My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Christmas Revels #4
Publication Date: 10/30/17
What a wonderful anthology – Four sweet, clean, happy stories with lovely HEA’s. If you want steam, you won’t find it in these stories, but they are very sweet and romantic. I was only familiar with one of the authors, but they were all great, so I’ll be looking for more of their books!
The Sergeant’s Christmas Bride by Anna D. Allen
While the scenario is highly improbable, it was a delightful story. I just loved Jacob. He is one of the sweetest and most caring heroes I’ve read in a long time. Sergeant Jacob Burrows has just returned from fighting in America. He’s tired to the bone and just wants to sleep before he continues on to his destination. He has just bedded down when he’s rudely awakened by someone holding a gun on him. Imagine his surprise when he finds out that the person with the gun is a woman and he’s at his destination.
Elizabeth FitzWalter needs a husband – quickly. She’s a Viscountess in her own right since the death of her very much-loved brother. It is amazing who and what comes out of the woodwork when a female inherits wealth and a title – she needs to avoid all of that. I like her very much. She is brave, intelligent, self-sufficient and loving. What a pair Elizabeth and Jacob make.
Home For Christmas by Hannah Meredith
Charity Fletcher lived her whole life squirreled away at her father’s country estate. She was totally neglected by him. She was lonely, but she didn’t actually realize that. Then, her father, a Baron, dies without leaving her anything at all and she is at the mercy of her cousin, Horace, who inherited. So, imagine her surprise and delight when she receives a bequest of a cottage by the sea and five-thousand pounds from someone she’s never heard of. She packs her belongings and she and her servant, Lucy Dibble, head to their new home. What they find is a shock. The cottage is much larger than Charity expected and is in a sad state of disrepair.
Colonel Lord Gilbert Narron has returned from the wars where he was wounded. His leg pains him horribly and he just needs a place where he can be alone and recuperate. So, he rents a seaside cottage and he and his servant, Sergeant Holly, set out. Finally, after many grueling days of traveling, he finally arrives at the cottage. As he enters the cottage he catches a glimpse of an intruder who is trying to cudgel him. He reacts automatically and punches the culprit. Yes, you guessed it – his attacker was a woman.
It takes Charity several days to recover enough to get out of bed – and by then, Gil has taken over the house, the repairs, hiring servants, etc. He even hired a companion to live with them and told everyone he was her cousin.
It is lovely to watch these two forge a truce and come to work together to solve a mystery. Then, of course, it is also lovely to see them grow to love each other.
I thought the Epilogue was the absolute best part of the book. I love the brothers bantering and seeing their lives several years down the road.
A Memorable Christmas Season by Kate Parker (one of my favorite authors)
I enjoyed this story of second chances, but I really wish it had been longer because a couple of things left me hanging. For instance – Susanna Dunley, Dowager Countess of Roekirk is supposed to be a very sympathetic character and she really is given all she’s been through. However, she had a chance at real love and turned it down. What left me hanging was that the story says she was ‘forced’ for marry Roekirk, however, there was no mention of how or why other than Will had nothing to offer. Say what! So, I liked the hero much more than I liked the heroine.
This story includes murder, a spymaster, blackmail and a traitor – Oh! My!
Will Marsden, newly minted Earl of Keyminster, came from nothing to have the King bestow an earldom on him for services rendered to the crown. Thirty years ago he was totally in love with Susanna only to have her turn him down and marry the Earl of Roekirk. Will was devastated and immediately chose to leave England as a spy and later a diplomat. He was totally surprised when he received an invitation to a Christmas Ball at the new Earl of Roekirk’s home.
When he arrives, it is to be drawn into hiding a body and possibly covering up a murder. Is Susanna a murderer? Will he protect her? Who is the dead man and why was he in Susanna’s home? Will Susanna and Will renew their love and finally get their HEA? You’ll just have to read the story to find out.
A Perfectly Unforgettable Christmas by Louisa Cornell
This was actually my favorite of the four stories!
Wounded in body and spirit during a drunken, midnight carriage race, Lucien Rollinsby, Viscount Debenwood wanted nothing but peace and quiet and to be left alone. Imagine his dismay when he awakens (at three in the afternoon) to the clanging of the gate next door – constantly back and forth accompanied by several loud thumps- and also the screeches of a querulous banshee.
Lady Caroline Chastleton McAlasdair, daughter of a Duke, is dismayed to see that the small, quiet, off-the-beaten-path home that she had asked her brother to find for her stay in London was actually in the middle of Mayfair. She wanted to be obscure so that she could be sure that her father would not learn of her stay in London. He is a selfish, hateful, uncaring, mean-spirited man and she wants nothing to do with him, after all, he forced her into an unwanted marriage when she was only fifteen.
Both Caroline and Lucien have some very deep and dark secrets. They can share those secrets and either ruin their budding relationship or find forgiveness and love. They have much to overcome and it is a lovely thing to watch them grow.
I loved all of the supporting characters in this story, but I particularly liked Lily, Caroline’s daughter. She is a real little hoyden and is delightful. Then, there is the long-suffering Redford, Lucien’s butler. The banter between Lucien and Redford is absolutely priceless
“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”