Title: 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)
Source: Free for review from the publisher
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