"Considering him as a romantic hero was like hearing a rabbit bark like a dog or seeing a Maypole on Christmas Eve."
Christmas is a time of love, service, and change. This year Deborah, Julia, and Caroline are inviting a little of each into their lives. With the help of family and friends each learn that overcoming obstacles is well worth the endeavor. Especially when the end result is falling in love.
thoughts & feelings
Honesty moment, this is my first anthology read...ever. I have collected Christmas anthologies for the past few years but had never read any of them. This year I'm starting off December with ALL of the anthologies.
I began with this novel because I was gifted it for my birthday a few months ago and was excited to read novellas from two new to me authors. I was pleasantly surprised with each of the novellas and enjoyed the stories. After reading the stories from Anneka R. Walker and Sarah L. McConkie I headed over to my Goodreads app and looked up what other books they had to offer. I'm so excited to go book shopping!
To make this review a little easier to follow I will briefly talk about each of the novellas in the order of appearance. First up, Josi S. Killpack's novella Meet Me Under the Kissing Bough. I really enjoyed getting to see and experience some of the Christmas house party traditions. It was fun to get to learn a little more about these traditions and how Deborah, our leading lady, tailored them to her family. My only hang up with this story was the character of Anthony Clampton, Earl of Minset. He and Deborah are childhood friends and I enjoyed their teasing and familiarity when he first appears. However, I felt like he quickly descended into the stereotypical pompous Earl and became almost vengeful. I wish the situation was handled differently and that he could have been a bit more gracious. But maybe that was the point? I know that this portrayal is probably quite accurate but I'm in denial.
I absolutely loved Anneka R. Walker's story, Healing Hearts for the Holidays, and thought that it was perfection. It was a simple enough story that I felt like it was nicely wrapped up within the pages. However, I would not be at all mad if Anneka R. Walker decided to continue Julia's story in a full length novel...just saying. I love how she tied together a little mystery, love, and family healing in a simple yet heart wrenching way. This was my favorite novella in the collection and I hope you love it as much as I do!
P.S. I started a new anthology and learned that Julia's story is the second in a series! Check "book information" to see where you can find the first story.
Last, but certainly not least, is Sarah L. McConkie's A Christmas Correspondence. This novella was inspired by the beloved story A Christmas Carol. I was most excited about this novella because I wanted to see how she interpreted and changed the original story. I also LOVED that she made the "Scrooge" of the story a woman. My only complaint is I want a longer story! It was so captivating that I just wanted it to continue for another few chapters. I would have loved to see how the members of the "ton" reacted to her change. Or maybe get a glimpse of her a year later.
For a few fun snippets about this anthology check out the episode Christmas Romances on the Between the Lines podcast.
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Trigger Warnings: parental loss
Title: Meet Me Under the Kissing Bough
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Title: Healing Hearts for the Holidays
Series: you can read Ivy's story, Lord Blakely's Gift, in the anthology A Hopeful Christmas. Author: Anneka R. Walker
Title: A Christmas Correspondence
Author: Sarah L. McConkie