HOW THE DUKE STOLE
CHRISTMAS is one of the best Christmas present ever! It could
hardly fail, with such stellar authors, but it's even better than I hoped!
There are four stories, which can be read in any order as they are not
interconnected, and they run the gamut of emotions.
In MEET ME IN MAYFAIR by Tessa Dare, Miss Louisa must find a
wealthy husband at the last ball before Christmas, or else she and her
family lose their home by New Year's Day. James Standish, the Duke of
Thorndale, is the villain who wants to evict them, and to her dismay,
Louisa must waltz with the enemy. This is such a delightful tale with
beautiful descriptions of Mayfair at Christmastime. It is delightfully
romantic, cleverly plotted, and brilliant dialogues highlight this most
charming, and very Christmassy romance which I read with a smile
plastered on my face the entire time.
THE DUKE OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT by Sarah MacLean is the longest
novella and a most ingenious retelling of A Christmas Carol. The Duke
of Allryd, our Scrooge, Eben, meets his ghost of Christmas past: Lady
Jacqueline Mosby who left him to his ledgers twelve years ago. I love
Ms. MacLean's take on the ghosts because there was not a spirit in
sight, but rather ghosts of loss and regret. This is a very emotional
story that had me sniffling copiously, and the characters are so
wonderfully drawn, that I'm hoping that Charles Lawton, Eben's
business partner, will have his story one day; he is so charismatic!
HEIRESS ALONE by Sophie Jordan is the author's sexy spin on Home
Alone as Annis Ballister is entirely forgotten by her family when a
snowstorm derails their Christmas plans and she is left to fend for
herself. But their neighbor Calder, the Duke of Sinclair, will not leave a
damsel in distress alone, even if he doubts of her good intentions. A
little warning here: the blistering attraction between Annis and Calder
could be hazardous to your e-reader! This is a steamy yet very sweet
and lovely story, while our couple faces all sorts of dangers -- great
and small -- for a magical Highland romance.
Then off to New York with Joanna Shupe's A CHRISTMAS IN CENTRAL
PARK as Miss Rose Walker fights to keep her job as an advice
columnist: Mrs. Walker, the Martha Graham of the Gilded Age, is partly
a fraud. No one must know, especially not the publisher Duke
Havermeyer; a real Scrooge albeit a sexy one. Rose is a spunky one
indeed, and I was surprised at how bold she was. This novella is
extremely fast-paced, as Rose and Duke battle misunderstandings,
secrets, and their undeniable attraction.
Sarah MacLean even includes a special gift for us: her family's recipe
for shortbread! What I appreciated the most about this anthology is
that the novellas are all really Christmas stories, imbued with an
undeniable historical Yuletide feel. HOW THE DUKE STOLE CHRISTMAS is a new holiday
classic that is sure to be cherished for years to come by historical
Christmas magic is in the air... From the ballrooms of
London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy
streets of Gilded Age New York, four bestselling authors
whip up some unforgettable romance...with a little help
from some enchanted shortbread.
“Meet Me in Mayfair” by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches
a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid,
heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from
their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to
switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with
the enemy: the horrid, heartless—and unexpectedly
handsome—Thorndale himself. Now the duke's holding her
future in his hands...and he's not letting go.
“The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for
holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm—the only two
things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is
full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to
see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single
Christmas, Eben can’t resist the woman he never stopped
loving…or the future they'd once been promised. It will
take a miracle to convince her to stay…but if ever there
were a time for miracles, it’s Christmas…
"Heiress Alone" by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister's family leaves her behind in the
rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself
stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands
terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for
winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly
hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss ...
until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the
danger of brigands and snowstorms.
“Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker’s weekly column
for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column's
author, can’t even boil water. When the paper’s owner,
Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose
must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a
cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears
her perfect plan is failing—especially when Duke’s
attentions make her feel anything but professional. To
save her career will she give up her chance at love?