Friday, November 5, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Regency Christmas Proposals Anthology

Harlequin Historicals November 2010

288 pages by Gayle Wilson, Amanda McCabe, Carole Mortimer

The Soldier's Christmas Miracle by Gayle Wilson

Wounded soldier Guy Wakefield has finally found the woman who saved his life. Isabella Stowe accepts his gratitude, but it will take more than a kiss under the mistletoe to convince this world-weary widow to accept his proposal….

Snowbound and Seduced by Amanda McCabe

Mary Bassington, Lady Derrington, longs to be the carefree woman she once was. But she gets more than she bargained for this Christmas when she's snowbound with old flame Dominick, Viscount Amesby, who reignites her passion for life—and love!

Christmas at Mulberry Hall by Carole Mortimer

Spending Christmas alone with his unconventional ward pushes the boundaries of propriety—and self-control—too far for Lord Gideon Grayson. So he takes delectably pure Amelia Ashford to Mulberry Hall—but that pesky mistletoe is still all around….



I have read and enjoyed many of Gayle's Historicals, and this short novella does not disappoint. A somber Christmas at the front lines has injured and temporarily blinded Guy Wakefield being soothed by an unknown lady/nurse who brings him peace, and the will to live.
After five years of a long recovery, and searching for this angel of mercy, Guy tracks down Isabella Stowe, now an impoverished widow. Isabella is stunned when the handsome man in front of her turns out to be the boy she nursed that Christmas long ago. I found Isabella over prideful and stubborn, fighting Guy's advances and offers of help at every turn. Why? The man is stunning on so many levels. And it seems, still fighting the possibility of blindness, which comes and goes at an alarming rate. Guy's dogged determination in winning Isabella won me over, and finally, eventually, Isabella. A warm, heart tugging Christmas romance that was very poignant. And the slightly younger Guy, is a marvellous hero.

Heat Level: 2.5


Amanda crafts a heart warming tale of unrequited young love that comes back to haunt and stoke those flames of passion. Mary Bassington has had a lot of heartache in her young life, Her heart broken by Dominick, an arranged marriage, the death of her husband, then her small child.
A chance meeting at a house party one summer, reignites the sparks between her and Dominick,
but as a recent widow, and Mary's scorn of Dominick's rakish ways, nothing comes of it.

2 years pass, and Mary has since lost her small child to fever, she focuses her energy on guiding her younger sister, who has developed a tendre for Dominick's cousin. Her sister and the cousin are off to Gretna Green. Mary insists Dominick take her to catch them. Off they go, into the teeth of inclement weather, hence, snowbound and seduced. Dominick and Mary cannot deny the feelings they have harbored for each other all these years, and when they finally do manage to talk, Dominick tells Mary of secrets held, and the real reason he walked away from their young love. When they finally catch up to the young couple at Dominick aunt's cottage, the story concludes with the warm cozy backdrop of Christmas. Dominick and Mary's story was lovely.



I read all the 'Notorious St. Claire' Historicals of Carole Mortimer and enjoyed them immensely, so I was pleased to see secondary character Gideon Grayson get his own story. Turning up at his family's home unannounced, he is shocked to find the disheveled look of the estate that he had neglected after his brother's death. He is also shocked to find his brother's step-daughter, brandishing a pistol. She believes him an intruder, and fires. Luckily, it is only a flesh wound, but it starts off their relationship down a prickly path. Which I have to admit, got annoying after a fashion. All they did was pick and snipe. While I like a little conflict between the hero and heroine, this was too much. They wind up sharing Christmas with the St. Clair's, and while I enjoyed seeing all the characters again, Gideon and Amelia's story was not what I had hoped. Still, nice Christmas ending.


HEAT LEVEL 2.5 out of 6

As posted at The Season Website, November issue, I am forgoing my usual star rating for this book and using the rating system found at "The Season"

KOVER KUDOS: Very lovely cover, Xmasy and the hero is quite handsome and adorable with his ring in a box. How sweet.

3 out of 4 stars for the cover


jedisakora @ The Little Corner of the World said...

Lovely review. I've been debating ordering this one or not.

Karyn Gerrard said...

Hi Jedisakora, how great to see you here!

This was a fine read indeed. I enjoyed a couple of them more than the other, but the Carole Mortimer was still good.
But, I am a fan of Xmas anthologies anyway!