Sunday, December 5, 2010

12 Days Of Christmas Review: The Christmas Visit



         Anthologies can be quite surprising. I requested The Christmas Visit solely because of Margaret Moore but found the second story in this anthology to be my favorite.

                                      Comfort and Joy by Margaret Moore
December 1860 Wales
This story had a wonderful Beauty & The Beast like feel. A reclusive Earl, Griffin Branwynne had given up on life and all its celebrations after a disfiguring accident. Gwendolyn Davies is seeking a contribution to help spread some Christmas joy to her wards at the orphanage. The two clash as sparks both angry and romantically flare between them. A full blown winter storm and an injured young boy leave them together. In the small intimate farmhouse the learn more about each other the discover the beginnings of a passion that will change both of their lives.
This story was enjoyable but it lagged a little in the middle for me, I wanted to see how it ended but I've enjoyed other books and stories by Margaret considerably more.
Love at First Step by Terri Brisbin
This was the standout story in the anthology for me. The most wonderful part of it, BEFORE the story even started was the historical Scottish custom she talks about in the introduction called "First Footing"
This tradition was based on the belief that the first person to cross your threshold on the first night of the New Year (Hogmanay) was a factor in determining the health, wealth and abundance of the New Year. This really struck me because my mother had a similar tradition! My mother always had a man cross her threshold first on New Years Day. When she and my father were together he would leave the house early to get a newspaper while we were asleep. After my parents divorced my father's best friend continued this tradition every year until my mother passed away. i was fascinated to learn the origins of this tradition.
Now for the story: In historical romances we are often used to damsels in distress, heiresses in disguise or arranged marriages that turn to love. In this story the young Elizabeth that is pointed out to Lord Duncan by his host for the holidays, Lord Orrick is the Whore for the keep! Ill admit I was surprised by this choice of character. As the story unfolded though I became just as entranced with Elizabeth as Lord Duncan. Their romance seems doomed from the start, for society would never except this union.Despite that the two began to experience a very romantic and passionate love. When the true reason for Elizabeth's state in life is revealed it was dramatic and unexpected. Great writing  and a satisfying conclusion. I will definitely be looking out for more books by Terri Brisbin.
A Christmas Secret by Gail Ranstrom
This was an enjoyable story. Charity Wardlow was expecting a proposal from her untended, but her world gets turned upside down by the appearance of Andrew MacGregor. AN overheard conversation leads Charity on a hunt to solve a mystery relating to her soon to be wed best friend. Their is some comedy and fun detective work by Charity and Andrew and even some great romance. I did find however that Charity who is so concerned with her virtue and securing a good marriage, quickly tumbles into passionate situations with Andrew. Other than that it was enjoyable.
I'm enjoying reading Historical Christmas romances for this challenge, I have a few more books in this same genre to share with you guys soon.

1 comment:

Juju at Tales of said...

Ooo this sounds goood! And the cover is quite lovely :)