Customer Reviews: A Biltmore Christmas (Romancing America)
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on January 4, 2013
The premise sounded interesting - romances taking place in Biltmore over Christmas! The Vanderbilt Mansion in Asheville, NC is the largest individual home in the US and is positively breathtaking. In fact, some of the most interesting bits in the first story were those that brought you into the house and gave descriptions--for anyone who has been there, it was easy to envision the places and picture some actual life in them. However, these four stories of four sisters who find love while working at Biltmore are not only written by four separate authors, it is pretty obvious that they were written without a lot of cooperation. A sister you come to care for in the first story, for instance, completely disappears in the other three, never to be heard from again. They might as well have been four total strangers. The writing is uneven, and I don't recommend this book.
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on December 20, 2011
I enjoyed reading these 4 short stories about the Bradford sisters. As each sister finds work at the Biltmore Estate, she also finds love at Christmas. Lighthearted, quick reads like these are perfect for the busy Christmas season.
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on November 28, 2011
Four sisters, four Christmas adventures at the Biltmore Estates:
Charity, learns how to properly care for a horse while snagging the attention of Clay.
Selma, working as a chambermaid catches the eye of Jacob who is popular among the ladies.
Peggy, creator of delicious treats and assistant to the pastry chef finds more than honey on a trip to see a gardener.
Melissa, whose talents excell in the mechanical field grinds the heart of Ned an entrepreneur.

I enjoy reading these kinds of stories, each one different and unique, yet each one successfully tying the characters together. The book can be read in one sitting or in several. This book blends four charming stories of haves and have nots that will capture your heart and hold your attention from a team of talented authors. I was entertained and challenged in my faith and found the overall message inspiring. I would recommend this book for the coming holiday season.
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on November 10, 2011
Leave it to Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver to create yet another charming historical. Capitalizing on the Biltmore legacy, Ashley and McCarver ground the reader in a series of accidents surrounding two lovable (and soon to be in love) charcters, Melissa and Ned. From the fascination of the horseless carriage to a young woman's unorthodox gift, I was delighted from start to finish. I look forward to more.
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on June 2, 2012
This book is great especially if you have visited the Biltmore Estate. If you have visited the Biltmore, you can read this book and imagine these women in the mansion and get a visual idea of how their lives must have been. It is great if you are crammed for time, yet want to read because it is broken up into four stories about 4 sisters. The characters are easy to relate to and believable. This is a great romance to read especially if you want to cut out the "too sexual" part out of the romance. It is a sweet innocent romance that you don't have to worry about one of your kids picking up. I recommend this book to anyone who loves good old fashioned romance.
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on January 17, 2012
This is a collection of 4 stories about 4 sisters, who come to work at the Biltmore House in Asheville at separate times. The stories are so light, I would be bored if I only read this type of fiction, but they are nice now and then. At least they are clean, faith-based romances, which I do appreciate. Because they are shorter stories, however, they are rather simplistic.

CAROLINA CHRISTMAS is about Charity, the first of the sisters to go to Biltmore House to work and to find her husband. It has the strongest plot of the four. Clay lets Charity assume he is a stable hand, when he is a guest, and this causes a number of problems. I did question this, since the two classes would have dressed so differently, but it did make things interesting.

A PROPER CHRISTMAS is the one I enjoyed the least. Selma is so concerned with doing the proper thing, she almost comes across as shallow and retiring. I was also surprised there was not more resistance to her marrying a friend of George Vanderbilt's in the late 1800's, when she was a servant.

A HONEY OF A CHRISTMAS - The plot was based on the fact Peggy was allergic to bee stings and decides she can't marry the man she loves, when she finds out he is a beekeeper. I find it strange she did not tell him, and she seemed less intelligent, because she didn't think of better ways this could be handled.

AN ACCIDENTAL CHRISTMAS - I found Melissa delightful, but I was surprised there wasn't more opposition to a female mechanic around the turn of the century.

The biggest problem I had with the book was there was no local dialect or flavor. The Biltmore house was described from information that is easily obtainable, and there was a sense of the mountain scenery, but otherwise the book could have easily been set in the North of the United States or England. There were also other small problems, like the guests and servants using the same stairs and the easy relationships between the two groups.

There were also uncorrected problems when the book was scanned for kindle. Many times 2 words are written together, which may slow your reading down somewhat.
Still, I enjoyed the book enough to give it 4 stars and would recommend it for a quick, light read.
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on February 8, 2016
All four stories were sweet!

A Carolina Christmas:

Clay and Charity want a simple life. Clay wants to escape the upper class snobbery and meet a girl who doesn't want him for his money. So when he meets Charity, a servant girl working in a hotel.

This was just a cute short story with some tension in it, but well worth the read! I can't revel to much without giving away the story, but clay's parents, and his cousin along with an old foe play a part in this story.

A Proper Christmas:

Selma takes a job at the Biltmore hotel. On her first day, she walks into an occupied room and embarassingly meets Jacob. Afraid of losing her job, she begs him not to turn her in and leaves. But Jacob is intrigued and seeks out the lady. The more they talk, the more interested he becomes. But Jacob is rich, and Selma is poor. She doesn't think things can ever work between them. Jacob just has to convince her to give him a try.

A Honey of a Christmas:

Peggy, the oldest of four sisters, is working for Biltmore making some of her favorite treats. One day, she's sent to check on honey and meets a man that tugs at her heartstrings. Then she meets his son and begins spending time with the pair to teach his son to read. But there is a problem that just may keep them apart.

Sweet story, like the others. A bit of romance thrown in.

An Accidental Christmas:

Melissa was probably the most different of all her sisters. Getting to work at Biltmore, she was excited. Her three older sisters had all found love while working well there. But Melissa feels she should have been a boy. Fixing machinery seemed to work for her, but anywhere else, she messed up. One day, as she rode her horse, she ran into a motorless carriage and injured the driver. A sort of odd relationship soon started.

All four books were short and sweet and had a romantic twist at the end. Love them!
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on January 5, 2016
This was an absolutely delightful read. It is about four sisters, orphans, who find their place and their heart at the Biltmore Estate. Instead of one story, it is actually four novellas, one for each sister, each story written by a different author. The stories are very sweet, clean, romance stories, and each can be read in a couple hours. They are simple, but delightful happy-ever-afters. It's the perfect cozy-by-the-Christmas-tree read.
I would love to know more about how the book came together with four different writers. It appears that the writers were all given the background for the four girls, and just enough detail about what order the happy ever afters would occur in. The girls do not really cross over into the other stories, although each sister does talk about the other girls, you can read the stories in any order because there aren't any specifics in each story about the plots of the other three. I think the fact that each sister's story was written by a different author gave a neat voice to the characters. Each girl is distinct in personality and style. Selma's story was my favorite. Peggy's story was unique in that since Peggy had a love for baking, various recipes are incorporated throughout her story. All in all, the perfect Christmas read - even in all the hustle and bustle, you can still get in a nice read without losing track.
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on December 8, 2013
I enjoyed this collection of Christmas stories set at the Biltmore. The stories were not too long so the book read very fast and I finished it in two days. The only complaint I have is I wish each story could have been just a bit longer but that is not really a complaint is it. I enjoyed each sister's story about how they found love. Peggy was a favorite when reading about how much she was respected in her job and I enjoyed reading about Mark, Charity's story was my favorite one to read as I loved Clay, Selma was another favorite story of mine as I also liked Jacob, I even felt bad for him at one point, in Melissa I totally understood her as a tomboy and not thinking she has any talents, I wanted to be her friend. I have always wanted to go to the Biltmore and reading this book makes me want to go even more. I recommend this book for a nice quick holiday read.
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on December 13, 2015
I enjoyed these stories. They are sweet, light-hearted, and faith-filled.

My one disappointment was that the stories seemed a bit disjointed. I've read similar collections with characters in the same place and time, where the stories were somewhat interwoven, and you saw characters throughout the books. There wasn't really any following of the characters, and that is not what I would expect from sisters who were supposedly so close. There was very little mention of the others in the books, which was unexpected. I think I would have enjoyed these stories more if their only connection was Biltmore with no mention of the sisters (since then I wouldn't have expected an ongoing connection between them).
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