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Have Yourself a Merry Little Scandal: a Christmas collection of Historical Romance (Have Yourself a Merry Little. Book 2) Kindle Edition
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- File size : 4078 KB
- Publication date : October 8, 2020
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 1777 pages
- Publisher : Historical Harlots (October 8, 2020)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B08KXT23JF
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,524 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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A variety of short, steamy Christmas tales, all involving some sort of scandal in the plot. This collection is not clean—please don’t give bad reviews to dirty books because you don’t like to read dirty books. Just look at the reviews for that warning and then don’t read them if that’s not to your taste. I’m sure the authors won’t be offended.
This collection has regency, Victorian, and turn of the century (~1900) stories. Brief plots and reactions to each are below. Some stories are better than others, and there are a few that could have stood to be proofread more thoroughly. Overall, gives many hours of entertainment.
Rogue for hire
Lord Harry, reprobate youngest son, makes his living as a “fixer”—he and his friends offer many services on the edge of (and firmly outside) the law. Alice asks him to save her sister from a fortune hunter, and they find they are well-matched. But will Alice be OK with Harry’s work? The start of a new series, it seems, and I’m looking forward to more of stories featuring these characters.
Highlander’s Christmas Lassie
This was a bittersweet story, and although there is the HEA expected, thinking of Malcolm’s years spent searching for his lost love and their child made it harder to enjoy.
The Christmas Rose
Ludo and Bunty are wonderful characters and I fell in love with these two. I only wish the story had been longer so I could enjoy more of them. Two somewhat lost souls find happiness together after they are forced to marry because he accidentally compromised her.
Lady’s Guide to Scandal
Cornelia is somewhere between a spinster and a widow. Although widowed, she seems more like a spinster with a bad reputation due to her scandalous mother and late husband. She meets Ethan, a Texan archaeologist, and he is smitten but has issues to address before they can have their HEA.
Fate Gave me a Duke
If I had a dollar for every incorrect apostrophe in this story, I could buy several more books. So badly proofread that the errors are distracting—the other stories were much better in this regard. This is another “had to marry because he compromised her (sort of) accidentally” stories, but beyond that, not a lot of story happens. They don’t hate being married and they have lots of sex.
I almost dnf’d this one, because it was a comedy of errors situation where everyone was misunderstanding everyone else about who loved who, and it was just silly. The misunderstandings went on far too long, and the meddling sisters behind the attempted setups were clueless and annoying. Sorry, I’ve read others by this author that I enjoyed, but this one just wasn’t for me.
Highlander Duncan is in London to retrieve his runaway betrothed, Mary. Not to marry her, since she ran off to be with an English vicar, but her father wants her home. Unfortunately, Duncan mistakenly abducts her sister Jane instead. Jane is in London helping Mary through a difficult pregnancy. Mary isn’t going home, Jane isn’t going home, and Duncan isn’t returning without at least one sister to show for his retrieval efforts. While waiting for Mary to deliver the baby, Duncan learns all about Christmas.
Bedeviled, A Russian Pursuit
A companion story to an earlier novel, Betrothed, the Petroski brothers are back. Little brother Ilya is pretending to be Prince Demitri in order to help him break his engagement by scandalizing his fiancée (read about that in Betrothed), but Ilya has his eyes on a different prize, and misbehaving for his brother is not helping his cause. This was a long slow story— lots and lots of description of inner turmoil with relatively less actual action. I don’t remember Betrothed dragging like this, and Ilya is actually interesting, so it was a little disappointing for it to be a slog to read about him.
At the Mistletoe Masquerade
Cassie and Sydney have loved each other for a while, but neither knows how the other feels. Cassie is Sydney’s best friend’s little sister and he think he’s not good enough for her. She just wants a kiss at the annual Mistletoe Masquerade ball to see if she can convince him to love her. Of course they end up with an audience and must marry (another one of those compromising situation stories). The HEA comes pretty easily in this one. Would love to read about Renvere and his daughters and the mystery governess, too!
A Scandal Before Christmas
Second chance here. Theo and Lauren were engaged, But she broke it off when she found out their fathers arranged it for financial reasons. Theo doesn’t care about her money, he just wants Lauren, and he has a plan to win her back. The whole story is just (it felt long, but it was only a matter of days) his campaign to get married to her. Also not exactly that scandalous?
Her Virgin Duke
Bennett became the Duke of Tunbury at 15, carefully controlled by trustees until the age of 25. So carefully controlled, that he’s still a virgin. Well, that all changes in this story, with the help of a good woman. I really enjoyed this one, Bennett is a charming and fun character.
A Scandalous Secret
Not really all that scandalous, but it is a secret that Victoria is in love with Thomas, her spymaster father’s protege. When Victoria gets attacked, Thomas comes to the rescue, and things develop from there. Apparently part of Trentham’s Spies and Lovers world, I haven’t read any of those books, but this was a decent story.
The Christmas Courtesan
Part of Vale’s Gentleman Courtesan series. Widow Miranda is tasked by her widowed friends to find out about the mysterious Gentleman Courtesans. Roger, younger brother to flaky Viscount Angus, takes it upon himself to replace their sister’s dowry when Angus loses it on a risky investment. Courtesan manager Benedict can’t believe his luck at having a 36-year old virgin available to set up with a client. Miranda snaps Roger up before a bidding war breaks out among the ladies. If you’ve read any of the other stories in this series, you know how this ends. Miranda and Roger are a wonderful pair, and I forced myself to read this anthology in order so I wouldn’t just jump ahead to the last story and skip the others. I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed several of the other stories, but it did mean saving the best for last!
Overall, I’m giving this 4/5 stars. There are some great stories and some less great stories, but it’s certainly worth reading, especially for the great ones.
When society peacock Lord Harry Steele is thrown out of home on Christmas Eve, he not only misses out on a sumptuous Christmas dinner, but he is forced to quickly find a way to make money. He hits upon a brilliant idea. Instead of creating scandals, he will get paid to manage them. A desperate Alice North seeks Harry’s help to rid her of a fortune hunting scoundrel. In Harry she discovers a handsome, yet complex man, who sets her blood on fire. Harry in turn is drawn to Alice. A steamy secret affair ignites between them. But, will Alice’s heart be the ultimate price she has to pay for engaging the services of a Rogue for Hire?
Will his line of business kill their burgeoning romance in its nest ...
What a fun read it was, I wonder if it is the first in a new series. I loved the group of misfits Harry and his friends are.
Harry once without fonds had to find a way to sustain himself, and he uses his talent at meddling, at disguising in plain light to sell his services as a scandal eraser. He is fun and full of humour. At time, extravagant and excessive.
Alice wants the best for her sister, and it is removing the fortune hunter of the equation. Thus her need of Harry’s services.
At time, when unsure of herself, I found her a bit cruel with Harry, reporting her ire on him because she misunderstood his words.
It is a playful read with a great group of friends, witty banters and a surprising second romance.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗥𝗼𝘀𝗲 by 𝗘𝗺𝗺𝗮 𝗩. 𝗟𝗲𝗲𝗰𝗵
Darkly handsome Ludo – universally known as Lascivious Lord Courtney – is the wickedest rake in Christendom. With a reputation that makes nice young ladies swoon, he is just not the marrying kind. Unwitting wallflower Felicity Bunting is only trying to protect a friend when she finds herself in a compromising situation with this lusty lord. She might not have meant to do it, but Bunty just accidentally trapped Lord Courtney into marriage. Neither of them is what the other ever expected to have, but perhaps they might be all they ever wanted.
Will their marriage turn better than everyone could have expected...
Oh how I love Ludo, he is far away from what the scandal sheets portrayed. He is a young man who had been robbed of any care and love as a child, bullied for his parentage, denied what he loved to do and finally disinherited. Thus he became the Coutney black sheep. A nickname that follows his every step, why he could only admire Felicity from afar, feeling unworthy of her and by living in the fringes of society, he will never be good enough.
Felicity has heard all life she was too fat, tall, too much. So much, she accepts it as her personal definition, whom she is for her peers. Until everything is turned upside down and she is engaged with the Wicked of the Wicked. But this life turning event is also a revelation, it will be life changing for them both.
Each will draw strength from the other, as they recognize a companion soul, they see victim when there is one.
Mrs Leech paint a beautiful tale of finding one’s strength through love, and as they began little with few to nothing, love is the wealth of the heart.
𝗔 𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗹 𝗕𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 by 𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝗠𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗻
Lady Lauren Kendall is positive she’ll never marry. Being betrayed by the man you love hardens a woman’s heart. But forgetting her wicked fiancé is not that easy. Especially when his kisses are hot enough to melt the winter snow. Theodore Hawthorne cannot forget the woman who should have been his wife. Forced together at a country house Christmas party, the fire between them is clearly undiminished. Determined to win Lauren back, Theodore sets a course of tender seduction. One thing is certain. By the stroke of midnight on Christmas Day, there will either be a scandal to resolve or a wedding to celebrate.
I feel in love with Mrs Moran’s writing talent while reading The Untamed Duke, it was hilarious and moving, everything I love in an historical romance.
Here it was such a different tale, but I loved every pages of it.
A man determined to win back the woman he loves because of others’ interférences and his own cowardice.
I loved Theodore, he owns his mistakes, and wants to make things right. He is determined to get his betrothed back, despite everything she might think about him, he loves her and can’t conceive a life without her.
Lauren was sadly mislead by her family, so when she learned the truth, she gave no thoughts août Theodore’s feelings. She plainly ended their engagement, never giving him the time to explain. Her stubbornness nearly robbed her of the man destined for her.
She is lucky he is no ordinary man, he is a man on a quest, and conquer her heart he will.
A charming second chance tale.
𝗔 𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗹𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗦𝗲𝗰𝗿𝗲𝘁 by 𝗟𝗮𝘂𝗿𝗮 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗺
As the daughter of England’s spymaster, Miss Victoria Hawkins is no stranger to secrets. Her biggest secret is the tender feelings she holds for Thomas Garrick, her father’s personal guard. As the pressure to choose a husband at an upcoming Christmas house party mounts, Victoria grows desperate. When circumstances trap them together in a cottage with a single bed and a bottle of brandy, her infatuation with the gruff Garrick might cause the scandal of the season…and give Victoria exactly what she wishes for this Christmas. A secret passion is revealed when a spymaster’s daughter and the man pledged to protect her are forced to shelter for the night in a cottage—with one bed.
Will their différence keep them apart...
I just loved this story, those two fated soulmates finding the strength to thwart society’s dictates to follow their heart.
Garrick is a good man, he lost everything as a child and began anew more than once. He always has a thing for his employer’s daughter, but he is just an lowly orphan who was given a second chance. He deals with danger and brutes on a daily basis, his life is in the shadows, Victoria is his breath of fresh air even if it is only from afar. She is his one and only.
Despite his feelings, he does not see a future together.
Victoria is feisty young woman, in love with a man her mother would probably never deem right. Yet, in spite of her feelings for him, she is ready to burry her sentiments for a different future, as it seems too many difficulties lie between them and happiness.
I just loved this sensual tale of doomed lovers, doomed until they strengthen their core to go for what they want.
Her Virgin Duke by Nicola Davidson
Bennett Innsworth became the Duke of Tunbury ten years ago at age fifteen. His trustees/guardians taught him very well how to run his dukedom. That was a good thing. He took their demands for proper behavior to heart, and as a result, he is aloof, socially awkward, and still a virgin. When he loses a bet with Lord Fletcher the blackguard wants him to scope out Delilah’s Temple, an infamous pleasure club. When he arrives and meets Delilah Forbes, the owner, he is more than surprised to find the club is well-run by an astute business woman who caters to a select clientele. Bennett and Delilah spending time together turns the world upside down for both of them. During conversation, shopping, and dealing with that pesky virginity, they fall for each other. Can the uptight Duke and the feisty Mistress of Sin find love, or will they be felled by the stricture of Society?
Her Virgin Duke is a red hot, sexy holiday delight. Delilah is bold, smart, and understanding. Bennett is an honorable, lonely man, who bursts into his own with her urging. Her formerly virgin Duke is indeed a quick learner. Judith and Preston are delightful, open-minded, and would like very much for Bennett to marry for love, as they did. A good story. Great characters. I enjoyed it.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novella.
Top reviews from other countries
Rogue for Hire - by Sasha Cottman 5 Stars
When Lord Harry Steele is disowned & thrown out by his father, a couple of days before Christmas, he has to find a way of earning his living. Together with some friends they have founded the RR Coaching Company which is a front for lots of less than legal activities but Harry uses his own scandalous persona to help others managing scandals. Alice North is desperate to rid her sister Prudence of a fortune hunter & turns to Harry. A well written page turning novella that I read in a sitting, strong characters & a very good pace made for a lovely read. I loved Harry & some of his outfits had me laughing out loud, I loved how the attraction between the pair grew & they saw beneath their facades. I’d love for the other Rogues of the Road to have their stories too.
The Lady's Guide to Scandal - by Emmanuelle de Maupassant 5 Stars
Ethan Burnell is an explorer who has just returned from the jungles of Mexico & is preparing for an exhibition of some of his finds at the British Museum when he’s held up by a tape measure wielding woman, who thinks he’s a thief. Cornelia Mortmain’s name's mired in scandals not of her making but mud sticks, she a volunteer worker at the museum, when she sneaks in to the room housing the latest exhibition she didn’t expect to find a thief. A fun, entertaining well written story think of Indiana Jones at a Downton Abbey house party wearing Hessians - I just loved it, it was a longer read than the other novellas so I ended up reading into the small hours to finish it. I loved both Ethan & Cornelia, their attraction just grew & grew, there were also hilarious elderly aunts & an inquisitive dog & a marchioness with a wonderful vocabulary. An engrossing, captivating read
A Scandalous Secret - by Laura Trentham 5 Stars
As the daughter of England’s spymaster, Miss Victoria Hawkins is no stranger to secrets. Her biggest secret is the tender feelings she holds for Thomas Garrick, her father’s personal guard. As the pressure to choose a husband at an upcoming Christmas house party mounts, then Victoria is almost kidnapped & she finds herself in a cottage with a single bed, a bottle of brandy & Thomas. This beautifully written novella ticked all the boxes for me spies, attempted abductions, class inequality & unrequited love. Another novella that I read in a sitting it was just too good to put down
Duncan's Christmas - by Ellie St. Clair 5 Stars
Duncan McDougall is on a mission to reclaim his betrothed Mary and leave London before the beginning of the blasted English Christmas. Though the woman he captures that freezing winter night is not the woman he intended to nab, she just may be the one intended for him. Jane has travelled to London to help her sister Mary who is having a difficult pregnancy she didn’t expect to be grabbed by a large highlander. Oh what a treat this was, the story of Duncan & Jane parents of the siblings featured in the Victorian Highlanders series. Duncan & Jane were like chalk & cheese but together sparks flew, I loved Duncan who didn’t understand the English Christmas celebrations but he did begin to embrace them, Jane was a very caring sister, however the attraction between the pair was electric. A lovely novella which I read in a sitting
A Scandal Before Christmas - by April Moran 4.5 Stars
Lady Lauren Kendall was engaged to Theodore Hawthorne but then his father died & then her father died & she found out her wealthy father had basically sold her & so feeling betrayed she broke the engagement. Her mourning period is at an end so she’s going to spend time at a house party only to find Theo is there too. Theo has always loved Lauren & with the help of mistletoe is determined to win her back. A new author to me & I loved the second chance romance, Lauren & Theo were perfect for each other but although she still loved him & their attraction sizzled, he had to work hard to win her. The pace flowed effortlessly & the characters were well portrayed, another captivating read which I read in a sitting
Her Virgin Duke - by Nicola Davidson 5 Stars
Bennett Innsworth, Duke of Tunbury is stuffy, awkward & at twenty five is still a virgin, society has even nicknamed him Humdrum Tun. He loses a wager to his horrid cousin & he must spend an evening at Delilah’s Temple, London’s most hedonistic pleasure club. Delilah Forbes is an astute business woman & has built her club into being sought after but she is very picky who she allows to be a member. When the pair meet sparks fly. Another sizzling novella that I read in a sitting, I loved Ben who had been a Duke for a decade & although his trustees had helped with the running of the Dukedom they’d instilled in him the belief that he should be above reproach, his meeting with Delilah turned everything on its head. Delilah is strong, feisty & falls hard & fast for Ben. I loved that they fell for each other both inside & outside of the bedroom. Ben was definitely a very fast learner
Dayna Quince's hopeful addition to this scandal embellished anthology, but look forward to indulging further, in this amazing lineup of authors, that mixes some old favorites of mine with some intriguing newbies.
At the Mistletoe Masquerade is a sweet and touching romance that balances deep yearning with moments of pure fun, heated passion and conflicting emotions.
Being in love with your best friend's little sister is never easy, especially when she sets your body aflame, slips effortlessly into your every fantasy but can never be yours. Or can she?
Sidney and Cassie are oblivious to each others mutual desire and struggling to show their true feelings leads, so delightfully, to one scrumptiously scandalous kiss, a fumbled marriage and a tidal wave of mixed emotions steeped heavily in misunderstandings, guilt and ardent love.
With well drawn and relatable characters that form a clear image in your mind, this tale really touches the heart. As their strong personalities make the tale overflow with fragile intimacy, simmering passion and tender and witty banter that makes you truly care for them and their happily ever after. The addition of some very intriguing subcharacters only intensifies the enjoyment and made me incredibly glad to find this novella might feed into the Star Frost series that I'm definately keen to check out. Hoping beyond hope it won't be the last time we hear from Calvin, his two delightfully adventurous daughters and their mysterious governess.
And so he took Jane to the woods not realising that he had the wrong sister. Jane told them that they had the wrong sister and Duncan was prepared to take Jane back home. But Jane explained that Mary had eloped with the Minister of he Church and was pregnant and she had come to look after her. So she persuaded Duncan to stay until the baby was born. Mary was very sick in her pregnancy and the Minister was like a wet weekend, so Jane had to take a lot of responsibility on, with help from Duncan. The story was excellent and it had some funny bits, romance,
A birth, family, lots of relatives and Christmas. This story gave the feeling of Christmas and all worked well in the end. I expect I will read it again before Christmas. Thank you Miss St Clair for writing this
Very enjoyable story.
I would also like to review Emmanuelle de Maupassant and April Moran’s books. They were both excellent and enjoyable and I would review them with 🌠🌠🌠🌠🌠 each as they were so good.
Cassie has always loved Sidney Anthem, Viscount Reardon. He was her brother’s best friend. Sidney was also attracted to Cassie by felt he couldn’t do anything about it as she was the sister of his best friend. Sidney also felt indebted to Cassie’s family. Neither were aware of how the other felt. Cassie had always been quite determined and had a plan at the mistletoe masquerade to move things on. However, not everything goes as planned. Would they ever be able to let each other know how they really felt? This was an entertaining read, it had good motherly advice (I just loved it when she told the men to leave !) and a very happy ending.
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of these stories.