Published by Pocket Books on October 27th 2015
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
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.
¬¬Reviewed by Monique¬¬
WHAT HAPPENS UNDER THE MISTLETOE is a wonderful Christmas-themed anthology by four historical romance superstars. I reviewed the novellas in the order in which they appear in the book.
In THE HEIRESS AND THE HOTHEAD by Sabrina Jeffries, Lord Stephen Corry is a guest at the manor of American artist Jeremy Keane and his wife Yvette, when he mistakes Amanda Keane, his sister-in-law for a friend, and decides to kiss her under the mistletoe anyway. Amanda is the owner of a cotton mill in America, Stephen writes about the abuse of cotton mill workers in England; they hardly see eye to eye on anything, until they really listen to each other. THE HEIRESS AND THE HOTHEAD is a fascinating story about the paltry conditions of mill workers in the early 1820s. The author’s research is most impressive, there are exciting plot twists, and an authentic feeling of Regency Christmas permeates the novella. The sexual chemistry between Stephen and Amanda is blistering, they challenge each other intellectually, and as people; there is a lot of passion on several levels. Sabrina Jeffries outdid herself with the excellent THE HEIRESS AND THE HOTHEAD!
In TWELVE KISSES, Karen Hawkins revisits the world of the Oxenburg princes, as Crown Prince Nikolai Romanovin and his grandmother Grand Duchess Natasha Nikolaevna – one of my favourite fictional characters ever – spend Christmas in Scotland. At a house party, Marcus Sutherland notices the woman who broke his heart 10 years before, Kenna Stuart, now a widow. It’s a masquerade ball, Marcus is supposed to meet his mistress Lila under the mistletoe, but Kenna who had overheard the conversation, opts for the same disguise as Lila, and steals a kiss from Marcus, and thus they meet again…and how! Ms. Hawkins has penned a superbly entertaining story, gorgeously written, with swoony moments and several chuckles along the way. Two proud and headstrong characters battle their way to a happy-ever-after the second time around, unknowingly with the help of the formidable Grand Duchess. A most scrumptious morsel!
BY ANY OTHER NAME, by Candace Camp, is a very entertaining case of mistaken identities of a different sort. In the middle of the night, Rylla Campbell sneaks away dressed in her brother Daniel’s clothing; Daniel is missing, and she endeavours to look into gambling clubs to find him. When leaving the first club, she is attacked by some villains and rescued by a certain Gregory Rose. Rylla was hurt during the scuffle, and when tending to her wounds Gregory discovers that the young man is a very beautiful young lady, and he is immediately smitten, but it proves to be a Herculean task to capture Rylla’s heart! BY ANY OTHER NAME is clever, fast-paced, and beautifully written, and there are none of the usual annoying misunderstandings common to this kind of trope; very well done indeed!
In SWEET RUIN by Meredith Duran, Georgie Trent’s diplomat father is called away and Georgie is left to entertain his friends for Christmas. It seems a politically sensitive letter has been stolen, and her father sent Lucas Godwin to search for it. Lucas, a diplomat, broke Georgie’s heart two years before. SWEET RUIN is a very clever story about a bookish daughter of a peer and a dazzlingly dashing commoner. Ms. Duran’s prose flows seamlessly, the dialogues are witty, and the story is captivating mostly because Georgie and Lucas are such engaging characters and they have wonderful chemistry. SWEET RUIN is a delightful romance about how lies can so dreadfully ruin what could have been.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.