Release Date: October 31, 2017
A very good anthology – all the novellas have a nice Christmas type theme and I enjoyed all the stories, some more than others.
A Highlander’s Hope by Terri Brisbin – 3 stars – Iain is a widower and finally ready to remarry after losing his beloved wife 5 years ago. The woman he has his heart set on is Robena, he knows their joining will not be easy and will cause talk, because Robena is a prostitute. He met her years ago when visiting Rob and Anice, they became lovers and friends. He knows she is the woman for him, despite their age difference and her unsavory past. Now all he has to do is convince her. Robena has not had an easy life and she knows her place, she loves Iain, but refuses his offer for several reasons, primarily because she is barren and so far beneath him in station. Can these two get a Christmas miracle?
A Highlander’s Christmas Wager by Lecia Cornwall – 4 stars – Caught in a snowstorm, Meggie and her grandmother take refuge at the last castle in Scotland that Meggie wants to see. Home of Magnus, the man she believed she loved and loved her, until he married another. Magnus is elated to welcome Meggie into his home, he has been widowed for months and Meggie is just what he needs. Along with Meggie, Magnus has two other guests staying due to the storm, his brother in law Charlie (whom he hopes to match with his sister) and a neighboring laird, Hugh (who is there at his clan’s urging to marry Magnus’ sister). When the three men spy Meggie, they make a wager as to who can claim her kiss first. This is a sweet story with two HEA’s and an appearance by the fearsome McLeod!!
A Scot for Christmas by Bronwen Evans – 4 stars – Dougray is a widower who has grieved for his late wife for 6 long years but is finally letting go of her memory to fulfill a promise to his father to help a neighboring clan. Dougray will marry Fiona, the laird’s daughter to help the clan financially, as he will not accept help in any other way. Emma has loved Dougray for years and was heartbroken when he married, resigned to a spinster’s life, she tags along with her brother to Dougray’s house party with a firm purpose – to taste the passion her spinster life will not allow. Dougray is shocked to see Emma, she has grown into quite the beauty in their years apart and he is unwillingly attracted to her. So when she asks him to be her lover, he knows he should refuse, but his desire outweighs his common sense. Terrified to love again, he was not prepared for Emma and after an incredible night together, he tells her that is the end. Not ready to let him go, Emma goes to confront him, but overhears him talking to his cousin about marrying Fiona. Heartbroken, she runs away before hearing him declare his desire to marry Emma instead. This novella was by far the steamiest of the five and boasts 3 HEA’s!
Leftover Mistletoe by Lavinia Kent – 4 ½ stars – Emma is having a bad day, her maid has run off with her luggage and left this pampered and sheltered Miss alone to fend for herself on the mail coach. Her only traveling companion is a scruffy looking drunk who is snoring. James Barran is not have a good day either, his horse was stolen forcing him to ride in the coach and slowing him down. Time is of the essence because he has a wedding to stop! But when the coach stops, Barran realizes something is amiss, the horses and the driver are long gone and he finds a note from his best friend Robert, telling him to take shelter in the cabin and he will rescue him, once he has wedded and bedded Barran’s sister. Emma twisted her ankle exiting the coach and is bewildered as to why this is happening. She doesn’t want to go with Barran to the cabin, but what choice does she have? When they reach the cabin and he learns who she is, Barran knows what must be done, and he tells Emma they will have to marry. The rest of the story is them getting to know each other and some amusing mishaps (thanks to Emma). By the end of the story, I really believed that they would be happy together.
Sweet Home Highlands by May McGoldrick – 5 stars – this was my favorite novella in the book, it is the story of Gregory Pennington and Freya Sutherland. Freya is guardian to her niece Ella, but since her grandfather’s death, Ella’s grandmother has been questioning whether Freya is capable of caring for her. She has demanded Freya attend her and prove her worthiness. To prove her stability, Freya has agreed to marry her father’s heir, thus proving Ella a home and a financially stable future. She is not happy about the marriage, but the cost it worth it if it means Ella will stay with her. Her discontent grows once she meets their escort, Penn. These two have an instant chemistry, they sizzle! But Penn is not sure how he feels and has plans, plans that do not include a wife and child. And Freya has made a promise and she must marry. With a little help from Ella, these two finally get a HEA.
I thought this was a really good collection and would be happy to recommend it.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*