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A Regency Holiday [Anthology 4-in-1] by…

A Regency Holiday [Anthology 4-in-1]

by Allison Lane

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A Regency Holiday is a solid collection of Christmastime novellas. The four have a bit of a rushed feel in parts, understandably due to their shortened size, but the overall effect of each is still a well-written story that leaves you with a warm glow. They all take place around the Christmas season, but they don't smack you in the face with overly saccharine seasonal sweetness, or use Christmas as an eye-rollingly obvious plot device, which is nice. I've made it a point to try and read Christmas-themed books this holiday season, and have found that for some reason the historical ones have by far been more satisfying reads than the contemporary--and this anthology is a perfect example. Of the four, the first and the last ("Coventry's Christmas" by Rebecca Hagan Lee and "Home for Christmas" by Alicia Rasley) were my favorites, but the other two (Lynn Kerstan's "Star of Wonder" and Allison Lane's "A Christmas Homecoming") were just as enjoyable. Any of them would benefit from being written into a full-length novel, but readers don't feel cheated at all with the shorter format. I hadn't read anything by any of the four authors before, but my experience with this collection will definitely have me looking for more from all of them in the future. ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
Review: A Regency Holiday A Christmas Regency Anthology by Lynn Kerstan
Coventry's Christmas by Rebecca Hagan Lee
The first story touched me to tears at one point.
Amabel Thurston was asked by her stepmother to leave her family home right before Christmas. She went on the mail coach to Coventry Court. Marquess of Coventry was her guardian but he did not realize it and closed his country home and lone home for Christmas. He does not celebrate Christmas.
Deverel Brookfield goes to a brothel every year for the Christmas.
Amabel goes to the brothel thinking its a home for Orphans to stay till she finds her guardian their.

Star of Wonder by Lynn Kerstan
Stella Bryar lives in a old run down house with servants that are more like family in the country. A stranger appears in a blizzard and has a mystery to solve.
A Christmas Homecoming by Allison pace
Alex comes home after running away and joining the army six years ago. His child sweetheart had married another and given him no notice. When Alex makes it home their is a Christmas party and the first one he runs into is past fiance now living their as a companion to his mother with her two girls.
Alex falls for her and her two girls and the more he finds out the more he loves.
Home for Christmas by Alicia Rasley
Verity has a little girl Beth under 2 years of age. Verity has given herself a husband a captain away at sea. She decides she needs to make up with her father so if something happens to Beth she will still have family.
As she is getting ready to spend Christmas with her father and about to get in the carriage, A stranger that looks like her made up husband Captain Eric Randall. Comes about an ad that is wanting to buy one of a pair of knives.
He wants to know if she has the other and Verity says no but she knows who does and if he will pretend to be her husband for the week. She will take him to see if the owner will sell it to him.
So they pretend to be a family for a week. Beth is cute and likes her papa.
All four stories were good but short. I liked them and would read their books agains. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review from Netgalley. ( )
  rhonda1111 | Dec 6, 2011 |
For an easy read in between the hustle and bustle, the hurdy gurdy of the Christmas Season, this collection of four Regency novellas is timely. ( )
  eyes.2c | Dec 4, 2011 |
This is a collection of 4 Christmas-themed Regency novellas. They are all romances, but each is quite different from the others. It's hard to rate an anthology, but I've chosen my rating based on my overall impression of the collection.

#1. COVENTRY'S CHRISTMAS (Rebecca Hagan Lee)
This was an enjoyable story of a young woman who's run out of options, so she runs away and seeks shelter from a guardian whom she's never met. When Annabel arrives in Londan and finally meets Devlin, she cannot believe her guardian is so young. When his father died, Devlin inherited all his wealth...and responsibilities...including his young ward. During one day in London together, Annabel teaches him to celebrate Christmas and love again, ending in a happily ever after for all. The characters in this book were delightful. I particularly enjoyed how Annabel stumbles upon Devlin. He is protective of her from the first instant, and the fact that he's a reformed rake makes him even better. However, it is impossible for me to believe that any man could wake up one morning in a brothel and be prepared to deliver a proposal of marriage the next morning to a woman he'd met only hours before. Story rating: 3 stars

#2. STAR OF WONDER (Lynn Kerstan)
This was my least favorite story in the collection. Stella manages a falling-down old house with 3 servants who have become her family since her father's death. Everything of value has been taken by her stepmother, and Stella struggles to survive the cold winters on her own. One Christmas Eve, a handsome and mysterious stranger appears, seeking urgent business with her father. Although she's drawn to the stranger, the more she learns about him, the more suspicious she becomes. This story was completely unrealistic. She's a strong (and modern, in many ways) woman, yet she throws caution to the wind because she meets a handsome stranger. The reason he's there, and the way he finds what he is seeking, seem far too convenient to be realistic. There is no spark between Stella and Kiro, so I did not believe their "love" or even care about either character. Story Rating: 1 star

This story was my second-favorite, as this one involves a bit of mystery. Alex has returned home, the prodigal son, to assume his noble duties. He must find a wife and produce an heir, but things are complicated when he realizes who his mother's paid companion is. She has hired his ex-fiancee, the only woman he ever loved...a woman who jilted him years ago when he was in the Army and married another. Now a young widow, she and her two daughters are under his roof. To further complicate matters, someone has stolen 12,000 pounds from his accounts, and it seems someone might be trying to kill him to gain access to his funds. Alex woos Sarah in part by his attentions to her young daughters. His gentleness and playfulness with them makes him irresistible to Sarah and the reader as well. The only problem is the rushed ending. Considering the abuse Sarah suffered at the hands of her ex-husband, I doubt she'd be so willing to rush into Alex's arms again. Story Rating: 4 stars

#4. HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (Alicia Rasley)
This story was my favorite. If all the stories had been this good, I would have given the collection a 5-star rating. This is the story of a young woman, Verity, who is a single mother. Her father will never accept her and her young daughter (a two-year old toddler named Beth) if he knows she is a bastard. He suspects this is the case, but Verity has invented a husband and father, a sailor named Captain Randall. (The child's actual father died without knowing he has a father and before he could marry Verity.) When a handsome stranger appears at her cottage asking for a keepsake (a jeweled dagger) her father possesses, Verity strikes a deal: She will try to help him get the dagger if he will pretend to be Captain Randall for one week, while they go home to her father's house for the holiday. He accepts, and before long, their charade becomes more than fiction. I loved this story, because the heroine was so funny and strong, and the hero was deprecating and tender. Their romance was the most believable as well. Story Rating: 5 stars

If you are a fan of Regency romance, you will most likely find something to like in this collection. Keep in mind that all the stories are not equally matched, but there is some enjoyable reading to be had. ( )
  halo776 | Nov 27, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Allison Laneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kerstan, Lynnsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lane, Allisonsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rasley, Aliciasecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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FOUR Favorite Regency Authors -- THREE never-before-in-print Christmas novellas -- ONE beloved classic now back in print . . . and a partridge in a pear tree . . . In Coventry's Christmas, Rebecca Hagan Lee offers a charming new story. With Christmas approaching, Amabel Thurston is ordered from the family home by her father's widow and must seek the protection of her guardian, Deverel Brookfield, eighth Marquess of Coventry. Unfortunately, the Devil of Coventry has little use for Christmas and even less for proper young ladies.In the never-in-print Star of Wonder, Lynn Kerstan brings her special brand of magic to the page when an exotic and dangerous stranger arrives to disrupt the meager Christmas of Stella Bryar, who has struggled to support the family retainers in the wake of her father's death.Allison Lane's newest Christmas treat is A Christmas Homecoming. When prodigal son Alex Northcote returns from a six year absence to take control of the family estate, he must run a gauntlet of possible brides, who have all been installed for a holiday house party by his determined grandmother. Avoiding the trap would have been so much easier, if the guest list hadn't included a quiet widow, who once jilted him for another.In the classic Home for Christmas, Alicia Rasley gives us a Christmas with a bit of intrigue. When Verity receives an unexpected invitation from her estranged father to spend the holidays at his Cornwall estate, she accepts with delight. But, ever mindful of her father's attention to propriety, she must scramble to find a husband and "father" for her fatherless child. Could a handsome and enigmatic stranger solve all her problems?… (more)

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