I bought a passel of Holiday Romance books to keep me in the seasonal spirit from Christmas to Twelfth Night. For one reason or another, I didn’t get through them all. But I have read a few that really gave me the right feels for the time of year.
Romancing the Holiday was a collection of short stories from authors Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, and Christi Barth. Disclaimer: Because HelenKay is in my RWA Chapter, I kind of know her. I will not let that color any of my ravings about her story in this book. In fact, all three were amazing.
We’ll Be Home for Christmas by HelenKay Dimon is brain-spinning wonderful from page one. As I read further and understood why these two people did what they did at that hotel, well, I cheered them on as they really got to know each other. Ask Her at Christmas by Christi Barth follows a pair of best friends working to get the most romantic spot for a proposal pinned down. I thought maybe the guy was stringing the girl on and actually meant to propose to her, but no, it’s much more complicated than that. Finally, The Best Thing by Jaci Burton gets two people with relationship scars to heal, kiss, and make up.
Victoria Kinkaid’s A Very Darcy Christmas: A Pride and Prejudice Variation is actually a continuation, letting us in on Elizabeth and FitzWilliam’s first Christmas as a married couple. She calls him William and he calls her my love. Well, there were some things I thought were odd, but overall I enjoyed the story.
The 8th Gift by Karen Sandler is a Hanukkah story that touched my heart, deeply. A widow with a young son struggles to make the holiday special for her boy, but the local hoodlums take the presents she saved for. She has no money to replace them and is hesitant to take too much from her husband’s best friend. He wants to help her, partly to ease the guilt he feels when his friend died and he lived, and also because he has loved her from the day they met. The ending is wonderful to the point of tears.
It Happened One Christmas is a collection of Regency romances that I enjoyed very much. Another disclaimer: Georgie Lee is a member of my chapter. She’s a wonderful author and teaches a great class on Medicine Before 1840. And Carla Kelly has been a favorite since I first discovered Regencies.
In Christmas Eve Proposal, Ms. Kelly weaves together two people connected without their knowledge by relations and duty. Her heroine, as always, is spunky, unusual for the time, and delightful. The Viscount’s Christmas Kiss presents another unusual heroine with a passion for pain and a longing for order in her life. Enter a man who will stir up that life a lot more but will get the right results for them both in the end. Wallfower, Widow . . . Wife! gave me an introduction to Ann Lethbridge and her entertaining style. I could go on for another page or two about this story, it’s high on my list of what I like best about Regency Romances. With a dash of intrigue as well.
I’m currently reading Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron. I like it, but it’s not a romance. Still, the writer does instill phrases that Jane herself used which makes it fun. I love Jane’s niece and the doll with a wardrobe that Jane and Cassandra contrive. Who knew fairies brought Twelfth Night gifts?
My final purchas was A Jane Austen Christmas: Celebrating the Season of Romance, Ribbons, and Mistletow by Carlo DeVito. This is not a work of fiction, but a compilation of events of the season taken from Jane’s own letters and diary.
Fortunately, I still have Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis and New York Romance and New York Romance 2 lined up to read. And If I’m really good, I might get A Galactic Holiday, a collection of science fiction holiday romances.
I hope your holidays past and to come are filled with joyous stories and love. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.