- Paperback: 290 pages
- Publisher: cJewel Books (October 8, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1937823369
- ISBN-13: 978-1937823368
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 133 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Christmas in the Duke's Arms: A Historical Romance Holiday Anthology Paperback – October 8, 2014
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About the Author
Grace Burrowes started writing romances as an antidote to empty nest and soon found it an antidote to life in general. She is the sixth out of seven children, and grew up reading voraciously when she wasn't enjoying the company of her horse. Grace is a practicing child welfare attorney in western Maryland, and loves to hear from her readers. Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master’s degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has two cats and two dogs. Also a son. One of the cats is his. Miranda Neville grew up in England, loving the books of Georgette Heyer and other Regency romances. Her historical romances include the Burgundy Club series, about Regency book collectors, and The Wild Quartet. She lives in Vermont with her daughter, her cat, and a ridiculously large collection of Christmas tree ornaments. She is thrilled to finally write a Christmas story in collaboration with three amazingly talented ladies. Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books "lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.
Top customer reviews
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All that said, I didn't love most of THESE novellas. The book wisely hooks readers with Grace Burrowes' tale, which I'd give at least a B+/A- and which is the primary reason I didn't rank this overall collection lower than I did. (The other is that it sells for such a reasonable price that I can't complain...well, not TOO much, anyway!) As is typical of Burrowes' work, the sex scenes are a little lengthy and explicit and overemphasized for my particular taste. As is also typical of Burrowes' work, however, I loved the prose and overall tone too much to care. Levi is one of Burrowes' typical heroes---an endearing beta with some inner "alpha-esque" qualities---smart, sensitive and, of course, in a certain amount of pain :) The heroine is likable enough, albeit not all that memorable other than that she's an animal lover, which immediately earned her bonus points from me. There's warmth, humor and some really strong writing here. I finished this one hopeful that I'd end up adoring the whole anthology...
...and then I read the other three :) Carolyn Jewel's writing style just isn't my proverbial cup of tea---it's a little too basic and clunky, for lack of a better way of describing it. Her heroine was likable---the cheery, resilient sort who determinedly makes the best of her lot---but her hero was one of those typical snarling brooders who's a jerk the vast majority of the time but who we're supposed to adore anyway because it turns out he's really a good sort underneath who's just uncomfortable. The real problem here, though, is that there's little to no actual story. It all revolves around a basic misunderstanding (ugh---I hate those!) where the heroine assumes the hero is about to propose to her cousin...and, well, that's pretty much it. *yawn* C-
I usually like Miranda Neville's writing, but her story in this one fell really flat for me. A few individual lines were really well written, but overall it felt rushed, hurried and unsatisfying. The fact that I can't even remember enough of it to comment further speaks volumes. C
Shana Galen's had definite potential. I tend to be a sucker for romances that incorporate some mystery and suspense rather than just droning on and on about the romantic angst that we know they're eventually going to overcome anyway :) I also found the characters relatable, at least initially. But the culprit proved embarrassingly obvious, the overall pacing and tone were just really off, and the H and h ended up feeling really generic and forgettable for me. C/C+
Overall, this was a disappointing collection for me, but you might decide that Burrowes' novella makes it worth the reasonable price.
It is Christmas 1817 and much merriment and romance are making their way through the town and their visitors.
First a barrister must figure out how to get himself out of a sticky situation and married to a young widow he has loved for long time. (Now our young widow keeps Angora rabbit that keep popping up all through the book.)
Then the Duke of Hopewell-on-the-Lyft has monuvered the young woman he fell in love with in London over the Season to move to a house bordering his proptery. His only problem that being an orphan raised by nurses, nannies, toutors and estate solicitors and taught duty before all things, he never learned how to interact with other people, but he despertly wants to learn for her, especially when he learns that the China she special ordered has trim the exact green hue of his eyes. Can he learn there is more to being than being a Duke?
Next a man has promised his friend and his families long time neighbor that he will care for his daughter when he dies. The problem is every time he tries to purpose he can't think of the words, then when traveling home with her over christmas, he finds the words only to have mother of his wards try to get him to offer for her, by any means she can come up with.
Finally, Christmas is over and two agents for the Crows top spy network, M and Q come into the Duke's Arms to finally caught the highwayman that has been calling himself "The New Sheriff of Nottingham" and robbing the coaches as the come through. Once, M and Q and been lovers, then M asked Q to marry him and that ended that. Now, here is this small town away from Town, he has another chance. Could the knowledge he has learned from the books in the archives of the agency be of help in winning his Q back? And can they figure out who the highwayman is before someone gets killed?
Loved this anthology and found two new authors that I will look for more from in the future.