From four beloved writers—Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley—come four original stories that tell a hilarious tale of a Christmas house party that serves up love and scandal in equal measure!
The Duke of Greystoke’s Christmas Revelry is famous throughout the British Isles for its plays, dancing, magical grotto… not to mention scandals leading to the marriage licenses he hands out like confetti.
But not everyone welcomes a visit from Cupid.
Lady Cressida, the duke’s daughter, is too busy managing the entertainments—and besides, her own father has called her dowdy. Her cousin, Lady Isabelle Wilkshire, is directing Cinderella and has no interest in marriage. Lady Caroline Whitmore is already (unhappily) married; the fact that she and her estranged husband have to pretend to be together just makes her dread the party all the more. But not as much as Miss Louisa Harcourt, whose mother bluntly tells her that this is her last chance to escape the horrors of being an old maid.
A house party so large that mothers lose track of their charges leads to a delightful, seductive quartet of stories that you will savor for the Season!
Lost loves and first loves come together in this delightfully festive quartet of Regency romances, all brimming with holiday spice and mistletoe mischief. Set against the Duke of Greystoke's 1815 Christmastide Revelry, each story features strong, mid-20s heroines paired with and pitted against equally fascinating male counterparts. James's opener, "A Mistletoe Kiss," sets the tone and utterly charms, following Lady Cressida, Greystoke's youngest daughter and the secret mastermind behind the Revelry, as she trips into love against her father's wishes. Unconventional Lady Isabelle gets a chance to shine as a playwright but to do so she must work with a lost love in Christi Caldwell's "Wishing Under the Mistletoe." "Compromise Under the Mistletoe" by Janna MacGregor offers a quaint glimpse into the lives of a married couple whose relationship is on the rocks. Erica Ridley's closing tale, "Mischief & Mistletoe," hinges on the art of deception as poet Louisa, under pressure to marry soon, searches for a mate who understands her. While lighthearted, each story brings a certain gravitas in highlighting the artistic talents of the heroines. This Christmas confection will be a treat for Regency romance fans. Agent: (for James, Caldwell, and MacGregor) Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management, (for Ridley) Lauren E. Abramo, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.
*A Mistletoe Kiss
Cressida and Elias what a lovely couple. A woman who saw herself of no worth and a man who was not looking for a wife.
*Wishing Under the Mistletoe
I loved this second chance at love story. Isabelle and Cyrus’ return to each other made for a great short story.
*Compromise Under the Mistletoe
I loved Caroline and Stephen! Another good second chance at love romance. A married couple who lost their way.
*Mischief & Mistletoe
Ewan and Louisa’s story was lovely and the perfect example of when people assume that they know what someone wants/needs.
Only the first story was worth reading. The other three stories were just blah and hard to get into.
The Duke of Greystoke is self-centered, opinionated, and stubbornly cantankerous, but he hosts a bang-up Christmas house party every year known as the Revelry. This delightful anthology tells how each of four couples discover or rediscover love during the happy Christmastide celebrations.
A Mistletoe Kiss by Eloisa James
Lady Cressida, Cressie, the Duke’s daughter is actually the brains and the effort behind the successful Revelry. Her father not only gives her no credit for her work, but tells her she will never find a husband, so she might as well resign herself to keeping the revelry going. Well, he’s not happy with that. Her cousin, the heir, has come to the revelry with their neighbor and his friend Elias. She and Elias are enjoying each other’s company and it looks promising until she learns that her cousin offered him money to marry her. Now it’s up to Elias to convince her otherwise. Can he do it? I like Cressie and Elias. There is more to both of them than there seems. He sees how intelligent and talented she is, and she sees through his rakish façade. A cute story with a little surprise or two.
Wishing Under the Mistletoe by Christi Caldwell
Isabella is the duke’s granddaughter. Cyrus is the son of the duke’s former stablemaster. Ten years ago, they were very much in love. Cyrus threw himself into his work to make a better life for them to the point that Isabella felt neglected. Frustrated, she broke the engagement and left to find a life of her own. The Revelry might give them another chance. They are paired, even though Isabella would rather do it herself, to be in charge of producing this year’s play. Will working together help them talk and find their way back to each other? This is a lovely second chance story with a surprise that might be the jolt to bring them together. There is a lot to be said for listening to one another.
Compromise Under the Mistletoe by Janna MacGregor
Caroline walked away from her husband and marriage a year ago because she felt ignored and unimportant. Stephen loved her very much, but while he threw himself into his estate, tenants, and farming, he rarely had anything to do with Caro, except in the bedchamber. He didn’t understand her reasons for leaving. They have come to the Revelry to convince her uncle let her have her trust a little early. In order to do so, they must first convince him that they a happily married couple again. The rules he has set for them to show him this are amusing for the reader (the rules, not the duke) and frustrating to Caro and Stephen. Another lovely second chance story. Stephen and Caro are quite obviously still in love. Their biggest problem is a failure to communicate. Talking, and listening, to each other goes a long way in solving problems that keep them apart.
Mischief and Mistletoe
I love Louisa and Ewan’s story. Because he is a poet in demand, Louisa wants to meet him to talk about poetry, his and hers. Louisa’s mother is determined to find Louisa a titled husband at this year’s Revelry. Her efforts are absolutely hilarious. Ewan isn’t titled and doesn’t qualify, in Mama’s eyes. Louisa and Ewan come to like each other very much. Although she is shy, she shares her poetry with him. He is impressed and shows her how much with a very special gift. Things are really going well, but that may not last once Ewan tells her his secret. It seems he has unintentionally been unkind to her in the past. Can she forgive him? Understanding and forgiveness are good things. It seems they cause wonderful things to happen, especially for this hero and heroine. A great story to wrap up the anthology.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.