Holly and Hopeful Hearts
The Bluestocking Belles' 2016 Holiday Boxed Set
When the Duchess of Haverford sends out invitations to a Yuletide house party and a New Year’s Eve ball at her country estate, Hollystone Hall, those who respond know that Her Grace intends to raise money for her favorite cause and promote whatever marriages she can. Eight assorted heroes and heroines set out with their pocketbooks firmly clutched and hearts in protective custody. Or are they?
A Suitable Husband, by Jude Knight
As the Duchess of Haverford’s companion, Cedrica Grenford is not treated as a poor relation and is encouraged to mingle with Her Grace’s guests. Perhaps among the gentlemen gathered for the duchess’s house party, she will find a suitable husband?
Valuing Vanessa, by Susana Ellis
Facing a dim future as a spinster under her mother’s thumb, Vanessa Sedgely makes a practical decision to attach an amiable gentleman who will not try to rule her life.
A Kiss for Charity, by Sherry Ewing
Young widow Grace, Lady de Courtenay, has no idea how a close encounter with a rake at a masquerade ball would make her yearn for love again.
Artemis, by Jessica Cale
Actress Charlotte Halfpenny is in trouble. Pregnant, abandoned by her lover, and out of a job, Charlotte faces eviction two weeks before Christmas. When the reclusive Earl of Somerton makes her an outrageous offer, she has no choice but to accept. Could he be the man of her dreams, or is the nightmare just beginning?
The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, by Jude Knight
James must marry to please his grandfather, the duke, and to win social acceptance for himself and his father’s other foreign-born children. But only Lady Sophia Belvoir makes his heart sing, and to win her he must invite himself to spend Christmas at the home of his father’s greatest enemy.
Christmas Kisses, by Nicole Zoltack
Louisa Wycliff, Dowager Countess of Exeter wants only for her darling daughter, Anna, to find a man she can love and marry. Appallingly, Anna has her sights on a scoundrel of a duke who chases after every skirt he sees. Anna truly thinks the dashing duke cares for her, but her mother has her doubts.
An Open Heart, by Caroline Warfield
Esther Baumann longs for a loving husband who will help her create a home where they will teach their children to value the traditions of their people, but she wants a man who is also open to new ideas and happy to make friends outside their narrow circle. Is it so unreasonable to ask for toe curling passion as well?
Dashing Through the Snow, by Amy Rose Bennett
Headstrong bluestocking, Miss Kate Woodville, never thought her Christmas would be spent racing across England with a viscount hell-bent on vengeance. She certainly never expected to find love...
Falling in Love at a House Party
These stories revolve around a Regency house party that is set up to raise money to fund the education of girls. Every story included a kitten. They were instant or relatively quickly falling in love romances. Some I liked better than others. It was an interesting set up to include a chapter at a time before it each story about the romance between the Duchess’s companion and her French chef with an attitude. The first two stories are about widowers with teenage girls who fight marrying again, but find love and their daughters at first are not thrilled about it. The third had a gothic feel to it with deceased relatives and an evil cousin. The main character is a promiscuous pregnant actress who is bisexual. I wasn’t expecting that. The fourth story was about a foreign born lord and a feud that keeps him from the woman he falls for. In the fifth story, Lady Anna is infatuated with a Duke, but her mother wants her to set her up with the son of one of her friends. Jasper was a rude bore several times in the beginning and even when I found out why it didn’t excuse his behavior and the fact that her mother saw nothing wrong with it. He changes, but it was hard for me to get past his first impression. The sixth story had Jewish characters and discussed Jewish traditions. The last story was about a Viscount and a school teacher. Her brother elopes with his sister and the Viscount drags her along on the chase after them.
This is a collection of stories centered around a Christmastide house party thrown by a the Duchess of Haverford. Jude Knight did a wonderful job on her story “A Suitable Husband” interspersed a chapter at a time between each of the tales. “ The Bluestocking and the Barbarian” is a lovely story that will make you laugh and warm your heart. Jude Knight has a way of touching your heart with her tales of sweet romance and love.
All in all this is a wonderful collection of story sure to warm your heart. In it I found some new authors and as always, I love to read Jude Knight’s delightful prose.
Sweet and hopeful
A great collection.
This collection is interspersed with a chapter of A Suitable Husband between each novella. It works. There are stories of widows and widowers and working people as well as aristocrats. Really enjoyed and can highly recommend.