Published by Avon Impulse on December 1st 2015
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
The holidays are a time for dining, dancing, and of course—dukes! Celebrate the Christmas season with this enchanting collection of historical romances featuring the most eligible bachelors of the ton…
A childish prank may have reunited the Duke of Hollingsworth with his estranged wife, but only the magic of Christmas will show this couple ’tis the season of second chances…
Sophie Kinsley planned to remain a wallflower at the Duke of Hollyshire’s ball. Yet when a dance with him leads to a stolen kiss, will the duke be willing to let her go? Or will Sophie’s Christmas wish be granted at last?
To the Duke of Vale, science solves everything—even marriage. When the impulsive Ivy Sutherland makes him question all of his data, he realizes that he’s overlooked a vital component in his search for the perfect match: love.
Patience Markham never forgot the fateful dance she had with the future Duke of Kingsbury. But when a twist of fate brings them together for Christmas Eve, will the stars finally align in their favor?
¬¬Reviewed by AnnMarie¬¬
All I Want for Christmas is a Duke, is a 4 book anthology all with a Christmas theme.
The first book is The Duke and Duchess Trap by Valerie Bowman. As the name might suggest, especially if you are familiar with the film, this book is along the same vein as The Parent Trap, only it has a magnificent regency twist which I love.
In the story, as in the film, twins have been separated and brought up separately by each parent, in this case a Duke and his Duchess. He has stayed in London, she has settled in the country. Neither twin have met each other but thanks to a well meaning relative they get to meet in a school for young ladies. From there the plan is hatched to swap places so that each can spend time with the other parent, and perhaps bring their parents back together.
I really enjoyed the story, the only disappointment being that having seen the film I knew how the story was going to go. Mind you, there were some lovely romantic, and passionate scenes that couldn’t be in a PG film, so that was a bonus.
The second book is Sophie and the Duke by Tiffany Clare. This book had a definite Cinderella feel. At this point in the anthology I thought perhaps all the books were going to be taking a classic film or story and giving it a regency twist.
In this story the Duke of Hollyshire is holding a ball to which he has invited every eligible lady in society. His father has passed away and in his will he stipulates that in order to release the funds left to him, the Duke must marry before Christmas day, and that he must hold the ball in order to meet his bride.
Amongst the women invited is Sophie Kinsley. She attends with every intention of staying in the background. She doesn’t want her step mother to notice her. Sophie’s step mother of course is a real harridan, she believes that Sophie must put aside any romantic notions and be accepting of her thankless role as her step mother’s companion for the rest of her life. The only person that matters to her is her own daughter. Yes, in this story there is just the one wicked step sister. Fortunately the ball is a masquerade, so although Sophie worries about being detected, she is somewhat assured she will be safe and is thrilled to finally be able to attend a ball. Her cousin who she attends with is to be married in the spring, so this ball is like a last grand celebration for them together.
Sophie ends up dancing with the Duke and there are fireworks between them. He is more than keen to get to know her better. Sophie doesn’t believe she has anything to offer a man, she has no money, and her step mother is bound to put a stop to any offers of marriage she may get. Knowing that, she tries to fight the attraction to the Duke. What follows is the will they won’t they between them. Will the horrible step family put a stop to Sophie having any happiness. Did they in Cinderella??? You have to read the story to find out.
The third book is The Duke’s Christmas Wish by Vivian Lorret. Unless I am mistaken, this book doesn’t follow the theme that I thought the Anthology was following, that of taking well known stories and giving them a regency twist. Because of that this story far exceeds the first two because I had no idea of what was going to be happening.
In this story The Duke of Vale is hosting a ball. Most people believe it’s a ball where he is going to be choosing a wife, but the truth is that he is using the guests to hopefully prove a marriage formula he has devised. He believes his formula will match couples perfectly so that they will stay married and be happy with each other.
Ivy Sutherland is attending the ball, but even thinking the Duke is looking for a bride, Ivy isn’t looking to catch herself a Duke. She had a bad situation with a man she cared about in her past, and it rid her of any confidence she had in herself or in love. She’s content with just being on the shelf. But she attends the ball with her friend Lilah. Lilah needs to find a husband and Ivy wants to help her snag the Duke.
The Duke of course finds himself interested in Ivy but he fights the attraction tooth and nail because if he were to fall for her then it would prove his marriage formula a failure. Ivy is attracted to the Duke too, but she fights her feelings because, one, she is supposed to be matching him up with her friend, and two, she believes she isn’t good enough for him.
The story that follows is about the relationship that forms between them despite the reasons it shouldn’t.
I really enjoyed this story, apart from the romance and the obligatory tear jerker scenes, there were some very funny light hearted moments which had me laughing out loud.
The last story in the anthology I think has to be my very favourite of them all. One Magic Season by Ashlyn Macnamara is a wonderful tale of having a second chance at love.
Patience Markham fell in love with the Duke of Kingsbury, Nathaniel Westlake many years ago. He too fell in love with her. His parents didn’t approve of her and set about splitting them up, which they successfully achieved.
10 years later, Patience is now Lady Worthington, a young widow after her husband’s early demise. Nathaniel is a widower with twin children, his wife having died not long after giving birth. Neither marriage was a love match.
Fate plays a part in having Patience and Nathaniel meet again. They are both travelling in the same direction in a snow storm, and Nathaniel’s carriage gets bogged down in the snow and is blocking the road that Patience’s carriage is on. When her carriage stops and she realises that the weather is too bad to wait for the one ahead to be moved for her to continue on her journey, she decides to return home. She offers the man in the carriage ahead a lift to somewhere warmer via her ‘Tiger’ and he accepts. Well, it turns out that the man in the carriage is none other than Nathaniel.
All the feelings from the past flood both of them but as they were both convinced that life had moved on , they tried to hide any feelings they have. He ends up staying at Patience’s residence, and they have plenty of time to talk about the past and rekindle old flames. The problem still remains that Patience will never be good enough for the Duke and that his family will still want to stop any relationship between them. Will they have the courage to fight for what they want this time, or will family and society’s opinion still get in the way?
This story has some beautiful, romantic, funny and passionate scenes. The main characters are so loveable and I would love to have read a much longer story about them.
The whole anthology was a real joy with not one of the stories being a trial to read. I am not sure if I am disappointed or not that the theme I thought the book had, one of taking old classic stories and giving them a regency twist, was incorrect. It was great to see how cleverly the authors made the changes to the classic Parent Trap, and Cinderella. At the same time, I did enjoy the last two stories where I didn’t know the plot beforehand. Maybe I should see it as the perfect mix of both kind of stories. Either way, I did thoroughly love this anthology and fully recommend it. It really puts you in a festive mood.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.