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How the Dukes Stole Christmas Anthology

I know it’s past Christmas, but this was a really fun anthology.  Each are historical.  The last one is in America.  Each has a captivating story and happy endings.

Title:  How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Authors:  Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Shupe
Publish Date:  October 3, 2018
Narrators:  Justine Eyre 
Source:  purchased by reviewer in audio and print

Publisher’s Description:  

“Meet Me in Mayfair” by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid, heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with the enemy: the horrid, heartless–and unexpectedly handsome–Thorndale himself. Now the duke’s holding her future in his hands…and he’s not letting go.

“The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm–the only two things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single Christmas, Eben can’t resist the woman he never stopped loving…or the future that had once been in reach. It will take a miracle to convince her to stay…but if ever there were a time for miracles, it’s Christmas…

“Heiress Alone” by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister’s family leaves her behind in the rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss … until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the danger of brigands and snowstorms.

“Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker’s weekly column for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column’s author, can’t even boil water. When the paper’s owner, Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears her perfect plan is failing–especially when Duke’s attentions make her feel anything but professional. To save her career will she give up her chance at love?



Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

The first story, “Meet Me in Mayfair” was my favorite.  I truly thought she had no chance of turning her plight into a Christmas miracle, but…there you go.  It’s Christmas.  Anyway, I’d never read author Tessa Dare before I read The Duchess Deal and I found I liked her as a writer.  This anthology was a bit of an investment since I bought both print and audio versions.  They were both very good.  Also, it was a short but complete story.

The second book, “The Duke of Christmas Present“, was also a fun read.  I related to it as kind of a Ebenezer Scrooge type story except instead of ghosts, there were people who came and visited.  It was so good, I read it once and then listened to it once.  I am positive that I’ll be going back to that story to read/listen to it again.   The Duke was/is a stubborn, stubborn man but through all of the years, the Miss still loved him.  I so wanted to smack him up side the head.  I swear that Lady Mosby was going to as well, but that would not be ladylike.  It was a good story.  A complete story.

The third story, “Heiress Alone”, was not exactly my kind of story, though it was good enough.  I like a little longer “get to know you” period for my characters before they hop in the sack, but I guess they do things differently in Scotland.  Anyway, it was a good story, albeit a sad one.  The heroine was left behind by her family.  Kind of like Kevin in Home Alone except with a Laird rescuing her against the bad guys instead of her saving herself.

The last story took place in New York City.  It was a historical that took place in the late 1800’s early 1900’s.  It was not a practical story.  I know, I know.  These aren’t supposed to be practical.  The heroine took a great personal risk over something that had failure written all over it and then highlighted a multitude of times, but she did it anyway.  This story is for some, but not for me.  I kind of just slapped my forehead and muttered, “Duh, woman.  You are an idiot.”

All in all, I enjoyed this book with it’s various adventures.  I also enjoyed it because it’s easy to stop in between books because life intrudes.  During Christmas, who doesn’t need a break?

 

 

 

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The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

Military man meets seamstress.  Tough as nails little Emma Gladstone demands payment for a hideous wedding gown.  He sees an opportunity.  She has nothing to lose.  Only problem is that the Duke has met his match…

Title:  The Duchess Deal
Author: Tessa Dare
Series:  Girl Meets Duke #1
Publish Date:  August 22, 2017
Genre:  Historical Romance
Source: reviewer’s local library
Publisher’s Description:  When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a super story.  Emma has got nerve and she means to impose her will on a DUKE!  There is no cliffhanger and no blood, gore or violence.

I love Emma.  The Duke of Ashbury is a doofus.  He’s so mired in the past that he can’t see past it.  Sure he’s been bounced by a glory hound superficial little brat but who hasn’t? He uses his scars to be a super hero but gets himself into trouble and it’s not like Emma didn’t warn him!  Emma is a great character.  She is down to earth, smart as a whip and she is a master manipulator to her Duke.  Make it be his idea and all will be well.  She’s been through a lot of tough situations; poor, homeless, stuggling and is not afraid to live through it again though it would not be fun.

Emma never really notices the Duke’s scars.  Sure they look like they hurt like mad when they were inflicted, but they aren’t as hideous as he believes.  This was really an awesome story.  It’s kind of got the same framework as other historicals, but it’s the characters that make it different.

Other recommendations…

 

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