Thursday, 18 December 2014

Review: A Grosvenor Square Christmas, by Anna Campbell, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly and Kate Noble

Four breathtakingly romantic tales of a Regency Christmas from four bestselling romance authors.

Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall grey house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?

1803 - The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen

Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valère, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena—now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?

1818 - One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly

Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind—by sweeping her off her feet.

1825 - His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell

At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.

1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble

Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson's Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up...

You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist?

I didn't expect to like this anthology at all, perhaps because I read it maybe a month ago, way before I could entertain the thought of being in the Christmas Spirit. And yet, by the end of the four short stories, I was willing it to be Christmas Eve already!

Each story features different primary characters, but the tie-in between each novella is the backdrop of Lady Winterson's Christmas Ball. Having this connection really brought the whole book together for me, making it feel far more cohesive than other 'themed' anthologies I have read. Each story is romantic and cute, showered in just enough Christmas sparkle to seem magical rather than cheesy. The protagonists between each story vary in age, personality and personal history that each story stands on its own feet, and despite them being definitely less than full length novels, none of them feel over-rushed or over-simplified.

Highlights: Provides the Christmas Fuzzies!  Lady Winterson and her butler's ongoing presence in the background of each story.
Low points: Almost too easy- I sort of want more conflict, even though that might detract from the magical Christmas feeling (I want too much)

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