Tag Archives: Anthology

Release Day Review- Say Yes To The Scot by Cornwall, Harrington, McGoldrick and York

Say yes to the scot

Title: Say Yes to The Scot
Genre: Historical Romance/ Highlanders/ Anthology
Authors: Lecia Cornwall, May McGoldrick, Anna Harrington and Sabrina York
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Swerve, June 20, 2017
Pages: 410
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon/ Review From Deet:
HOW A LASS WED A HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her…or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?

This is a fairytale complete with the expectation of fairy help or interference. It is a true Highland story with clan hostilities, good Lairds and bad and bonnie lasses who are looking for romance. Side characters seem so much wiser than the protagonists. Deets rating: 4.5

A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
She was the laird’s daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he’s back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?
Whatever Anna Harrington writes turns out to be page turning and beautifully written and this story is no exception. There are revenge, longing, lust and dark secrets. Deet’s rating: 5

A MIDSUMMER WEDDING by May McGoldrick
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.

Another luscious addition to this anthology. Be prepared to put on a sweater because the chill of these characters in the rain for two days will give you trembles. Deets rating: 4.5

THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross’s world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years–but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…

This one is so yummy! Sabrina York knows her Highlanders and she can make us fall in love with the tough, brawny, yet tenderhearted Duncan just as Catherine did all those years ago. Deet‘s rating: 5

This Anthology is really a cut above the usual in that every novella was a winner. I’m used to finding stories in anthologies that are good and not so good and in this one they are all better than good. They are excellent. There is beautiful romance, suspense and sexy times. This is one for the keeper shelf.

 

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Filed under Anthology, Book review, Highlanders, Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

twas-the-night-before-scandal

 

Title: Twas The Night Before Scandal (Two Novellas)

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday/E-Reader

Author: Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

Publisher: Christi Caldwell Inc., Nov. 2016

Source: won in a contest

Pages: 168/E-Reader

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:       

“Only For Their Love” by Christi Caldwell Miss Carol Cresswall bore witness to her parents’ loveless union and is determined to avoid that same miserable fate. Her mother has altogether different plans—plans that include a match between Carol and Lord Gregory Renshaw. Despite his wealth and power, Carol has no interest in marrying a pompous man who goes out of his way to ignore her. Now, with their families coming together for the Christmastide season it’s her mother’s last-ditch effort to get them together. And Carol plans to avoid Gregory at all costs. Lord Gregory Renshaw has no intentions of falling prey to his mother’s schemes to marry him off to a proper debutante she’s picked out. Over the years, he has carefully sidestepped all endeavors to be matched with any of the grasping ladies. But a sudden Christmastide Scandal has the potential show Carol and Gregory that they’ve spent years running from the one thing they’ve always needed.

***

The more I read from Christi Caldwell the more I like.  This novella is just packed with romance, Christmas feeling and even a surly Dowager Duchess and unrelenting matchmaking mother.  It is an enemies to sweethearts trope that is well developed considering the brevity of the format of the novella. Carol and Gregory are not exactly enemies they just have avoided each other for the past four years because of their mother’s matchmaking. Having never actually been thrown together where they could develop a relationship they are quite overcome with liking each other when they do get to know each other. But, of course,  there is a serious problem that arises.

Deet’s Rating: 5-stars    Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

“A Kiss From a Rogue” by Eva Devon Bah and a hum bug: Sebatian Rutherford, the new Earl of Gray, has no desire to settle down. Ever. The only thing he dislikes more than the idea of taking over his recently inherited earldom, and all it’s responsibilities, is Christmas. So, when he agrees to an arranged marriage to the former earl’s daughter, he plans on a quick wedding and a quicker return to his adventures abroad. Surely, even a hint of Christmas cheer won’t need to be shared? But when his clever new wife, Lady Marabelle begins to thaw his heart, he finds that not only is family a joy, but Christmas may be the best season to lose one’s heart. Deck the Halls: Lady Marabelle loves Christmas. She loves everything about it. So, when she faces her first Christmas since the death of her beloved father, married to a man she’s never met, she decides to make sure that the Christmas hating new Earl must be taught the spirit of the season. But with each day toward Christmas that comes her way, she begins to find that perhaps a marriage of convenience can be a marriage of the heart and a veritable Christmas miracle.

**

Oh this is truly a yummy romance.  A handsome, adventurous, troubled man is about to marry a very astute, lovely woman whom he has never met.  They speak only a few words before they become man and wife.  Through the magic of her sweet personality she transforms this “Grinch” into a most enjoyable, loving person. All it takes is love.

Deet’s rating: 5-stars   Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

Uh huh, another shirtless elf snuck in here.

santa-elf-2

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Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, E-Book, Holiday, Kindle, Novella

Advance review-What Happens Under The Mistletoe By S.Jeffries, K. Hawkins, C. Camp & M. Duran

Title:  What Happens Under the Mistletoe

What happens under the mistletoe

Genre: Historical Romance Anthology

Author: Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp, Merdith Duran

Publisher: Pocket books, Oct. 27, 2015 (pre-order available, E-book & Paperback)

Pages: 400

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy feeling: 3

Descriptions from Amazon.com:

Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s delightful yuletide story, The Heiress and the Hothead.

**

Some of the characters we have met in Ms. Jeffries previous book, The Art of Sinning. The heroine of the story, Amanda Keene, is the heiress to a cotton mill in America.  Lord Stephen Corry is the second son of an earl and a journalist.  He is a reformer and she wants to prove to him she doesn’t need to reform her mills.  The action takes place in an English mill town at an aristocratic house party at Christmas time.  This story was predictable even though it had quite a bit of information about cotton mills in the 19th century.  The intimate scene was so totally ridiculous in the setting that it took me out of the story.  I expect more from this author and usually she delivers but not in this story. Deet’s Rating: 2.5, Sexy Rating: 5 Christmasy feeling: 3.

 

In the snowy Scottish countryside, Karen Hawkins’s rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter in Twelve Kisses when the alluring lady he surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle.

**

This one is right in my wheel-house, a snowbound romance.  The protagonists, Marcus Sutherland, the Duke of Rothesay and Kenna, Lady Montrose, a widow, are ex finances with some bitter memories.  They get caught in a scandalous situation at a house party and in Kenna’s try to get to her father for help they become snowbound in a cabin.  Marcus fights his attraction to Kenna and it does seem that all is lost.  Although this one again is rather predictable it is more palatable when the intimate scene is not ridiculous but a slow simmer until fireworks. In this story we are also treated to a character from Ms. Hawkin’s previous book The Prince Who Loved Me, Tata Natatasha who is a delightful feisty old lady.  There is no Christmasy feeling in this story.  It could be set any time during the winter. Deet’s Rating: 4, Sexy Rating: 5, Christmasy Feeling: 0

 

In By Any Other Name, Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as Candace Camp sends a curious gentleman in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise—one who refuses to reveal her true identity, though she fears he has already stolen her heart with his kiss.

**My first reading of Candace Camp and I was so pleased to find a new-to-me author with such a fine grasp of storytelling.  Rylla, short for Amaryllis, sneaks out of the house dressed as a man trying to find her brother Daniel who had a row with their father.  Shei searching in gambling halls and as she leaves is set upon by a thief but saved by Gregory who carries her (him) to his rooms.  Their it becomes obvious that Rylla is female but she refuses to give Gregory her name for fear of ruining her reputation. The story from here takes off as Gregory is in pursuit and Rylla is determined to avoid him.  This is very cute with some sexy scenes and romance.  There is little Christmasy feeling except for wanting the brother home for the holiday. Deet’s rating: 4, Sexy Rating: 5, Christmasy Feeling: 1

 

In Sweet Ruin, will the festive spirit of the season sweep Meredith Duran’s feisty heroine beneath the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue whose carelessness soiled her reputation and sent her into exile in London?

**

Georgiana Trent fell in love with Lucas Godwin and then he left her without even a good-bye.  Now he is back at the behest of her diplomat father to find a stolen letter at their Christmas house party.  This is a story of misunderstanding and deceit. This well constructed story is full of Christmas spirit as we are made to feel like participants in the holiday house party.  Romance is slow to overcome the past wrongs but there is a sexy and lovely turnabout. Deet’s Rating: 5, Sexy Rating:5, Christmasy Feeling:5

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Recent Release Review- (anthology) An Amish Christmas Gift by A. Clipston, R. Reid and K. Irvin

Title:  An Amish Christmas Gift

An Amish Christmas gift

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Author: Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kelly Irvin

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Oct. 6, 2015

Pages: 401

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston

Naomi has begun to believe that she isn’t meant to find love, but she might receive more than she has ever hoped for this Christmas.

Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches, Naomi is certain that her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family’s quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

**

This opening story was very predictable. Even when there was a crisis I didn’t for a moment feel anxiety for the protagonist. Caleb’s daughter, Susan, was so over the top manic most of the time that if this wasn’t an Amish story I would think the girl was getting into the family liquor cabinet. The dialog was rather stilted and the writing not very professional. Have you guessed that I was not happy with this novella? This is my first “Amish Romance” and I was hoping for so much more. Perhaps in the other novellas in this book?

Deet’s rating:2 Sexy Rating: 0 (it’s an Amish story)

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid

Abigail has driven other suitors away, but can Micah find a way to show her he cares?

Being a caregiver for Micah Zook’s grandmother is the answer to Abigail’s prayers. In fact, the elderly lady keeps finding ways to set Abigail up with her grandson. Despite Abigail’s constant chatter, Micah realizes he’s beginning to care for her—until he makes a decision that leaves her feeling betrayed. With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal the true feelings of his heart?

**

This novella was more to my liking.  The characters were well drawn.  Abigail was talkative to the point of being annoying but she truly had a warm, generous heart.  Micah had reasons to be stressed and annoyed with Abigail but he too had a kind generous nature.  This was a very sweet love story as well as a lesson in Christmas good will.  Deet’s Rating: 4, Sexy Rating:0

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

Frannie Mast returns to Bee County for Christmas, but her heart stays back in Missouri with an Englisch farm boy.

Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt’s new husband Mordecai. After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case. Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?

**

Again a well written story with a look at a different problem that might arise in the Amish Community.  I had to admire Rocky’s persistence and dedication to winning Frannie.  Deet’s Rating: 4, Sexy Rating:0

Deet’s overall impression:
This is my first foray into this genre of the Amish Romance for that reason it is hard for me to say if these stories are typical of the genre.  As in all genres there are good writers and those who don’t speak to the reader.  In this book I found both.  All the stories were very predictable and each practically beat the reader over the head with the moral of the story. For those reasons I never offered more than a rating of “4”.  I’m not saying I will never read this genre again but I am saying I will definitely do a bit more research before I give it another try.

 

 

 

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Advance Review- The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, et.al.

Title:  The Last Chance Christmas BallThe Last Chance Christmas Ball

Genre: Historical Romance Anthology/Regency

Author: Mary Jo Putney , Jo Beverley , Joanna Bourne , Patricia Rice , Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott, Anne Grace, Susan King

Publisher: Kensington, Sept. 29, 2015 (preorder available)

Pages: 320

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3 some kisses

Description from Amazon.com:

Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Hall is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year…   A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering decorations, and swell of the orchestra, every duchess and debutante, lord and lackey has a hopeful heart. There’s the headstrong heiress who must win back her beloved by midnight—or be wed to another….the spinster whose fateful choice to relinquish love may hold one more surprise for her…a widow yearning to glimpse her long-lost love for even one sweet, fleeting interlude …a charming rake who finds far more than he bargained for. And many other dazzling, romantic tales in this star-studded collection that will fill your heart and spice up your holidays…

**

We start off with Jo Beverly’s Prologue telling us that a Christmas house party is being planned by the Dowager Countess of Holbourne (known as Lady Holly) and her companion Clio Finch. We are privy to those who will be invited; Sarah Langsdale, Edward Stretton (Lady Holly’s son), Roxanne Heyward, Mary Gower and her father, Lord Gabriel Quinfroy, Allie Fenton, Clary Douglas.  We also know of some trouble in Lady Holly’s own family with Kim Stratton, Caro and her husband Camden. Ms. Beverly sets the scene.

  • My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne

 

Nick Lafford is a younger son of a younger son.  Enough in the ton to be invited to house parties.  But that is not why he is here.  He is here to see Claire who has infiltrated the party as an upstairs maid, she is really an accomplished jeweler.  She seems to be a thief looking for jewels.  She broke off an affair with Nick several months earlier and he does not know what she is up to but he will find out and perhaps help her or win her back or both.

There is romance, mystery and suspense in this short story by Ms. Bourne who is a master of those genres.  There is an evil villain and a sweet innocent in need of protection. The addition of this side story was a bit of distraction since I really wanted more of Nick and Claire in this short story.  I wished this story had been a full length book as so often happens to me when I read an accomplished author’s short story. Rating: 4.5-stars, Sexy rating: 4, Christmasy Feeling: 5

  • A Scottish Carol by Susan King

 

Henry Seton and Clarinda Hay have a history but they were torn apart by the Napoleonic War and now in a blinding Christmas Eve blizzard are stranded together at Henry’s estate.  Will they renew their once thwarted love affair?

I liked this short story of two souls who are destined to be together and who complement each other.  Rating: 4-stars, Sexy Rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 5

 

  • Christmas Larks by Patricia Rice

 

Ivo Whitney-Harris was wounded in the war. After 5 years, on his way home he is attacked by highwayman and suffers a serious head wound. Sarah Jane Langsdale, at 17 years old, watched her childhood friend, Ivo, become betrothed to another, breaking her heart. When she discovers him, ill and suffering, in a house destined to be an orphanage she attempts to nurse him back to health.

Another story of a reunion during the holiday season.  I liked the plot but thought it was slim on holiday feeling. A cold abandoned house does not give off a warm Christmas vibe.  Rating: 4, Sexy Rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 1

 

  • In The Bleak Midwinter by Mary Jo Putney

 

Kim Stratton has been sequestering himself in the tower attached to the family home since he arrived home from the war all scared and broken.  He has refused to see anyone except his loyal batman Jamie who has helped him recover.  Before the war he had an understanding and was in love with neighbor Roxie.  But now he has refused to see or speak with her for the past 6 months.  Roxie is running out of patience and will see what she can do to end this nightmare.

War leaves its mark not only on the soldier but also on those left behind.  This story is a tribute to those who serve and those who pick up the pieces.  It is a lovely story but with little holiday feeling.  It could have been any time of the year. Rating: 4.5, Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit, Christmasy feeling: 2

 

  • Old Flames Dance by Cara Elliot

 

In this story we are treated to two romances.  Brothers Kim and Edward and Lily and Roxie.  Now Roxie loves Kim but Kim has been wounded in the war and has not allowed any family or his betrothed, Roxie, to see him.  Edward asks Roxie if the two of them could announce their betrothal and have a marriage of convenience if Kim still refuses to see her.  Meanwhile Lily, who once loved Edward and since has married twice and been widowed twice, comes to the Christmas ball.  Yes you guessed it.  She loves Edward and wants to marry him.  How will this work out?  Rating:4 ,Sexy rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 1

  • A Season for Marriage by Nicola Cornick

 

Caroline Camden is married to Piers Camden for 6 months and they have been struggling.  She loves him but he is afraid to love her because he saw his parents totally neglect everyone and everything because of their obsessive love for each other.  Will the Christmas Ball bring them together?

Rating: 4, sexy rating: 4, Christmasy feeling: 1

 

  • Miss Finch and the Angel by Jo Beverley

 

Lord Gabriel comes at the summons from his Godmother, Lady Holly.  She wants him to dance with all the “Last Chance” single ladies at the ball so that other gentleman will want to do likewise. (Yeah, right, Lady Holly.  We’re not falling for that ploy.)  Gabriel falls for it but he seems intriqued by Clio Finch, so much so that there is a chance he will forget his mission from Lady Holly.

Gabriel is my favorite character in the entire book; Clio not so much. Clio’s character and background was not developed as well as Gabriel’s. However, this was a sweet story and proved that the Last chance Ball was working its magic. Rating: 4, Sexy rating: 2, Christmasy Feeling: 2

 

  • Mistletoe Kisses by Anne Gracie

 

In this story a spinster is forced to leave her home to become a teacher but she is looking forward to one last Christmas alone in her childhood home.  A raging snowstorm has caused an accident on the road and a gentleman and his sister are stranded at the only home until the storm passes. Will love bloom for John and Allie? This story has the most Christmasy feeling. Rating: 4.5, Sexy rating: 3, Christmasy feeling: 5+

Deet’s summary:  I enjoyed each of these sweet stories.  Only three had the feeling of the Christmas season but each story was full of romance and warmth.  Lady Holly was a fairy godmother and matchmaker extrodinere and I found her no nonsense demeanor to be delightful.  Each of the stories are related to the theme of the Christmas Ball as the last chance for spinsters to land a husband.   The stories are short and will be a delightful addition to your holiday reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Anthology, Book review, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance, Mary Jo Putney, Romance

Holiday Book Review- Wanton Christmas Wishes (Anthology)

Title: Wanton Christmas Wishes (Kindle Anthology)

Wanton Christmas Wishes

Genre: Erotic Romance/ Holiday

Author: Monica Burns, Madelynne Ellis, Samantha Kane, Eliza Lloyd, Jess Michaels, Kate Pierce

Publisher: Amazon digital, 2014

Source: Free for review from the authors

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Welcome to Wanton Christmas Wishes, an offering from six bestselling erotic historical romance authors. Dukes, soldiers, lords and gentlemen court and seduce beautiful heroines and make all their wishes come true. These tales are the perfect bite to get you in a festive mood…

HIS TO COMMAND by bestselling author Monica Burns. Prequel to the Self-Made Men Series. A Christmas Eve blizzard and one small act of discipline compromises Charlotte Clayworth, but she refuses John Fordyce’s proposal. Now, years later, the Self-made Men decide to reunite the lovers for one more wanton Christmas wish.

THE KISSING BOUGH by NYT and USA Today bestselling author Madelynne Ellis. Viola Marsh has been forced to live an austere life, locked away under the watchful eye of her spinster aunt. Only on Christmas Eve is she allowed her freedom, to take part in the tradition of wassailing. Cousins, Percy Gilling and Lord William Ricborough share a close and special relationship, and they require a very particular woman to satisfy their needs. What they’re not expecting is to find her poised beneath the mistletoe on a wintery hilltop.

HAMISH by Samantha Kane. Book One of The 93rd Highlanders. During the Crimean War, injured Captain Hamish Fletcher is sent to the hospital in Scutari, where he finds his old friend and lover Dr. Phineus Harper treating the wounded. Finn can keep him at the hospital until Christmas. Will it be enough time to convince widowed nurse Edith Lambeth to grant both men their Christmas wishes?

ALL A MISTRESS WANTS by Eliza Lloyd. Eloisa Larkin wishes for the one thing she can’t have—the love of the powerful Duke of Sterling. Being his mistress provides many luxuries but being hopelessly devoted to a man who loves another as left her feeling alone and the last thing she wants is to spend Christmastide with him and his family. A CHRISTMAS KISS by Jess Michaels. Tricked into spending time alone with the husband who made it clear he doesn’t care about her, the Countess of Blackgrove, Amelia, has no idea how to react. But Stephen only wants seduction… and love.

LOVING MICHAEL by NYT and USA Today bestselling author Kate Pearce. Since returning from the peninsular wars, Michael Waterstone has learned to live within restricted boundaries and taught himself not to yearn for what he can never have. Fortunately for him, ex-courtesan Angelique Delisle is no respecter of boundaries of any kind, and offers him a provocative Christmas wager that might change his life forever…

**

All six of these very sexy stories, set in 19th century, are written by accomplished authors in the erotic/romance genre. If you are looking for some spicy, easy reading on a cold winter’s night to warm you up, then you have come to the right book. There is sizzling romance here as well as some kinky stuff with mild BDSM and ménage. They are all short reads that will not take up your time during the holiday rush but may leave you with a smile.

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4 Thursdays’Til Christmas- Baby It’s Cold Outside (anthology)

Title: Baby Its Cold Outside

Baby its cold outside

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Anthology

Author: Jennifer Probst, Emma Chase, Kristen Proby, Melody Anne, Kate Meader

Publisher: Pocketbooks, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5++

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Descriptions from Amazon.com:

Outside it may be frosty, so turn the heat way up with these stories of desire! 1. Searching For You-Can a determined woman executive and a playboy billionaire survive being stranded together in a snowstorm? Jennifer Probst depicts an encounter almost too hot to handle…

**Not very Christmasy but definitely snowy. This was my least favorite of the 5 stories. Still it rates a “5” on the hotness scale.

Deet’s Rating:3

2. It’s A Wonderful Tangled Christmas Carol-Drew and Kate play an encore to Tangled in this sexy take on a “Christmas Carol” by Emma Chase. When a Christmas Eve argument condemns Drew to a troubled night, three dream women teach him that no gift could be more tantalizing than Kate…

**Yes, indeed, another hot one. This one just oozed Christmasy feeling and lots of hot sex. But it was just a rewrite of an old tale.

Deet’s Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 5

3. Saving Grace-With Kristen Proby, ski slopes are quite delightful. Grace Douglas is sure she’ll never learn to ski, but instructor Jacob Baxter could teach her lessons of a different kind…

**Oh yum! A hot as hades ski instructor with a British accent. Yes please! Lust at first sight and a happily-ever-after. Wintery feeling was there but not Christmas.

Deet’s Rating: 4

4. Safe In His Arms-Can a southern California transplant survive Montana’s deep snows? Melody Anne, author of the bestselling Andersons series, melts the icy drifts completely away with the heat between sexy Hawk Winchester and brand-new teacher Natalie Duncan…

**Three meddling old biddies arrange this match and it just sizzles. Even some fire engine sex. There is Christmasy pageants and family fun at a cabin.

Deet’s Rating: 4

Christmasy feeling: 5

5. Rekindle The Flame-What could be hotter than a firefighter? Kate Meader shows how hot it can get as Beck Rivera and heiress-turned-tattoo-artist Darcy Cochrane discover that nothing ignites holiday flames like rekindling a lost love…

**What’s not to like about a hot-as-hades fireman who loves our emotionally damaged heroine? Nothing! This is an uptown girl who turns into a tattoo artist and insists it’s not because she has Daddy issues. Really? Anyway, this is another scorching read complete with Firehouse sex. Nothing much in the way of Christmas but it is darn cold.

Deet’s Rating: 3.5

sexy_santa_4-257x400

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7 Thursdays ‘Til christmas Review-Christmas Brides by Enoch, Hawkins, Essex and Bowman

 

Title: Christmas Brides

Christmas Brides

Genre: Holiday Historical Romance Anthology

Author: Suzanne Enoch, Alexandra Hawkins, Elizabeth Essex, Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St Martin’s Press, Sept 30, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling:4.5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:

One Hot Scot by Suzanne Enoch

Duncan Lenox lives surrounded by enemies, a MacLawry in a land of Campbells. But when an English beauty has nowhere else to turn, he feels obligated to help. Now that they must spend a night together in an abandoned cottage while a storm rages on, will their mutual passion save—or doom—them both? **

Heiress, Julia Prentiss is blindly running away from a kidnapper bent on forcing her to marry him. He wants her money. She stumbles upon Duncan Lennox when she is thrown by her horse. Duncan brings her to his hunting cabin and listens to her story. He reluctantly agrees to help her. This is all taking place just before Christmas. But that is the only taste of Christmas in this well written story.

Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 0

 

Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins

Lady Ellen is outraged when she learns her dowry’s been increased by her dad, eager to draw every bachelor in England to her front door. So when Lord Swainsbury comes knocking, Ellen assumes he’s another dreadful fortune hunter. Little does she know that Swainsbury has completely fallen for her—body, heart, and soul…

**

Derrick Martin, Earl of Swainsbury, is on a mission and it is not to marry Ellen Courtland. But that being neither here nor there he falls in love with Ellen. Will the villain be found out at the Christmas Festivities? And who is this cad? A delight of a mystery story as well as a delightful romance and filled with holiday cheer.

Rating: 4.5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea. Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, so she accepts Ian’s hasty offer only for the security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm rolls in, things start to heat up between them…and they might just find true, honest-to-goodness love…

**

Ian doesn’t want to marry but his older brother has fallen from a horse and injured himself to the degree that Ian’s noble father feels he will be unable to recover and produce an heir. Ian is directed to marry immediately and produce an heir. Anne is not a beauty, she is rather plain and her prospects for marriage are not good. When these two meet, chaperoned by Anne’s mother and father, at Ian’s seaside home at Christmas time, Anne thinks she may be able to tolerate a marriage to the handsome officer because she loves his home and he will be off to sea for months at a time. Neither expects love to figure into their relationship. A sweet story of falling in love when not expected. Very christmasy.

Rating: 4.5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

 

It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman

Oliver Townsende intends to avoid the hordes of marriage-minded misses at a friend’s holiday party. When he meets Miss Cerian Blake, who’s dodging her own unwanted set of admirers, the two decide to join forces and fake an infatuation to keep their suitors at bay. But when mistletoe becomes involved, will their Christmastime prank turn into a love to last all seasons?

**

Oh those Mistletoe kisses! Oliver meets Cerian in a closet while both are running and hiding from unwanted suitors at a holiday houseparty. They are attracted but eventually find out that they are from different levels in society and are unsuitable. Still…they both have a problem ducking the advances of those who are relentless in their pursuit: Cerian because she is beautiful and wealthy, Oliver because he is handsome and ultimately eligible. A fluffy gray cat plays a role of matchmaker. This is a totally absorbing and delightful story. Plenty of Christmas cheer.

Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Deet’s over view:

This is precisely the kind of anthology I like to read during the holidays. It has loads of holiday cheer all wrapped up in superb writing by these four wonderful authors. So curl up with this book and a cup of hot cocoa and watch the snow come down.

This post starts Deet’s “Thursdays ‘Til Christmas” Event.  Each Thursday I will post a holiday related post up until the week of Christmas. I’m hoping this count-down will get us all in the spirit of the season.

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Review, Anthology- Talk of The Ton by James, London, Hagen-Lee & Navin

Title: Talk of the Ton

Talk of the Ton

 Genre: Historical Romance/Anthology

Author: Eloisa James, Julia London, Rebecca Hagen-Lee, Jacqueline Navin

Publisher: Berkley Sensation, 2009

Source: purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from authors:

A Proper English Woman by Eloisa James

It’s the story of a reluctant bridegroom (engaged since childhood, and hasn’t seen his fiancée in years), a bride who’s losing her patience, and a wild night in which the said bridegroom meets a wicked, delicious Frenchwoman…or is she?

**Eloisa James does not disappoint in this delightful novella involving misinterpreted comments, scandalous gossip and a masquerade.   This story is well plotted and sensuous. Rating:5-stars

The Vicar’s Widow by Julia London

In 1816 Darien wildly kisses Kate, the Vicar’s wife at a holiday party.   Three years later, he is the toast of the Ton and she is a widow that he still desires. However,(debutante) Emily wants Darien to offer for her, so she spreads rumors to eliminate her rival by turning the Vicar’s Widow into the TALK OF THE TON.

**Emily is young, naïve and has her sights set on Darien, Lord Montgomery but she notices his interest in Kate, the vicar’s widow, and sets about to create scandalous gossip so that she can be successful in her pursuit.  This is another delight of a novella and romance at its best from a genius of the genre. Rating: 5-stars

Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagen Lee

Lady India Burton has just returned from years of captivity in a sultan’s harem, her reputation is in ruins.  But she proves a seductive challenge to a staunchly single member of the Free Fellows League.

**Darker than the previous two novellas, Ms Hagen-Lee’s offering concerns a woman who had been kidnapped and forced into slavery and her unlikely return and acceptance into the Regency society.  Not my favorite although well written.  Rating: 4-stars

Miss Jenny Alt’s First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin

Companion to her aunt and cousin, Jenny does not see marriage in her future.  With many believing that she is a man-hater and bluestocking, Jenny’s dance card remains quite empty…until a handsome earl comes to London in search of a wife.

**Rather predictable but still a light and lovely novella. Once again we have a young naïve woman spreading rumors that she hopes will give her an advantage with the handsome lord.  Of course this tactic fails and the hero and heroine manage to get together. Rating 4-stars

Overview: It seems that in anthologies there are always some exceptional offerings and some not so exceptional offerings.  In this anthology we are treated to four novellas that will keep the reader engrossed from the first until the last.

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2 Fridays til’ Christmas Review- The Heart of Christmas by Balogh, Cornick & Milan

Title:  The Heart of Christmas (anthology)

The Heart of Christmas

Genre: Regency Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, Courtney Milan

Publisher: Harlequin Books, 2009

Source:  Purchase

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4.5

Descriptions in bold type from amazon.com:

A Handful of Gold(1998)
Mary Balogh

Not only is Julian Dare dashing and wealthy, but he’s the heir to an earldom. So what do you get a man who has everything? Innocent and comely Verity Ewing plans on giving Julian her heart—the most precious gift of all.

**

Verity Ewing is in desperate financial straits.  Her sister is seriously ill and requires doctors and medicine.  Her clergyman father has died leaving the two sisters and their mother penniless.  Verity takes on an alias as Blanche and gets a job as an Opera dancer.  The pay helps but it is not enough so she agrees to acting as mistress to Viscount Julian Dare for the week of Christmas for 500 pounds.

Mary Balogh has created a wonderful Christmas story of a desperate woman and a kind thoughtful man.  The writing is superb, the characterization is perfect and the romance is heart stopping.  This story brims with Christmasy feeling.

Deet’s Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

The Season for Suitors(2005)
Nicola Cornick

After some close encounters with rakes in which she was nearly compromised, heiress Clara Davenport realizes that she needs some expert advice. And who better for the job than Sebastian Fleet, the most notorious rake in town? But the tutelage doesn’t go quite as planned, as both Sebastian and Clara find it difficult to remain objective when it comes to lessons of the heart!

**

Eighteen months ago Clara proposed to Sebastian and was rejected.  Now that she has become not only more beautiful but an heiress, the rakes of the ton will not leave her alone.  Since she feels Sebastian is a safe bet she contacts him to give her lessons in deflecting rakes.  Sebastian refuses but finds he cannot get Clara out of his mind and heart.

Nicola Cornick is a new-to-me author and I have really been missing out on some good writing.  This story is well written, and very romantic.  The sexual tension and attraction is very well done.  It does not have a lot of that Christmas feeling.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

This Wicked Gift(2009)
Courtney Milan

Lavinia Spencer has been saving her hard-earned pennies to provide her family with Christmas dinner. Days before the holiday, her brother is swindled, leaving them owing more than they can ever repay. Until a mysterious benefactor offers to settle the debt. Innocent Lavinia is stunned by what the dashing William White wants in return. Will she exchange a wicked gift for her family’s fortune?

**

William has loved Lavinia from afar and when he sees a chance to assist her and to seduce her he grabs for it.  After ruining her, he can’t live with himself and he is in no position to offer her marriage.  Lavinia loves him but can’t get past his disgust with himself.  Can there ever be any happiness at Christmas or ever for these two poor souls of the working class?

Courtney Milan is one of my favorite authors so it was no surprise to me that I was predisposed to liking this novella.  However, I was blown away by her perfectly nuanced characters and the feeling of reality she generates in regard to the working classes of the regency period.  Her characters are all multidimensional and exquisitely written.  The romance is sublimely sensual. (This novella is a first in the Carhart Series and gives a glimpse of Gareth Carhart whose story is in Proof by Seduction.)

Deet’s Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Deet’s Overview:  There are good anthologies and then there are great ones, this is a great one.  Each story is mesmerizing and although not all have a strong Christmasy feeling they are all simply superb.  I highly recommend this anthology and each of these authors.

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Coming next Friday:  Twas’ The Night Before Mischief

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