Duke in a Box: Twelve Steamy Historical Holiday Novellas by Various Authors
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: N/A, but many of the novellas have ties to their author’s series
Release Date: November 1, 2022 (only available until 12/31/22)
This Anthology is amazing, all 12 novellas are set around Christmas, and all feature either a Duke or a would-be Duke and even a case of mistaken Duke-identity. Below are a few of my favorites from the collection:
Yule Be My Duke by Darcy Burke, 4.5 stars – Cecilia Bromwell and John Rowley, Earl of Cosford and heir to the Duke of Ironbridge met 5 years ago at a house party and it was definitely not love at first sight, in fact, it was quite the opposite and involved snakes, capsized boats, jam-filled boots and a pitcher of lemonade. Now older and hopefully more mature, their parents believe that they will make a perfect match, too bad they are wrong! Or are they? Cecilia hatches a plan to lose John in the woods, but it backfires when they are caught in a snowstorm and end up spending the night together. Are they doomed to an unhappy marriage or will their time together lead to an unexpected HEA? This was a cute story of misconceptions and assumptions, Cecilia did seem a bit petty and immature at first, but she owns up to her past behavior and her transformation is believable. The novella features an Enemies to Lovers trope with steamyish love scenes and a HEA.
Her Duke with Benefits by Jess Michaels, 5 stars – When widow Alice Crandon arrives at the cottage she let for Christmas she never expected to find her childhood friend Leo, the Duke of Greenfield already in residence. Alice wanted to spend this Christmas alone, she is officially out of mourning, but needed a bit of time to herself before returning to society, she loved her husband and isn’t sure how to go on without him. Leo too was looking for some time alone, but when he realized that a scheduling mix-up led to both him and Alice renting the same cottage for the holiday, there is no way he is going to let the opportunity to woo the woman he has always loved pass him by! Alice is surprised to feel desire, but is she ready to open her heart to the possibility of new love, or will her past love hold her heart for eternity? This novella features a Second-Chance at Love trope, with steamy love scenes, a swoon-worthy hero, and a HEA.
Right Place, Wrong Duke by Elisa Braden, 5 stars – When her family learns they are being evicted from their farm by the Duke of Dingwall, widow Lucie Carmichael decides to take matters into her own hands by abducting the dastardly duke and forcing him to reconsider his plans – too bad Lucie’s schemes never work out the way she plans. Silas Northfield might be a younger, fitter, better-looking version of his elder half-brother, but he is not the duke and yet, he can’t be sorry that the lovely Scottish loon mistook him for Dingwall. For too long Silas has felt incomplete but after meeting Lucie, he knows two things for certain, 1 – she needs a keeper, and 2 – he is keeping her. This novella was my favorite and features a Love at First Sight/mistaken identity trope, very steamy love scenes, lovable characters, and a HEA.
My Duchess, My Wife by Sasha Cottman, 5 stars – After nearly 28 years of marriage, four children, scandals galore, and now the challenges of midlife, Ewan and Caroline Radley, the Duke and Duchess of Strathmore are still very much in love, but this holiday season will test them like never before. I love reading stories set after the HEA and this novella is a perfect example of love after the happily ever after. This novella features a mature couple, steamy love scenes, family, and the completely relatable trials of menopause, as well as, an even happier ever after.
I really enjoyed this collection of novellas and can’t recommend it enough, all the stories are well-written and there are a variety of tropes to enjoy. From what I understand, this anthology is only available for a limited time, so grab it while you can!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*