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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

'The idea of excitement' brought to life!

Dashing All the Way: A Christmas Anthology
by Celeste Bradley, Eva Devon, Elizabeth Essex, Heather Snow

Nary a story flagged! 5 star holiday season romances with a touch of spice and a dash of cheer that are all excellent inclusions centering around Christmas time in one way or another. From house parties to balls, to situations of intrigue where the stakes are high and the games deadly. Whilst the Eva Devon story did not have as much in common as the others, the central theme continues of female character who is an extraordinary woman looking to take unusual steps.

A Rake for Christmas by Eva Devon 
Beautifully told story of the meeting of a rake (Anthony Basingstoke) and a wallflower (Lady Evangeline Pennyworth), a rake afraid of love and a wallflower unseen until he 'saw' her. What Evangeline wants is to be desirable, and to Anthony she is just that. But he knows the destruction of love. As a child he experienced the chaotic passion and discord of his parent's marriage and that has colored his perceptions. Love is painful and dangerous.

Up on the Rooftops by Elizabeth Essex 
Loved this story! Tobias McTavish, ex jewel thief is targeted. Someone is robbing London's ton of their baubles and jewels exactly in the way the Scottish Wraith used to before being caught. Serving his sentence at His Majesty's Pleasure in the navy had Toby freed and pursuing a gentleman farmer's lot. Now he needs to clear his name. Little does he know that his former Captain's sister, Caledonia Bowmont, has decided he is innocent and she throws herself into helping him. Drat, but she's attracted to Toby! A scintillating, fast moving tale!

The Very Debonair Lady Claire by Heather Snow 
Claire Barton is determined to find out who murdered her twin. A code breaker for the very secrative Abchurch section of the War Department, Clarence has used Claire's talents to help determine some of the codes. Now Clarence is dead and Claire assumes his identity to trap the killer. The new spymaster turns out to be an old friend, almost husband, Lord Andrew Sedgewick. He sees her immediately and it takes all of Claire's powers of persuasion to have him support her. For Andrew's part, he's racked with fear and guilt over the woman he loves whom he walked away from six years ago. A grand tale of love, betrayal, intrigue and romance.

A Liar Under the Mistletoe by Celeste Bradley 
Amie Jackham takes what her father taught her and uses it for survival. The Liar's club uses those lessons in service to the Crown. Lord Elliot Hughes, a Liar's club spy surprises Amie as  she is stealing from the lockbox he has his sights on.
Exciting and at times bewildering, currents of previous stories run deep as thieves vie at Christmas time.
An exciting chase with a young feisty female thief who gives Elliot a run for his money. Amie surprises!

A NetGalley ARC

*****

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