Old favourites and delicious new tales to lighten hearts at Christmas time! Common themes emerge: heiresses, damsels in distress, knights in shining armour (figuratively speaking), villains, men being pursued by title seeking harpies, damsels being pursued by fortune hunters; all of course at this holiday period.
One Hot Scot by Suzanne Enoch
Oh my! Thrown from a horse, fleeing from kidnappers and confronting a stunningly gorgeous naked brawny fellow emerging from a lake just as you've helped yourself to his plaid kilt to ease the chill you were feeling! Life for Duncan Lenox and Lady Julia Prentiss was taking unexpected turns.
Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins
1826 All her father's actions had done by increasing dowry was to ensure every fortune hunter in England would cross Lady Ellen path. One of these is Lord Derek Swainsbury.
A twist to the plot enhances what seemed to be a simple tale of an heiress pursued by fortune hunter.
The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex
I have reviewed this previously. On the re-reading it is still one of my fav. Xmas regency short stories.
1816 and it's six days before Christmas. Lieutenant Ian Worth's bully of a father the Viscount Rainsford declares that Ian must find a wife. Ian's brother, the heir, has had an accident, is in a coma and the succession is in doubt. Despite Ian wishing his father to purgatory and back Ian means to look for a wife. A chance meeting with Colonel Oliver Lesley an older naval friend, elicits the information that the Colonel has an unmarried daughter. Ian invites the family for Christmas with a view to wedding Anne Lesley, thus solving his problem. Anne unfortunately is shy and retiring and sad to say, remarkably plain. Ian wonders if he will spend more time at sea than he has first thought.
I love Anne and a Pinky, Ian's man, a batman cum butler.
I love the way Anne comes into her own. I love that she finds her 'voice.' A really lovely story.
It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman
1817. Ah! Those dreaded house parties! Traps for unwary players. Oliver Townsende and Miss Cerian Blake are both fleeing unwanted suitors. Oliver, a newly minted Duke and Cerian, an heiress, meet in an unexpected place fleeing the eager hordes with mistletoe sprigs in their hands. I particularly enjoyed the cat that just might be Cupid in disguise.
Really, from the description of house parties I've read over the years the regency period seems to have been more the Ravishing Regency years. Still the setting provides us with an elegantly, witty Xmas story.
A NetGalley ARC