Reviewed by May
This quartet is more a collection of stories about quick romances that happen around Christmas than it is about the holiday season. So if you like whirlwind historical romances but not holiday themed books this may be an excellent collection for you. Each story has its flaws, however overall it was a nice collection of novellas. Overall I would rate this at a C+ and recommend if you enjoy stories that end in proposals and love stories that happen in a week or less.
One Hot Scot by Suzanne Enoch
Being kidnapped and forced to marry a man you have no interest is quite the problem, and Julia has no solution other than stealing a horse and riding away. When she happens upon Duncan it would seem she’s found a man willing and able to help her flee to safety.
This story is loosely tied to Enoch’s current series, however it can be read without any prior knowledge as the other characters are referenced but not critical to the plot. I love this author’s writing and this was a fun story (and the best of the bunch) but I didn’t love it. Things moved along much too fast for me to really believe the HEA and there is no real holiday feel, but the fun of a story like this one is to just get swept away into the highlands and roll with it.
Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins
Lady Ellen’s father is dying. One thing he wants to see set though is his daughter’s happiness and marriage so he has drastically increased her dowry. Oh but wait, there is more! Derrick aka the Earl OF Swainsbury has reason to believe there’s evil afoot and that he must go join in the holiday house party Ellen’s parents are hosting.
The two are naturally drawn to each other, and soon they realize that perhaps the events that led to their being under the same roof could mean true love and happiness for them both. This story had great holiday spirit and was the most likely to be the kind of holiday historical novella I’d like to read. That said, the villain plot detracted greatly from the love story and simply wasn’t needed.
The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex
I had to try five times to read the first chapter alone, this just wasn’t a voice/story for me so I moved on.
It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman
Oliver and Cerian meet in a silver closet while hiding from other guests. Why, with a marriage obsessed female after Oliver and his title, and several gentlemen after Cerian’s dowry it only makes sense that they team up and pretend to be interested in each other.
This story takes place at a Christmas time house party and I found it lacking in all departments. They like each other based on simple attraction, the female after Oliver is over the top and unnecessary, and there wasn’t much of a romance feel to it. Aside from mistletoe it didn’t have much holiday spirit either. It was just a very simple quick let’s fall in love and marry kind of story.