Published by Pocket Books on October 27, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, and Candace Camp, and USA TODAY bestselling author Meredith Duran come together for a sizzling historical romance holiday anthology.
Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s delightful yuletide story, The Heiress and the Hothead. In the snowy Scottish countryside, Karen Hawkins’s rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter in Twelve Kisses when the alluring lady he surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle. In By Any Other Name, Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as Candace Camp sends a curious gentleman in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise—one who refuses to reveal her true identity, though she fears he has already stolen her heart with his kiss. In Sweet Ruin, will the festive spirit of the season sweep Meredith Duran’s feisty heroine beneath the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue whose carelessness soiled her reputation and sent her into exile in London?
In this all-new story collection sparkling with sexy charm and heartwarming wit, four beloved bestselling authors reveal the mix-ups and make-ups, the missed chances and golden opportunities that come but once a year.
I read this one for the Meredith Duran story, but ended up loving all of the stories!
The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries -3 stars
This was my least favorite, but only because of a couple things.The hero has been reporting on the substandard work conditions in the mills. He’s riled some people, but being a second son, his brother wants him to be more respectable. So when he is invited to stay through Christmas with friends and family, he isn’t thrilled. But the American mill owner and heiress he’s been wanting to expose for being just as bad as the local ones will be there. So he can’t say no.
But she’s not that bad. And she’s beautiful, and kind, and makes his man bits tingle 😉
I was really into it, until at one point the mill is on fire, and they’re trapped, so of course, she’s all “Take me I’m yours!” I mean, seriously. A raging inferno is tearing through a cotton mill, and both know those kind of fires rage out of control. But, you know, priorities.
Twelve Kisses by Karen Hawkins-5 stars
I think this ended up being my favorite. A proud Highlander, and his former fiancee get caught in a blizzard, and at one point the heroine actually draws a line down the middle of the cottage pronouncing one side hers, and the other his.
The best part about this story is that the heroine is willing to admit that they were young, and they both were wrong. There’s no real Big Misunderstanding. It really is just anger, hurt, and pride keeping them from being together. I loved it, and I loved the ending.
By Any Other Name by Candace Camp-4 stars
This was a sweet romance. Don’t get me wrong, there were some steamy parts! But the actual plot and romance were very sweet. The heroine is sneaking out of her house, dressed as a man, and her plan is to go find her brother. He’s stormed off after a fight with their father, and Rylla is worried about him.
But at a gaming hell, she is mugged and stabbed. The man who she couldn’t keep her eyes off comes to her rescue and finds out she’s a woman. She refuses to tell him who she is though, and runs off. Romance and hijinks occur, and to be honest, I liked it a lot.
Sweet Ruin* by Meredith Duran-5 stars
*This story was originally called “Sweet Ruin,” but has been changed to “Sweetest Regret.” I used “Sweet Ruin” since that’s what my copy has.
I loved this story. The short blurb doesn’t even do this one justice. The heroine’s father is a British diplomat, and he’s rushing out on a Christmas party at his own home to help with a crisis. He leaves his daughter Georgie in charge, and says that he thinks someone at the party has stolen some documents from him. She must find them, it’s of utmost importance.
But he also has his subordinate Lucas coming in to help. The problem is that Lucas and Georgie have a past. And her father knows this.
Can they find who took the documents without tearing each other apart? Or will being stuck together dredge up their past?
***ARC courtesy of Berkley