolutely adorable. Juliana is recently widowed and Nicholas has sworn to never give more than a passionate night to a woman, especially not his heart. But then he meets Juliana who wishes to take him as a lover, having had a very dry marriage life with her late (and gay) husband.
When they agree upon 12 days of passionate affair, Nicholas finds himself more attached than he cares to be and flees Juliana’s bed.
Now imagine this premise with adorable puns, light humor and so much Regency-type smut (it’s all very polite yet filthy – I love it).
The Glittering Prize by Beverly Oakley
This one is a doozy. The idea is fantastic and the characters are appealing, but there are a few things that just baffled me.
The most important thing in the story is an artifact. This ancient tablet that has glyphs marking the location for a treasure which the heroine initially wanted to donate, and now that her father is murdered and her life is at risk, things go waaaaaay out of hand in an unbelievable way – but then an unexpected yet expected solution arrives in the form of a rich (duh) man.
Overall I think I’m rating this anthology 4 Stars
Have Yourself A Very Wicked Christmas!
Six of today’s most popular regency romance authors come together to deliver a holiday anthology full of passion, promise, and scandalous dalliance.
In Heather Boyd’s The Christmas Affair, a lonely shopkeeper offers shelter to a beautiful, not so innocent miss to overcome the bitter memories of Christmases past, but could such a wicked connection ever lead to a happily-ever-after?
A dashing spy with marriage on his mind seeks to rekindle the spark by any means possible with the woman who claimed his heart in Love at First Dance by Barbara Monajem.
A scandalous widow rescues the man of her dreams – but his secrets could destroy their love in Nicola Davidson’s Joy to the Earl.
A masquerade ball was no place to be reckless with your innocence, and yet one scorching look at the masked highwayman urges Miss Partridge to do just that in Mistletoe and the Marquess by Wendy Vella.
In Lord Misrule by Donna Cummings, a young widow chooses a handsome rogue to be her first lover, but his regrets from a past Christmas may end their affair before it even commences.
A blue-stocking becomes a courtesan to escape a murderer in The Glittering Prize, an intrigue-filled romance by Beverley Oakley about finding love where it’s least expected.
This is an all-new collection of stand-alone complete works.