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ARC Review: Mistletoe Christmas by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, Erica Ridley

Book Cover


From four beloved writers—Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley—comes 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!

My Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was an excellent anthology. I really enjoyed the theme of four stories set at the same house party and the different styles of the four authors. Romance Novellas can feel lacking because the love story has to happen in so few words, but these felt very substantial and I didn’t feel anything was missing.

The first story, A Mistletoe Kiss by Eloisa James, was sweet and enjoyable. I loved Cressie and her scatterbrained disregard of her own appearance but meticulous care in orchestrating her father’s grand Revelry. 4 stars

The second story, Wishing Under the Mistletoe by Christy Caldwell, started even better than the first. It was going to be a 5 star story for me until the sex scene which made me cringe. Not my style of writing there. I did really enjoy the second chance romance, the characters, and the writing of the rest of the story. 4.5 stars

The third, Compromise Under the Mistletoe by Janna MacGregor was… not to my taste. It was boring, the writing style was a touch clumsy, and I didn’t connect with or care for the characters at all. I dnfed this one. 2 stars

The fourth made the entire anthology worth it. I love Erica Ridley’s works and this was no exception. I feel like she packed more details and plot into her story than any of the others, and I connected best with her writing style. I loved Ewan and Louisa was delightful, and their secrets and connection despite them made it a very enjoyable read. 5 stars

*thanks to NetGalley and Avon & Harper Voyager for providing an e-arc for review.

ARC Review: Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology by Melanie R. Meadors

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I’ve read a couple of really great short story anthologies on NetGalley lately, but this one was something of a dud, which is a shame because the idea is really cool.

There were a few stories that I really enjoyed, but mostly I was indifferent to them, actively disliked them, or got to the end and said ‘what was the point even?’ — not my usual response to fantasy stories.

Even with the few stories I really enjoyed, my overall feeling about this collection wavers between ‘meh’ and ‘avoid’ so I can’t really recommend it.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Outland Entertainment for providing an e-arc for review.