Monday, September 21, 2015

The Last Chance Christmas Ball - Anthology

The Dowager Countess of Holbourne, Lady Holly, is throwing her 50th Christmas Ball (also known as The Last Chance Ball, and is determined that this year's crop of new love will be no different.

The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo PutneyA nice Christmas anthology (three stars total), that, at almost 400 pages, will definitely be worth the price of the book.

True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne
A jewelry designer who doesn't think that she deserves to marry her nobleman lover finds out differently when he helps her carry out revenge against a customer who stiffed her.
Three and a half stars

A Scottish Carol by Susan King
A story of love-lost/love-reunited makes up the second tale. Clary and Henry were once in love when he was the student of her doctor father. But something tore them apart and he left abruptly one day and she ended up marrying her cousin. Now they're back together and exploring what exactly went wrong in their past and if there's some way to correct their future.
A quiet story but mostly enjoyable.
Three stars.

Christmas Larks Patricia Rice
Sarah Jane Langsdale is surprised to discover that Ivo, Lord Harris, has returned to the house his family used to own. At least until his father left it to the local church. But Ivo has sustained a head injury and has no idea that the hose is about to be turned into an orphanage. Luckily, as Sarah Jane nurses him back to health, the two fall in love.
A little too twee for me.
Two and a half stars

In the Bleak Midwinter by Mary Jo Putney
Captain the Honorable Kimball "Kim" Stretton was just a child when he met Roxanne "Roxie" Hayward. Kim has been horribly injured in the war against Napoleon and has been hiding in his room ever since. Roxie is ready for one last ditch effort before she gets engaged to another man.
Three stars

Old Flames Dance by Cara Elliot
Lily Tremaine has lived in India for a long time. But she's returned to England to attend her godmother's Christmas Ball. And to learn if she and her childhood love, Edward, Lord Holborne (Kim's brother and the man  (possibly) about to be betrothed to Roxie) is as handsome as she remembers.
The two have some obstacles to overcome but in the end, love conquers all.
Three and a half stars.

A Season for Marriage by Nicola Cornick
Caroline (sister to Edward and Kim) had always loved her husband Piers. But she felt so guilty about accidentally compromising him into marriage. PIers had never wanted the kind of marriage that his parents had -- where they were so wrapped up in each other that they had no time for their children. Caroline's feelings have scared him into retreating from her. So how can they work their way back to each other?
Three and a half stars

Miss Finch and the Angel by Jo Beverly
As a companion to Lady Holly, Miss Clio Finch has been a complete flop. She knows she'll have to leave soon but she does feel like she's gotten very good at fading into the background. But Gabriel, second son to a duke, notices her. And wonders what he can do to break her out of her shell.
Three stars

Mistletoe Kisses Anne Gracie
Allie is about to leave her family home. Oh, she'd be welcome to stay but she'd be the unpaid help that supervised her cousin's five children. So she's going to have one last Christmas at home, attend Lady Holly'd fiftieth Christmas Ball, and then find work as a teacher. So when an unexpected carriage ride dumps John, Lord Kelsey, and his sister at her door, she's grateful for the Christmas company. And for the chance at something more.
Could have one without the last Big Misunderstanding. Three stars.

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