I do enjoy these Christmas anthologies. Rather wish that Signet would publish more anthologies around other themes. Quite often I feel that authors of full length books have to resort to all sorts of tricks to drag their stories out to the requisite number of pages. No problems with that here.
The first story is 'Wooing the Wolf', another humorous tale from Barbara Metzger. I very much enjoy her subtle tongue-in-cheek approach. In this one, Miss Margaret Todd's sister and husband die in epidemic in India and Margaret 'inherits' their two daughters. She is a companion to an unsympathetic Lady Bartlett and only has small savings. Unable to contact their solicitor who will be able to tell her if the children's parents have left them any money as he is 'Closed for the Holidays' (this is the sort of historical inaccuracy that does bother me in Metzger, but never mind), Margaret is faced with the problem of what to do with her nieces until the solicitor's return. She has befriended the housekeeper of the house next door and as Viscount Wolfram, the owner, is travelling to various Christmas house parties, Mrs. Olive suggests Margaret stay there with the children while continuing to work for Lady Bartlett during the day. Unfortunately, the viscount has had a fight with his mistress in which she has racked his face with her finger nails. Not wishing to be seen by anyone, he returns home to hide until his face has healed. What follows is the havoc caused by Margaret's two nieces as they 'woo the Wolf' for their aunt. Five stars.
The second story is 'The Dogstar' by Edith Layton. Alexander (Alex) Malcolm Grenville, fifth Marquess Grenville is seven years old with a very neglectful mother who does at least arrange for a friend of hers to take him from school over the Christmas holidays. He also receives an invitation from an old friend of his dead father. Miss Laura Lockwood is a poor governess left behind by her employers over Christmas and Viscount Falconer is very rich and cynical. After an initial antagonism, they agree, at Alex's suggestion, that he will spend the first half of his holiday with her and the second half with Viscount. Throw a very magical puppy into the mix and romance will, of course, blossom. Five stars.
'Lost and Found' by Andrea Pickens is about an English nobleman and diplomat,Lord Nicholas Moreton, ordered home by his father to pay court to the ward of an influential foreign count. On the way, due to a snowstorm, he encounters Anna Wintergrove Federova who has been ordered to return to London that she can be courted by a perfectly proper English lord. Stranded by the snow and not knowing they are each the other's resented intended, the inevitable romance blossoms. Three stars.
'Christmas with Dora Davenport' by Nancy Butler is well written, but would probably have worked better for me in a more modern setting. Elnora Nesbitt writes about the pleasures of country living as Dora Davenport (a sort of Regency Martha Stewart), but would rather be writing more serious pieces about social ills. Hoping for a proposal from the serious Baron Kittredge, she agrees to entertain him and his mother at her home in the country even though she actually dislikes the country and is not domestic at all. Her cousin promises to help, sending her Lieutenant Gowan Merthyr to be her right hand man. Three stars.
The final tale is 'Christmas Cheer' by Gayle Buck: a very short sweet story about a newly wed bride who is missing her family as Christmas approaches. Both the hero and heroine are good people who are still finding their way as a married couple. Four stars.
Regency Christmas Courtship: 5 Stories Mass Market Paperback – 4 October 2005
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- Publisher : Signet (4 October 2005)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 347 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0451216814
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451216816
- Dimensions : 11.07 x 2.49 x 17.02 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Overall An Enjoyable CollectionReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 September 2014
Nice book for Christmas timeReviewed in Germany on 25 February 2014
Romantic, very predictable, no turns or problems - but well, it's Christmas...Book in very good status. Took some time for delivery, but US --> europe is a long way
Christmas Romance CollectionReviewed in the United States on 31 December 2015
i liked most of the stories in this collection . My favorite was Barbara Metzger's story Wooing the Wolf.the hero Wolf did not stand a chance against two young girls. They were determined he would marry their aunt.. My least favorite was Lost and Found not a bad story but not the best the author has written. I think you would enjoy the stories. To read more than once.
Great Christmas ReadingReviewed in the United States on 14 January 2006
I enjoyed all of the stories - except one, which I didn't even read. Edith Layton's story "The Dogstar" is the second of a series of stories about some very special puppies. The first was published several years ago in another Christmas Regency collection under the title "The Hounds of Heaven". The other four stories were good reads. Yes, the story about the Russian woman was a bit contrived, but it was fun!
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