This yuletide anthology features four romances that unfold during The Duke of Greystoke’s exclusive Christmas Revelry –where conspicuously placed mistletoe causes a bit of good trouble in this well-paced anthology. Each short story features determined heroines who aren’t afraid to defy society’s rules when it comes to their passions or true loves
A Mistletoe Kiss by Eloisa James
Lady Cressida’s cantankerous father may get all glory for the annual Christmas Revelry but she is the actual mastermind behind the magnificent house party. She loves planning the event but with her father drawing close to death and her dowry being threatened, she finds herself considering an impromptu marriage proposal from Lord Elias Darcy de Royleston.
Cressida was undoubtedly the star of this story, I liked seeing how much effort she put into making the Revelry a big success. There were a lot of details in this story showing how Cressida was able to achieve visual effects and high-concept decorations to keep the party goers delighted. This made it really easy to visualize the opulent setting. Watching Cressida’s passion for creating spectacular events gives Elias a newfound appreciation for her in this spirited and steamy winter romance.
Wishing Under The Mistletoe by Christi Caldwell
Cyrus Hill is a bit of a Scrooge, he’d rather spend Christmas with his numbers than at the Revelry. That is until he is made to work on the annual pantomime with his ex-fiancée, renowned playwright Lady Isabelle Wilkshire. I don’t read a lot of second-chance romances but this story made me want to read more of this trope. Having a shared history added an extra layer of tension to the story as Isabelle helps Cyrus find his joy again as they put on a show-stopping pantomime party-goers won’t soon forget. A top-notch romance with a swoon-worthy finale. Also, bonus points for a historical romance with a heroine over thirty.
Compromise Under The Mistletoe by Janna MacGregor
Lady Caroline Whitmore walked out on her inattentive husband a year ago, but for the Revelry she will play the part of a happily married woman to gain access to her trust and open the art gallery of her dreams. But to her husband Stephen Whitmore this isn’t a game–he wants her back for good. This is one of those stories where the hero has to perform a world-class grovel to get this heroine back. I enjoyed the instant chemistry between the former newlyweds which made this second-chance romance such an engaging read. Once again I’m all in for the second-chance trope.
Mischief & Mistletoe by Erica Ridley
By the end of the Revelry Louisa Harcourt will secure a titled husband In the meantime, she plans to spend her last days of freedom seducing the brooding poet, Ewan Reid. Except Ewan is not actually a poet– but an undercover gossip columnist trying to make enough money to publish a legitimate newspaper. In addition to the steamy romance and scandalous affair this book also had a great mother-daughter relationship. This witty and humorous story was probably my favorite of the anthology.