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This book has something for everyone, noble gentlemen and gentlemen who are not so much. With well-written settings and plots, this book is one of the best romance anthologies out there. Readers will be transported back into a time of gowns and grandeur with manners, grand romance and nobility. There are no two ways about it, this historical collection is well put together and the stories from authors who know how to write romance. It is the crème de la crème of historical romance anthologies!
InD'Tale Magazine February 2017 p. 57
File Size: 4014 KB
Print Length: 743 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: The Bluestocking Belles (November 8, 2016)
There is nothing more exciting than an invitation to the Duchess of Haverford’s? Top it off with seven talented authors writing eight stories and the event of the season reaches epic heights. A Suitable Husband by Jude Knight starts us off with the Duchess’s companion, Cedrica Grenford helping organize everyone as they arrive. All while dealing with the regular kitchen staff and the intriguing chef hired specifically for the party. Highly encouraged to mingle with the guests Cedrica finds herself repeatedly drawn to “her” chef. Each thinking they are beneath each other in rank will they come to their senses? This story is written in a unique way as it is told between the stories of each different author. Valuing Vanessa by Susana Ellis Never expected marry, to forever be destined to wait on her mother – that is the life Vanessa Sedgely faces. Until she can take it no more. The Duchess’s house party may just be the place to find someone who allow her to control her own life. George Durand had a marriage that was less than ideal. Looking to never marry again he must find some way to handle his wayward daughter. Will a chance meeting followed by another and another have George rethinking his views on marriage and will the lady in question agree to forgo some of her freedom? A well written tale by Ms. Ellis that will have any romantic rooting for the gel that everyone thinks is not of any value and the man soured on love. A Kiss for Charity by Sherry Ewing Having lost the love his life, Lord Nicholas Lacey will never marry again. A mistress on the other hand is not out of the question. At least until a masquerade ball cracks the wall around his heart. Married young, Grace, Lady de Courtenay, was not looking to marry again. Until a sisterly bet and a masquerade ball have her realizing that maybe she wants more. As always Ms. Ewing has written another beautiful story. Artemis by Jessica Cale Pregnant actress. Being an actress is a stigma – add pregnant to it one falls to the lowest of low ranks. A fact Charlotte Halfpenny knows all too well. Just as she’s making the ultimate decision to end the misery she is presented with an opportunity she considered out of her reach. The Earl of Somerton never socializes; well other than the opera and then only to watch a certain actress. Knowing he will never father a child of his own he reaches the decision that will benefit them both. Can these two make things work when things aren’t what they seem? Hang on because Ms. Cale writes an OMG moment that will have your jaw dropping and loving every word!! The Bluestocking and the Barbarian by Jude Knight Is he or isn’t he? That’s the question being debated about James Winderfield, Lord Elfingham. Is he the legitimate heir to the Earl of Sutton? James knows he is and is unconcerned; well, mostly unconcerned because when it comes to a certain lady with blue-gray eyes. Dreams of a golden horse and the magnificent prince riding to her rescue have haunted Lady Sophia Belvoir for months. Aggravating since she knows she would never stand a chance once he has met her beautiful sister. Will the question of James’ birth, an overly aggravating brother and a lack of confidence keep these two apart? Ms. Knight had me laughing at some of James’ antics and wanting to shake confidence into Sophia. Wonderful story!! Christmas Kisses by Nicole Zoltack Lady Anna Wycliff loves only one man and believes he loves only her despite all the tales in the scandal sheets. When forced to attend a house party away from her love, little doubts begin to seep in; especially when the rude, Lord Pershore is in attendance. Pain, suffering, and gossip follow Jasper Warwick, Lord Pershore, everywhere he goes. Which makes the last thing he wants is his mother playing matchmaker. Even if the lovely Lady Anna Wycliff is in attendance. Wonderful tale by Nicole Zoltack. An Open Heart by Caroline Warfield Esther Baumann respects her faith and fully intends to raise her children the traditions but to also to be open to new things. Now she must find a husband that feels the same way. So why does she have these strange feelings for a man who only wants a wife who will keep a traditional home? Adam Halvey fully intends to ask for Esther Baumann’s hand. When he finds out their differences of what a marriage should be can he change her way of thinking or is he the one who should change? A journey may just help him realize which it should be? Loved Esther’s determination to hold onto what she wants and Adam’s journey to discovery in this beautiful tale by Caroline Warfield. Dashing Through the Snow by Amy Rose Bennett Freddie Woodville may just be the thing that ruins his sister’s, Miss Kate Woodville, reputation. A fact brought to life at a Vauxhall Garden Masquerade Ball when he runs off with one of her former students who happens to be the sister of a viscount. Anthony Lockhart, Viscount Stanton, cannot believe his sister has run off with a man he considers beneath her. Determined to catch up to them before any rumors fly he is forced to endure the company of the man’s sister. Can they reach the runaways before any damage is done – both to the runaways and to their own hearts? Ms. Bennett had me wanting to smack the overbearing Anthony while cheering Kate’s determination. Love a heroine who can hold her own against an arse of a hero!
I have waited all year for this wonderful collection of romantic holiday stories by the Bluestocking Belles, a talented group of authors. It was worth the wait. The setting for each story is the Duchess of Haverford's Yuletide house party and a New Year's Eve ball at Hollystone Hall. Not only does the Duchess enjoy matchmaking, she has a special place in her heart for women's education, as do the Belles. While each story is mainly about the sweet and special romance between two of the characters, the stories do intertwine as all of the characters are staying at Hollystone Hall. I was so caught in the book and quickly flipped the pages so I could see who got their happily ever after next. Each story made me smile and sigh. It is amazing to me that each story was written by a different author. Collectively, their voices blended and produced what will surely be one of my all time favorite books. One really fun thing is that while this is a stand alone collection, some of the characters have appeared in other books by the Belles. If this is your first time reading a book by these fabulous authors, you will want to check out each author individually. I first met the authors with their 2015 holiday collection. In the past year, I have read each of the books written by them. I have enjoyed them all, but this one is extra special.
This is a nice collection of novellas, with some being much better than others. All of the stories take place at a house party given by a Duchess for a charity event. Although they are written by different authors, the characters make appearances in all of the stories. A Suitable Husband: For some odd (and irritating) reason, this novella is told one chapter at a time after another novella is finished. I didn't read it in that fashion. I actually read all of it before I started the others. Cedrica, the daughter of a vicar, is serving as the private secretary of the Duchess. She is attracted to the French chef who has been hired for the house party. This is actually my favorite of the novellas. 4 stars Valuing Vanessa: A blue stocking sets her sights on a lawyer with a troubled 15 year old daughter. 4stars A Kiss for Charity: A long, drawn out mistaken identity causes problems. 3stars Artemis: A pregnant actress and a reclusive Earl find happiness. *****************SPOILER ALERT******************This is a well done novella that features a same sex/transgender couple and may not be for all readers.************END SPOILER************* 4 1/2 stars The Bluestocking and the Barbarian: Lady Sophis is attracted to the foreign-born heir of a Duke but is convinced that he is courting her younger sister. 4 stars Christmas Kisses: Anne is 17 and believes herself to be in love with a Duke who is known to be a womanizer. Her mother wants her to marry Jasper, the son of a friend. This seems to be written for teens or YA. The heroine's behavior is immature and silly. The plot is boring. 2 1/2 stars An Open Heart: Esther, the Jewish daughter of a banker, is invited to a house party and Christmas ball given by a Duchess. Improbable and not really interesting. 3 stars Dashing Through the Snow: Kate is a teacher who is forced to accompany a viscount who is chasing after his runaway sister. The sister is, in fact, eloping with Kate's brother. This novella is okay, but predictable. 3 stars