A Christmas Promise – Review

by Joanna Barker, Annette Lyon, Jennifer Moore

ISBN-13 : 978-1952611025
Paperback : 304 pages
Publisher : Mirror Press (November 17, 2020)

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THE TWO BELLS OF CHRISTMAS by Joanna Barker
Roland Hastings made a promise to his father: to marry and carry on the family line. But after a year of searching, he has given up hope of finding the right woman. Anticipating a quiet Christmas with his mother, Roland is frustrated to learn she has organized an entire house party to help him find a bride. Cassandra Bell arrives for the house party with her twin sister Vivian, who has set her heart on winning a proposal from the eligible Mr. Hastings. But when Vivian grows ill, she begs Cassie to switch places with her and keep the other conniving ladies away from Mr. Hastings. Cassie reluctantly takes on the role of her poised and proper twin, but things become much more complicated when Roland begins to take an interest in the spunky and unconventional Cassie…

PROMISE ME AGAIN by Annette Lyon
Secret wedding plans. A powerful brother who will go to any lengths to stop them. Can love truly conquer all? Miriam and Jacob have loved each other for as long as they can remember. They want to wed, but Jacob’s older brother Norman forbids it. Deciding to do so secretly without his blessing, Miriam and Jacob make plans to marry on Christmas Eve at a church several hours’ journey away. Despite their efforts, Norman’s long reach finds them. Miriam’s love is tested to the very limit when she is forced into a devil’s bargain with him. She agrees only to spare Jacob pain, but can their hearts find their way back to each other no matter what—or who—stands in their way?

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Jennifer Moore
The war is over, but Lucy Breckenridge’s plans for a perfect Christmas are ruined when Captain James Stewart brings news that her father will not return in time for the holiday. Determined to not miss yet another Christmas with her father, Lucy starts on a journey for London with her trusty maid and manservant. Learning they have gone, James follows, hoping to stop her before she discovers the true reason for Colonel Breckenridge’s absence. Along the way, the two join in local holiday celebrations and learn that families have flaws, friendship requires trust, and Christmas traditions can be created in the most unexpected places.


I love Christmas Regency books, and Timeless Anthologies always brings together such great authors. I highly recommend reading this one!

The Two Bells of Christmas by Joanna Barker

Joanna Barker is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are always interesting, and I love her characters.

Roland Hasting’s mother has decided that it’s time for Roland to marry. She throws a house party which includes approved females for him to choose from. Cassandra is not one of the approved women, but she steps in as a companion for her sister Vivian when their mother gets sick. Unfortunately, Vivian becomes ill and convinces Cassie to pretend to be her so she doesn’t lose her chance with Mr Hastings.

I really liked that Cassie and Roland spent so much time talking and getting to know each other. Everything felt natural with their relationship and not rushed.

I often feel like it’s harder to connect to shorter stories, but I loved this one so much!


Promise Me Again by Annette Lyon

Miriam is the daughter of a sheep farmer and is in love with her wealthier neighbor Jacob. Jacob returns her feelings and wants to marry her, but his controlling brother Norman stands in their way.

Norman is the true definition of a villain, and it is amazing what lengths he will go through to get what he wants.

Some of this story seemed a little far fetched, but I liked that I didn’t know what would happen next.


A Christmas Journey by Jennifer Moore

Lucy Breckenridge dreams about having a real family Christmas at home with her father. With the war finally over, it looks like her dream will finally come true. When the carriage finally arrives, instead of Colonial Breckenridge, it is Captain James Stewart with a message that the Colonial cannot get away from London.

Lucy decides if her father cannot have Christmas at home, she will bring Christmas to her father in London. Captain Stewart feels it is his duty to go along, because he hasn’t told her the entire truth about her father.

I love that Moore always writes characters with emotions that are so raw and real.

I found the Christmas album that told of Christmas traditions throughout the world interesting. There are so many ways people celebrate Christmas, and I love how this journey added even more to the special book.

A Note of Change – Review

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by Esther Hatch, Nichole Van, and Annette Lyon

File Size: 3098 KB
Print Length: 261 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Mirror Press (February 25, 2020)
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B083SS2P5Y

Can a single note change a life, start a romance, or drive two people apart?

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch
Now that Harrison Chase has finally made his fortune as a working man, he will risk it all to save his factory workers from starvation. In the middle of his charge to reverse the Corn Laws, his housekeeper helpfully mails a letter she finds languishing amongst his things. A six-year-old love letter. With no other choice, he rushes back to his childhood home on Christine Stone’s estate. If he can’t get his hands on that letter before she does, Christine will discover what a pitiful and pretentious fool he had been. The one thing he hadn’t counted on was the mail being delayed. Now Harrison must decide which is worse—waiting with Christine as he not-so-slowly falls back in love with her, or leaving, knowing once she reads his letter he can never return.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van
Viola Brodure longs for something more from her life. So when that something more arrives in the form of a letter from the renowned Highland Poet, Ethan Penn-Leith, she seizes her chance. After all, Mr. Penn-Leith merits every swoon-worthy adjective Viola can muster. What woman wouldn’t want to be in her shoes? But after journeying to Scotland and meeting the poet himself, Viola faces a difficult question: What happens if you don’t want the thing you thought you did?

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon
As an orphan whose only home has been the Foundling Hospital, Rose is tasked to work in the fine houses of Bloomsbury. She knows her duty—take care of the family upstairs and never forget her place. But her traitorous heart won’t follow the rules, and she falls in love with Oliver Withey, a man far above her station. Though she feels like she’s found a home in Oliver’s arms, his mother has other plans for her oldest son—and marrying a servant isn’t one of them. She’ll do anything to keep Rose and Oliver apart, including making a devil’s bargain that ensures they’ll never see each other again. When a mysterious old woman appears, she seems to have answers to Rose’s past. Could those long-held secrets hold the key to the future with Oliver that Rose longs for?


Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch

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Harrison Chase was the steward’s son who left to try to make something of himself. Christine Stone was the daughter of a wealthy landowner who lived a life of luxury. Six years later a stray letter brings them back together.

“Three days—that should be enough.”

He took three steps before asking. “Enough for what?”

“To make you smile at me again, before you have to go back to living your life for nails.”

Esther Hatch is a master at writing moments between characters. I always enjoy the funny moments but it is the sweet and tender moments that stand out even more. I feel like I hold my breath when I read through some of these beautifully written scenes.

“Behind his eyes was a dark storm of emotions that belied the carefree young man she had once known.”

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van

I like that the hero is not the one you would expect from the beginning of the story, and I liked that the main characters were in their 30s.

I was afraid that Viola and Malcolm’s relationship would be superficial because of their intense first attraction to each other, but it was nice to see them really get to know each other and have a deeper connection.

Naming the dog Beowoof is hilarious! The scenes with Viola, Malcolm, and Beowoof were my favorites, and someone not liking dogs should be a huge red flag.

When I was reading the scene where Viola talks baby talk to Beowoof I wondered what person in their 30s actually did this. Later that day I noticed I was talking the same way to my poodle-mix. I’m in my 30s. Point taken.

 

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon

I liked hearing about the foundling’s home and the contrast with Oliver’s “new money” family, but I wish I had felt more connection with the characters. Maybe if there had been some more scenes when Oliver and Rose were falling in love?

There were also parts of this story that seemed a little far fetched which made it hard to relate to.

 
Waiting for the Post was my favorite story in the book, and I also really enjoyed A Ring of Gold.

Summer Holiday (Timeless Victorian Collection) – Review

summerholiday.jpgWritten by Nancy Campbell Allen, Sarah M. Eden, and Annette Lyon

  • File Size: 2235 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Mirror Press (August 1, 2017)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • ASIN: B072F3L1L3

Purchase from Amazon

From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series, comes our brand new Victorian Romance line, with SUMMER HOLIDAY.

Three brand new Victorian Romance novellas by Nancy Campbell Allen, Sarah M. Eden, and Annette Lyon.

BREAKFAST AT SOMMERPOOL’S by Nancy Campbell Allen:
As Tessa Baker competes for the supervisor promotion at Sommerpool Department and Mercantile, she’s faced with a ridiculous list of tasks to complete in order to “win” the job. Tessa would love to be the first female supervisor ever to work at the Sommerpool, but her competitor is cheating at every turn. Discouraged, Tessa agrees to let David Bellini, a family friend and Italian Conte who is new in town, help her. When she discovers that he’s the new owner of Sommerpool’s, but wants to evaluate the employees unobserved, Tessa has mixed feelings. She soon realizes that she’s falling for David, but what chance does a working-class woman like her have with an Italian Conte?

HOWEVER LONG THE WAIT by Sarah M. Eden:
Carina Herrick says goodbye to the man she hopes to marry, knowing their separation will be temporary. Grant Ambrose is off to follow his dream and become established in business so that he can provide for Carina and a life together. He promises to write; she promises to return his letters. Yet, only a few months pass and already their letters become shorter and fewer. Finally, Carina is forced to give up on Grant if only to protect her breaking heart. Her parents are dead set against her becoming a spinster and insist she accept the proposal of the odious Mr. Baskon. With no hope of another marriage proposal, Carina is forced to make a difficult decision, one that can lead her either to happiness or misery.

THE LAST SUMMER AT IVY HOUSE by Annette Lyon:
Every summer Sarah travels to Ivy House in London as one of the household servants to the Millington family. This summer, she’s particularly looking forward to seeing Jacob, a servant who lives at Ivy House year-round. They’ve been exchanging letters since the previous summer when their friendship deepened. But when Sarah arrives at Ivy House, Jacob seems more reserved around her and less forthcoming. Has she put greater meaning in their budding relationship than she should? When Sarah discovers that Jacob has a dark secret and wants her to give up her dreams in exchange for helping him, she’s not sure if she’s willing to make the sacrifice.


I enjoyed reading the Summer Holiday Timeless Victorian Collection. I have read a number of Timeless Collections and this one fits in well with them.

My favorite story was the second one, However Long The Wait, by Sarah M. Eden which was not a surprise since she is one of my favorite authors. I liked the characters and their connection to each other as well as the storyline. I also liked how realistic it was that they each viewed what had transpired over the last five years differently and instead of confronting each other about it, they just ignored it and moved on.

The theme that stood out in all three stories in the collection was misunderstandings. Misunderstandings can cause people to lose the ones they love and they can ruin your life. In two of the stories, an outsider actually steps in and clears up the misunderstandings between the couples.

I rated this collections 4.5/5 stars and would recommend it.