Kindle the spirit of the season as four of your favorite storytellers weave tales of love and hope in this charming yuletide collection.
Lord Blakely’s Gift
When Miss Ivy Hunt and Lord Curtis Blakely establish a secret acquaintance, neither can deny that their feelings extend beyond friendship. But as the children of bitter rivals, it will take a Christmas miracle for this star-crossed pair to reach their happily ever after.
A Season of Hope
Following the death of her father, Amelia knows Christmas will be lean. But when circumstances become dire, it is the unexpected arrival of a childhood friend that renews Amelia’s hope both for the future and for love.
Christmas by the Sea
After two years at sea with the Royal Navy, surgeon Joshua Crenshaw longs for a quiet Christmas with his family. But when unrest at home threatens to ruin the holidays, it takes the kindly intervention of a mysterious house sitter to remind them of the true meaning of the season.
Expectations at Canterwood
Marina Rowley is a spinster, Richard Stanhope a war-weary military man. A case of mistaken identity throws them together, but the unexpected stirrings of their hearts lead to an unforgettable holiday romance.
I love reading Christmas books and watching Christmas movies year round. This book is especially fun because it takes place during the Regency Era. The four stories are all very different. They have characters with different social classes, some characters have just met, some are reunited, and some have been married for years. All the stories will have you wanting to grab a blanket and some hot cocoa and immerse yourself in a Regency Christmas.
Lord Blakely’s Gift by Anneka R. Walker
This is a story of a forbidden romance between two feuding families who are brought together at Christmas time by helping others.
Ivy is giving and makes sure that people are cared for. Curtis doesn’t think he can live up to the man his father was, so he really doesn’t even try.
Curtis also seems to think that throwing around money is the best way to help people. I loved that Ivy makes him a better person.
A small disagreement not only tore two families of friends apart, but it also separated a family. In their bitterness, Ivy’s father no longer saw his own mother. He comes off as very petty.
“To be worthy of you must be the greatest endeavor a man could seek.”
A Season Of Hope by Sian Ann Bessey As a child, Amelia would follow her brother and his friend Philip around hoping to join their adventures. Further adventures take the boys away to the West Indies. When Philip returns after five years, he finds his neighborhood greatly changed… as well as his little neighbor Amelia who was now grown up.
I loved the feeling of Christmas in this story. I also loved the characters. Oftentimes novellas feel underdeveloped but this story was very well done.
Christmas By The Sea by Carla Kelly Surgeon William Crenshaw has just returned from two years at sea to his loving wife and children. Instead of having a peaceful Christmas together, he must deal with the mess his siblings have put him in.
I love that this is a story of a couple who has been married for years, with Will gone during many of them, and they still love each other. The conversation Will had with his son Timothy on what love is was very sweet.
Expectations At Canterwood by Krista Lynne Jensen Jensen brings us back to Canterwood in her story. While this story can be read as a standalone, it’s always fun to read a continuity story. The first time I read about Canterwood was in the anthology Christmas Grace, and the vicar and his wife make a reappearance in this book.
Paperback: 240 pages Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (March 2, 2020) Language: English ISBN-10: 1524412236 ISBN-13: 978-1524412234
Andalin is accustomed to her father’s frequent travels—and to being left behind. So when he returns home and instructs her to pack her belongings, she is bewildered—but there is no time for questions as she is whisked away on a mysterious journey under the cover of night.
When their tense flight leads them into the forbidding Black Forest, the pair quickly finds themselves in great peril. With little hope of escape, father and daughter are spared when rescue appears in the form of the mysterious Dark Rider, a notorious deadly highwayman feared by all he meets. But his assistance does not come without a price: he is taking Andalin with him. Now her fate rests in the hands of the enigmatic masked man whose secrets are inescapably tied to the beautiful young woman now in his charge.
The Masked Baron was a unique take on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast during the Regency era with a mystery weaved throughout that I really enjoyed.
At the beginning of the story, Andalin seemed a little spoiled to me. She understood why certain security measures were necessary, yet she spent a whole lot of time complaining about them to people who were only ever nice to her. While it took me a bit to warm up to Andalin due to her childish behaviour, I did end up liking her and her curious, forthright, spunky personality.
“Fear is natural. But ye shouldn’t dwell on it. It can be consuming. It’s better to look for solutions, for peace, for answers. Ye seem like someone who would want answers.”
Ellison is the dark brooding mystery man that everyone wants to know more about. The stories about him as the masked rider continue to grow more elaborate, but how much of it is really true?
“Do not let the bitterness of the past leave no room for reconciliation.”
This book shows us the consequences when people spread stories about other people that aren’t true and how important it is to get to know people for who they really are.
“The only person you will hurt by not forgiving is yourself”