This is my review of Mistletoe Christmas, which I spotlighted a few days ago on this blog.
Mistletoe Christmas is an anthology consisting of four stories, all set in England, 1815, and evolving around the Duke of Greystoke’s Annual Christmas Revelry, always the most sought after party invitation of the season. The stories are written by four different authors, Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley.
All four stories transport us to Regency England at Christmas time. There are some sex scenes, for those who wish to avoid them.
In A Mistletoe Kiss, by Eloisa James, the main character, Cressida, is the long-suffering victim of her abusive father, the Duke of Greystoke, who has used her for years to plan his famous Revelry. Cressida’s growth as a person and evolving ability to see her true self and gain some confidence was well done. The romance with Elias was a little over the top as he suddenly and instantly fell in love with her although he’d known her for years. It was a touch unbelievable, but overall it was a very nice romance. 4 stars.
Wishing Under The Mistletoe by Christi Caldwell brings a little of “A Christmas Carol” vibe. Isabelle and Cyrus’s relationship ended because he became completely wrapped up in the idea of amassing a fortune, supposedly for her. Ten years later, they meet again at the Revelry and sparks are still flying. This is the story of how an “Ebenezer Scrooge” type of character has a chance to get his lost love back. I found it a satisfying Christmas story. 5 stars.
Compromise Under the Mistletoe by Janna MacGregor is the story of a marriage torn apart. Caroline and Stephen are reunited at the Christmas Revelry. They are only together because they have to pretend to be a happy couple for the Duke so Caroline can gain access to her trust fund. I found this to be a bit much. The reason for reuniting was to get money, and the reason they broke up in the first place was because Caroline wasn’t getting enough attention. It all seemed simple and selfish, and not in any way based on a real marriage. 2.5 stars.
Mischief and Mistletoe by Erica Ridley is the well done story of Miss Louisa Harcourt, who is told by her mother that the Revelry is her last chance to find a husband. Determined to make her mother happy. Louisa entertains her less than ideal marriage candidates, although her real desire is to write and publish poetry. When she meets Ewan, a fellow poet, at the Revelry, she faces a choice between happiness and duty. I really enjoyed this one as it showcased a woman with interests and ambitions other than marriage. 5 stars.
Overall, this anthology earns four stars. It transports us to the Christmas season.
I received a free copy of this book from Avon Books via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Eloisa James, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, wrote her first novel after graduating from Harvard, but alas, it was rejected by every possible publisher. After she got an MPhil from Oxford, a PhD from Yale, and a job as a Shakespeare professor, she tried again, with much greater success. In 2013 she won a Rita Award for Best Romance Novella. She teaches Shakespeare in the English department at Fordham University in New York. She is the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.
Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of The Bad Luck Bride. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.
Christi Caldwell is the USA Today bestselling author of more than ten series, including Lost Lords of London, Sinful Brides, The Wicked Wallflowers, and Heart of a Duke. She blames novelist Judith McNaught for luring her into the world of historical romance. When Christi was at the University of Connecticut, she began writing her own tales of love–ones where even the most perfect heroes and heroines had imperfections. She learned to enjoy torturing her couples before they earned their well-deserved happily ever after. Christi lives in Southern Connecticut, where she spends her time writing, chasing after her son, and taking care of her twin princesses-in-training. Fans who want to keep up with the latest news and information can sign up for her newsletter at www.ChristiCaldwell.com.
Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty historical romance novels. Her popular series include the Dukes of War, Rogues to Riches, and Magic and Mayhem.