… and here come my 2014 Historical Christmas recommends part two.
‘What a Lady Needs for Christmas’ by Grace Burrowes
To escape a scandal, Lady Joan Flynn flees to her family’s estate in the Scottish Highlands. She needs a husband by Christmas, or the holidays will ring in nothing but ruin.
Practical, ambitious mill owner Dante Hartwell offers to marry Joan, because a wellborn wife is his best chance of gaining access to aristocratic investors.
As Christmas—and trouble—draw nearer, Dante and Joan’s marriage of convenience blossoms into unexpected intimacy, for true love often hides beneath the most unassuming holiday wrapping…
REVIEW: I loved this story so much!
This particular story had a hero to die for. I mean, this man was such a good man, an understanding, practical and logical sort. It’s not easy to find that kind in any period, let alone in Victorian England, but our heroine is one lucky woman and she knows it, so I’m not surprised that she fell for him.
When it comes to that familiar trope of marriage of convenience, we’ve probably read thousands of them, but Grace Burrowes turns this tale on its head by pairing two people from vastly different backgrounds and temperaments, yet both brutally honest and acceptable of each other within one train ride.
Dante with his children is catching a train to Ballater as he fails to find a wife among the beau monde society.
Lady Joan Flynn is desperate to flee to Balfour House because she feels that she had disgraced her family and is faced with a dilemma of how to fix this problem.
As Dante comes to her aid more than once during her trip to Scotland, they both come to realize that each is an answer to the other’s dilemma.
Grace Burrowes is my hero. No joke. She writes stories that are so relatable and could apply to any one of us, regardless of the time setting.
I loved everything about this story from the pace, plot and characterization. This was one sweet, tender and heartwarming Christmas read! Highly recommending it to all of you but especially to those that have never read this author. Time for you to start and may as well be this one.
‘A Holiday Gamble’ by Jane Feather
Edward Vasey, otherwise known as Viscount Allenton, is journeying precariously through a snowstorm one night when his coach is overtaken by highwaymen. Robbed and stranded, Edward takes refuge at Selby Hall, where he meets a spirited beauty who may steal something more—his heart.
As passion flares between them, Edward uncovers a shocking secret that threatens to tear them apart…but will this be enough to chill their steamy love on a cold winter’s eve?
REVIEW: This is a short story that was originally published in ‘Snowy Night with a Stranger’ anthology which I never read before so I’m glad that these authors decided to publish their stories separately.
This is such a great short novella for all of you bookworms that have never read this author. I love all of her books and highly recommend you read her stories.
In this story we have an awesome hero that is back in England after a long absence while our heroine is in a predicament of sorts.
Ms. Feather manages to fill this short story with some mystery, quick pace and an entertaining plot, while still giving us a great characterization of our hero and heroine. If you like your hero and heroine sharp and witty, strong in their convictions and both very likable to boot, then this story’s for you.
‘When Sparks Fly’ by Sabrina Jeffries
STORY: Plain, bookish Elinor Bancroft is traveling with her aunt and young cousins to spend the holidays with her father, when a carriage mishap leaves the party stranded at the remote manor of Lord Martin Thorne. Also known as “the Black Baron,” he has no patience for invalids or spoiled heiresses, and children are usually terrified of him. But he gives them refuge during the snowstorm, and to keep the children out of his way Elinor helps them turn the sparse manor into a warm holiday haven for Christmas.
Lord Thorne is none too happy about playing host to four children and two women at his least favorite time of the year. But sparks fly whenever he and Elinor are together, and pretty soon they both realize that Christmas takes on a whole new glow when you share it with the one you love.
REVIEW: This is another short story that was originally published in ‘Snowy Night with a Stranger’ anthology which I never read before so I’m glad that these authors decided to publish their stories separately.
I actually liked the heroine because she was not the stereotypical, blonde, beautiful and skinny. Our heroine wears spectacles and is a bit chubby, while our hero sounded like young and attractive Mr. Scrooge. Spoiler Alert of sorts: Charles Dickens makes a cameo appearance and I loved it!
The story is very entertaining, the plot a bit mysterious and the romance sweet. But what I enjoyed most about this story were all the secondary characters in it and the wonderful Christmas traditions that Ms. Jeffries describes so well.
If you’re in a mood to watch some sparks fly as these two assume who and what the other is, please pick this romance and have some fun reading it.
Melanie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher