Monday, November 22, 2010

Review : The Heart of Christmas

This is my first review for the 2010 Holiday Reading Challenge.

This is such a gorgeous cover! I really love Holiday books so I'll be reading a lot of Historical and Regency Romances for this challenge

I had heard a lot of positive buzz about Mary Balogh so the fact that she was the featured Author in this anthology made it a definite pick

A Handful Of Gold
Mary Balogh

Verity Ewing is leading two lives. She is telling her struggling Mother and ill sister that she is working as a companion to a rich Lady. Her second life is as dancer Blanche Heyward. Her work is supporting her family who is awaiting financial rescue from a travelling Uncle. In desperate Straits Verity agrees to a proposal to spend the Christmas holidays with handsome Lord Julian Dare. Neither of them expects the emotional connection they share as a simple monetary transaction turns to love.

I really enjoyed this story. Mary is very vivid in her descriptions and the romantic scenes between the two of them are quite steamy. i will definitely be reading more from Mary.

The Season For Suitors
by Nicola Cornick

This is my first introduction to Nicola's work. young Clare Davenport finds herself asking Duke Sebastian Fleet for his help. It is an awkward request since Clare has had disastrous dealings with Sebastian before when she asked him to marry her. The duke is intrigued and through his tutelage of young Clare on how to spot and avoid a rake he starts to feel a deeper bond with her. This story was "OK" I wasn't really engaged after the beginning chapters and found it a little slow and predictable. I'm not sure if it's a fair representation of Nicola's work in general.

This Wicked Gift
by Courtney Milan

Another author I wasn't familiar with. Lavinia Spencer has been scrimping and saving for a year in order to provide a Christmas for her family. Her brother however has stolen the money and gambled it away,even worse he has accrued a debt that they cannot afford. Then Mr. William White shows up with proof of the debt being paid. In return he wants Lavina to come to him willingly to repay her debt. I enjoyed this story. Mostly because it was interesting to see a working class English couple. William has been cheated from an inheritance so he must work hard as a clerk to support himself. William is always focused on money and status while Lavinia sees his worth despite his circumstances. It is interesting to see how they both raise themselves up from their current circumstances both emotionally and financially.

Overall this anthology was kind of a mixed bag, but Mary's story makes it worth while.


Barb said...

I've left reading your review until mine was written - I didn't want to influence my thoughts. Interestingly enough....I completely agree with you :) Mine will post on Dec 7th. Drop by and check it out!

....Petty Witter said...

Not usually a fan of short stories but I think I could make an exception for this one, thanks for the recommendation.

If you'd like to read my 2nd review for this challenge please feel free to stop by

Wakela Runen said...

Now that I have my reading for this challenge behind me, I am venturing out to see what others have read.

I am very picky about my historical romances. I haven't read any of these authors before, but it does sound very interesting.