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Under the Kissing Bough: 15 Christmas Romances

by Sandy Blair (Contributor), Jeanne Adams (Contributor), Anna Campbell (Contributor), Tina De Salvo (Contributor), Barbara Devlin (Contributor)10 more, Suzanne Ferrell (Contributor), Joan Kayse (Contributor), Catherine Kean (Contributor), Kathryn Le Veque (Contributor), Anna Markland (Contributor), Hildie McQueen (Contributor), Meara Platt (Contributor), Elizabeth Rose (Contributor), Jordan K. Rose (Contributor), Lana Williams (Contributor)

Series: Weston Series ("Close to Santa's Heart, 3.7), Farthingale Series ("If You Loved Me")

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I've only read Close to Santa's Heart - Suzanne Ferrell's contribution to this boxset. If your a fan of her Westen series you'll love this sweet Christmas romance that features gentle giant Deputy Cleetus Junkins and the woman's he has had a crush on for years.

As the blurb for the boxset doesnt tell you about each story I'm going to put those below. Lots of these stories are Victorian or from the regency time period.

Tartan Bows & Mistletoe by Sandy Blair -

Close to Santa's Heart by Suzanne Ferrell - As Westen’s resident Santa, Deputy Cleetus Junkins brings the magic of Christmas to his beloved home town each year. He oversees lighting the tree in the square and raising the huge mistletoe kissing bough in the gazebo. At the parties he visits with children and the elderly. Amid all this joy even Santa can be lonely. Or he used to be. This year, Cleetus has a helper. Sylvie Gillis came to Westen for a fresh start only to have her heart immediately melted by a shy gentle giant of a deputy. Her childhood was short on happiness but playing elf to Cleetus’ Santa makes her want to believe in Christmas miracles. As Cleetus and Sylvie help bring Christmas joy to the citizens of Westen, the holiday magic weaves its way into their hearts. Will the reason Sylvie left home come between them or can she stay Close To Santa’s Heart?

Upon A Midnight Dream by Kathryn Le Veque - A weary knight returning from King Richard’s crusade, Sir Rennington of Ashbourne comes back to England only to realize he is essentially homeless. His father has died and his elder brother has inherited everything. Unwanted, and nearly destitute, Ren finds his way to Derby Cathedral on a snowy December night to sleep and figure out what he is going to do with his life. As he dozes beneath the boughs of mistletoe, hung for the Christmastide season, he hears the chatter of two women as they plot against their eldest sister. A woman, they say, who lost her betrothed on Richard’s crusade and who has vowed never to wed. Unfortunately, their wealthy father has declared that the eldest daughter, his heiress, must marry before the younger daughters can entertain suits of their own, so the two sisters hatch a scheme to force their sister to dream of the man she is to marry. They pluck berries from the Christmas boughs hung around the cathedral with the sole purpose of sneaking them beneath their eldest sister’s pillow so she will dream of her love. As Ren hears the plot, he hatches one of his own… he will go to the eldest sister and coerce the woman into marrying him. No longer will he be homeless; he will marry a woman of wealth and assume her money. It seems like an excellent scheme but the moment he arrives at Thulston Manor, he realizes he may have gotten himself into a situation that will come back to haunt him. The heiress is not at all as he expected. And so begins the unconventional romance of Sir Rennington of Ashbourne and Lady Holly St. Maur.

Mistletoe and the Major by Anna Campbell - The Major is home from the wars at last…
Edmund Black, Major Lord Canforth, has devoted eight tumultuous years to fighting Napoleon. Finally Europe is at peace, and he can retire to his estates and the lovely wife he hasn’t seen since their brief, unhappy honeymoon. The innocent girl he loved from the first moment he saw her, but who shied away from him on their wedding night. The beautiful woman who greets him at Otway Hall on Christmas Eve is no longer the sweet ingénue he remembers. This new and exciting version of his beloved countess is strong, outspoken, and independent, and she’s willing to stand up for what she wants. The question is—does she want the husband who returns to her arms more as a stranger than a spouse? Now the real battle begins. Felicity, Lady Canforth, has had eight long years to regret that she sent her husband from a cold marriage bed to face brutal combat, danger and hardship. The only child of elderly parents, Felicity came to marriage innocent and ignorant, and unable to conceal her shock at the sensual power of the earl’s caresses. Before she found the nerve to offer Canforth a more generous welcome, he was called away to war. The Major left behind a countess who was a bride, not a wife; a woman unsure of her husband’s feelings, and too timid to confess how fervently she desires the man she wed. Fate has granted an older, wiser Felicity a second chance to win her husband’s heart. Now nothing is going to stop her from claiming victory over the famous war hero. This Christmas, she’ll deploy every ounce of courage, purpose and passion to seize the life and love she’s longed for ever since Canforth left to serve his country. Whatever it costs, whatever it takes, she’ll lure the dashing Major back into her bed, where she means to show him he’s the only man she wants as her lover—and her love. After years of yearning and separation, will a Christmas miracle heal the wounds of the past and offer the earl and his bride a future bright with love?

Hunt for Christmas by Tina deSalvo - Traditions, mistletoe kisses and second chances…
The Cajun Christmas on the Bayou Celebration is an annual event in the remote town of Fa La, Louisiana, nicknamed – Fa La La. It has supported generations of the families who live in the tiny, isolated bayou community. This year may be the last. Thanks to Hunter James who bought the neighboring island, they can no longer use his land for a major part of the celebration. The island is his home where he expects to find much needed peace and quiet. He doesn’t want Christmas lights, music and revelers on his land no matter what Fa La La’s beautiful advocate, Dr. Camille Comeaux, says as she tries to change his mind…and changes his heart. Will Camille fight to steal Hunter’s peace so her family can have theirs?

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me by Barbara Devlin - A once great love..
Sold into marriage at sixteen, widowed at nineteen, and mired in a scandal of her own making at twenty-two, Lady Moreton has fallen on hard times. Alone, shunned by society, and on the verge of homelessness, she desperately searches for salvation. When Almira receives an intriguing invitation to join one of England’s most respected families for Christmas, she clings to hope, to the possibility of rescue, and packs her best gowns. Two broken hearts... Heir to a tarnished title, Lord Nicholas Sheldon seeks to right the wrongs of his past, after his father is found floating in the Thames, and his younger brother faces trial for kidnapping a high-ranking member of the peerage. In exchange for evidence in support of the Crown’s charges, Nicholas wants only one thing: the beautiful woman who stole his heart, so long ago. Pinning his hopes on a kiss beneath the kissing bough, he enlists the aid of his onetime enemies, journeys to Portsea Island, and risks everything for a chance at happiness.

An Irish Gift by Joan Kayse - Leithprachaun warrior Killian revels in the joy, love, laughter and good craic of life. After all, that’s the treasure he’s been given to protect, the one ingrained within his very soul. But centuries ago, a vengeful Banshee queen cursed his clan and stole all of the vital essences that bind the mortal and Fae worlds. Killian is a warrior, and maintains a façade of good nature and enthusiasm while he battles increasing despair that threatens his soul. He needs an anchor and finds it in an unlikely place. Kathryn Smithfield is just the type of female Killian could see himself bonding with. Kind, gracious, full of spirit…and mortal. A flaw easy to overlook but he’s not so certain he can ignore the attraction she displays to his best friend, Colin Earl of Keshlea. A simple matter to persuade Kathryn of his superior attributes but Killian’s plans are derailed by an attack from dark forces intent on destroying both worlds. With help from his Leithprachaun clan, the enemy is defeated and he turns his attention back to the woman who holds his heart in her hands. But Leithprachaun’s are not the lucky sort. A seer reveals that the key to Killian recovering his treasure lies with the choice Kathryn makes under the Kissing Bough. As the clock strikes midnight, will Killian find the salvation he craves? Only time will tell.

One Knight's Kiss by Catherine Kean - Days before Christmas, Lady Honoria Whitford buys a book at the market to add to her prized collection. Lord Tristan de Champagne, her brother’s best friend who will be spending the holidays with them, is Intrigued by her love of romantic tales but resents how enchanting he finds her, for he’s vowed never to risk his heart again. As Christmas mischief under the Kissing Bough unfolds, so does the secret of the book—one destined to bring great peril but also ever-after love.

Unkissable Knight by Anna Markland - Dervenn de Roure is a hero of the Battle of Hastings, the same conflict that left Victorine de Toeni orphaned and facing poverty. She must marry to survive. Dervenn’s scarred face bears testimony to his sacrifice, but the haughty Victorine cannot overlook the fact he is a Breton, not a Norman. It might take the scheming of an unlikely matchmaker like William the Conqueror to make her see Dervenn is the man she needs.

Christina, A Bride for Christmas by Hildie McQueen

If You Loved Me by Meara Pratt - Adelaide Farthingale’s journey from York to London as Christmas approaches takes an unexpectedly romantic turn when Desmond Cameron, the Marquis of Blackfell rescues her from an overturned carriage. The problem is, she’s on her way to London to meet her intended husband and can’t possibly fall in love with Desmond… can she? Adelaide keeps tucking that darn kissing bough under her pillow in the hope of dreaming of the man she’s supposed to marry, but Desmond keeps popping up in her dreams. Desmond Cameron is in no hurry to marry and he certainly has no intention of marrying Adelaide Farthingale, for as a marquis he can aim far higher than the daughter of a merchant. But Adelaide, neglected by her father and raised in isolation in a lonely abbey north of York, simply tugs at his heart. She’s as hopeful as Desmond is cynical, and so eager to gain her father’s approval, that she’s about to sacrifice her happiness by marrying his business partner. But after a kiss under the mistletoe, Desmond knows Adelaide is the Christmas miracle he’s been yearning for.

Destiny’s Kiss by Elizabeth Rose - Lady Annalyse Granville is the cursed second-born twin, feared by all and said to have been spawned by the devil. Hidden away in an abbey most her life, she now returns to her father’s castle at the request of her very pregnant sister who happens to be the king’s mistress. Things change in Annalyse’s life quickly as soon as one of her father’s guests, a Scot named Ross from Clan Douglas, traps her under the kissing bough – and she receives her first kiss.

Her Vampire Protector by Jordon K. Rose

Dancing Under the Mistletoe by Lana Williams

A Yule to Remember by Jeanne Adams - Welcome to the witchiest town in the world––Haven Harbor, Massachusetts! It’s the merriest of holidays and Yule and Christmas celebrations bring out the mischief and mistletoe. Caught under the kissing bough, Annie Boylston and Reyn Shapleigh are elected the King and Queen of the Yule Ball, and must spend the week in revelry and celebration. Unfortunately, someone in town isn’t so happy about the holidays. An arsonist is trying to disrupt the joyful season, bringing fire and destruction to Haven Harbor. As the fire chief, Reyn is on the front line, using every bit of his training and magick to find the firebug. Annie’s cooking store is one of the arsonist’s targets, as are other thriving businesses in town. As the fire of attraction grows between Reyn and Annie, the arsonist gets bolder. In a race to stop the fires, Reyn and Annie find one another in this hot mistletoe tale! ( )
  CindySnS | Nov 29, 2016 |
I wanted to get this review out after just reading one of the 14 novellas. This really is a nice Christmas read including authors I’ve read and others I haven’t. It’s a pleasure to get a bundle like this, all new novellas for $0.99 -- 1,460 pages of entertainment.

I read Kathryn Le Veque’s story first.

During this time of year in 1194, life isn’t easy for those who have not. The story begins with a knight huddled in the corner of Derby’s Cathedral, exhausted. His name, Sir Rennington of Ashbourne. We learn the importance of mistletoe and its berries from two sisters who are desperate to have their sister married off. Their father says they must wait until Holly marries.

“Look at this!” the woman whispered. “Will this work?”

The other woman nodded. “It has berries on it, she said. “It is not too big. It should work very well, indeed.”

...The first woman nodded. “Then we will put the sprig beneath her pillow so that she will dream of her husband,” she said, making clear the plan. “Once she dreams of him, it will make her more open to the idea of marriage. Of course, she will want to marry if she dreams of her future husband.”

The second woman shook her head. “Or she will dream of her dead love and it will ruin everything,” she said, annoyed. “It is his ghost that stands between her and marrying another. Holly has everything; she is Father’s heiress and she shall inherit his estate when he dies. Father is having a big feast tomorrow in celebration of her day of birth and everyone in the county will be there. She will have men admiring her and people bestowing great presents upon her. How on earth can she be so unhappy with her life?”

The knight still hidden in the shadows feels here is an opportunity for him. The following day at the gathering he would trap an heiress. I didn’t much like this knight. After all where was his honor, yet when he met Holly is was very kind with her.

In getting to know her, he sees she is quite the catch. She has an internal beauty and purity of soul. Will this knight’s honor ever kick in? Holly is attracted to the knight as well. Are we headed toward a catastrophic marriage? Or will fate step in, directing events?

I enjoyed the story, the unusual beginning with a knight definitely not up to Le Veque standards. Would he be able to redeem himself? ( )
  Eileen.Dandashi | Nov 28, 2016 |
I love having an opportunity to partake in a smorgasbord. Who doesn’t?

Smorgasbords at weddings are simply divine to eat. You’re able to savor delicacies you seldom have a chance to eat; or delicacies you’ve never tried before, and now will love eating more of any chance you get. But along with them comes the, heaven forbid, dreaded weight gain.

Those of us who are aficionadas of the romance genres love to devour anything and everything thing written by our favorite authors. However, at the same time we’re hesitant at times in buying something written by someone we haven’t read before. This is not because the stories aren’t well written; it’s usually because we might not like that particular author’s style of writing.

This is why I love jumping at an opportunity to read a smorgasbord of multi-genre romance novellas and novelettes written by some of the bestselling authors here in the US and internationally. I love being able to see how these various authors deal with a specific theme, as is the case here. The theme in this LIMITED EDITION, which is a get it while you can situation, is the Kissing Bough, otherwise known as the mistletoe.

What’s more fun than kissing someone under under the mistletoe. It’s kissing them under their nose.[LOL]

But seriously, how many women who haven’t found their HEA yet, each year are looking forward to this holiday season so they can grab their desired hunk and kiss him under the mistletoe, even it means having a friend nearby with a sprig of this mythical bough dangling on a string attached to a stick.

In each of the 15 wonderful stories contained in this collection, the female protagonist is counting on her kissing her guy under the mistletoe before the last berry has been removed. Will each of these women obtain what she desires, or will she be disappointed only to wait until next year for her next opportunity to have the HEA she desires?

With the low price for this collection, how can you go wrong in downloading a copy? This is why I’m not hesitating in giving this collection the 5 STARS it so richly deserves. ( )
  MyPenNameOnly | Nov 22, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Blair, SandyContributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, JeanneContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, AnnaContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
De Salvo, TinaContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Devlin, BarbaraContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferrell, SuzanneContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kayse, JoanContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kean, CatherineContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Veque, KathrynContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Markland, AnnaContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
McQueen, HildieContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Platt, MearaContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rose, ElizabethContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rose, Jordan K.Contributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, LanaContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Farthingale Series ("If You Loved Me")
Weston Series ("Close to Santa's Heart, 3.7)

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