Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology by Eloisa James & More | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology by Eloisa James & More | Book ReviewMistletoe Christmas by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, Erica Ridley
Published by HarperCollins on September 28, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Anthologies (multiple authors), Fiction / Holidays, Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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From four beloved writers—Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley—come four original stories that tell a hilarious tale of a Christmas house party that serves up love and scandal in equal measure!

The Duke of Greystoke’s Christmas Revelry is famous throughout the British Isles for its plays, dancing, magical grotto… not to mention scandals leading to the marriage licenses he hands out like confetti.

But not everyone welcomes a visit from Cupid.

Lady Cressida, the duke’s daughter, is too busy managing the entertainments—and besides, her own father has called her dowdy. Her cousin, Lady Isabelle Wilkshire, is directing Cinderella and has no interest in marriage. Lady Caroline Whitmore is already (unhappily) married; the fact that she and her estranged husband have to pretend to be together just makes her dread the party all the more.  But not as much as Miss Louisa Harcourt, whose mother bluntly tells her that this is her last chance to escape the horrors of being an old maid.

A house party so large that mothers lose track of their charges leads to a delightful, seductive quartet of stories that you will savor for the Season!

Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology with stories by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregory and Erica Ridley was the first book to kick off my holiday reading. This anthology features four novellas by some of historical romance’s titans. Seriously though, this was a decent sampler of fully contained stories with new to me authors. While it did feel a little overlong and some parts dragged, I think that was more a me problem than a THIS BOOK problem.

Mistletoe Christmas has an interesting framing device. All four stories are set at the annual Christmas Revelry held by the Duke Of Greystoke who is on his deathbed. Each story explores a different trope and culminates in a happily ever after. I did want a story explored for one character who pops up in each of the novellas — Val — who is the Duke of Greystoke’s heir. Also, I didn’t really have much context for work by all of the authors but felt like I didn’t need that to enjoy and understand each of the novellas.

 

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Mistletoe Christmas by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor and Erica Ridley #ROMWEnextgen #christmasreading #christmasbooks

♬ Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Michael Bublé

A Mistletoe Kiss by Eloisa James

Eloisa James A Mistletoe Kiss is the first in the anthology. This story follows Cressida – Cressie – who is the daughter of the Duke of Greystoke. Cressie has secretly been running the Revelry for years. She is a devoted daughter. However, her dad is absolutely a terrible person. He basically undercuts her so she won’t get married. It is also his expectation that she run the Revelry and continue to devote all her attention to it.

Cressie ends up catching the eye of Elias. Elias is in Val’s inner circle. He makes some suggestions for Val to take on more responsibilities and to free up Cressie’s time. The two knew each other when Cressie was younger — but not very well. Anyways, there’s some chemistry there and he sees Cressie when everyone else didn’t. This story had a decent pace and was a good set up for the other three novellas. It made sense to me why this one was first.

Wishing Under The Mistletoe by Christi Caldwell

Wishing Under The Mistletoe by Christi Caldwell is the next story in Mistletoe Christmas. This story follows Lady Isabelle Wilkshire who is asked to direct the play of Cinderella at the Revelry. Her story opens in the past where she goes to meet her betrothed and calls off the engagement because he’s more interested in making money than her. Years later, Cyrus Hill, the fiance and Isabelle are thrown together for the production of Cinderella at the Revelry.

Cyrus is determined to win Isabelle back. After all, it has been years, but there’s been no one else. He has always loved Isabelle. The reason he is so focused on his job is because he wants to set up a secure future for himself and Isabelle. As the two work together – sparks fly again and they get a second chance at love. This was a sweet story. While I did have to go back and look up the characters names, the overall plot was not forgettable.

Compromise Under The Mistletoe by Janna MacGregor

Janna MacGregor’s Compromise Under The Mistletoe is about a couple that is already married. Lady Caroline Whitmore has to pretend that her and her husband have a perfect marriage in order to receive the funds from her trust early. She wants to use those funds to open up a gallery in London for artists who are women. Caro has been gone for a year from her husband. He is going to use this time at the Revelry while they are faking happiness to try and win Caro back.

Looking deeper at this story, you can see they aren’t speaking the same love language. While both love each other deeply — they need to learn the way to show appreciation in which the other will receive the best. This story felt unique — I don’t often read historical romance where the lead characters are already married. I am sure there’s a lot of that and I am just not as well read as I want to be. So, after reading this story I think I want to pursue more by Janna MacGregor.

Mischief & Mistletoe by Erica Ridley

The final story in Mistletoe Christmas is Mischief & Mistletoe by Erica Ridley. Louisa Harcourt has one last Season to find a husband. She plans to enjoy her final Christmas before entering married life. That is, until her mother tells her she must snare a husband at the Revelry. Louisa doesn’t want this, but will do as her mother asks out of a sense of duty. After all, everything her mother has done has been for Louisa. She feels she owes Lady Harcourt. And so, Louisa catches the eye of two men of the Ton. Yet, she finds herself drawn to Ewan, a fellow poet. Ewan is not a member of the ton. He works.

However, because people believe he is a poet, he is invited to various events to be their version of Lord Byron, brooding in the corners. Louisa is the first to really connect with Ewan. Yet, there is no possible way they can be together. Against all odds, they fall in love. This story was a decent closer to the anthology. It makes sense why Louisa and Ewan would be so attracted to each other. I liked that the chapters for this novella were short — it made it easy to whip through.


Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology with stories by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregory and Erica Ridley was the first book to kick off my holiday reading.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. The 2nd and 3rd stories were my favorites! I feel like I’ve read a good portion of historical and you really don’t see it to often where they are already married.

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