Published by Kensington on September 24, 2019
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: the publisher
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Also by this author: Sometimes a Rogue, Not Quite a Wife, Not Always a Saint, The Last Chance Christmas Ball, Once a Soldier, The Art of Sinning
This winter, steal away with the reigning queens of Regency Romance... plus one or two dukes, one heiress, and one headstrong beauty—to a surprise snow storm, the comfort of a blazing fire, and the heat of a lover's kisses...
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
These three winter-themed novellas are sure to appeal to lovers of historical romance. At least two tie into ongoing series, but all can be read as stand-alones.
“A Christmas Abduction” by Madeline Hunter
Caroline Dunham has a bone to pick with notorious rake Baron Thornhill—and a creative plan to insure his undivided attention. Yet once in close quarters, she finds herself beholden to their smoldering connection.
It’s hard to talk about “A Christmas Abduction” without giving away the plot, but let’s start with the fact that Caroline is orphaned and poor, that she’s desperately trying to keep her family estate afloat, and that the “bone” she has to pick with Thornhill is on someone else’s account, not her own. Given the title, I’m sure you can guess that an abduction is in the offing. Thornhill (of course) proves to be not quite the reprobate Caroline thinks he is, and his subsequent acquaintance with her has a very salutary effect on his character. Both the plot and the main characters are likeable enough, but I couldn’t quite buy into Caroline falling for Adam before knowing the truth; it was out of character. The story would have worked better as a longer novella or a novel, with more time to develop the characters and perhaps build more conflict with some of the secondary characters (particularly Adam’s cousin and Caroline’s sister.) On the whole, I enjoyed this story, but it was my least favorite in the book, and the only one I feel would have benefited from being longer.
“A Perfect Match” by Sabrina Jeffries
Whisked away from a wintry ball by a commanding colonel, Cassandra Isles struggles with her feelings for Lord Heywood. For he is a man sworn to marry only for money—and Cass is an heiress who will accept nothing less than love.
I enjoyed this story so much that I promptly purchased the first book in the Duke Dynasty series (of which the story is a part) and requested an ARC of the second book. Jeffries writes with both humor and emotion, and I loved both the hero and the heroine. Heywood’s attraction to Cassandra despite his need to marry a rich heiress, and her reluctance to admit her wealth to him, were both completely in character. Normally I’m annoyed by relationships where the conflict could be resolved if they just talked to each other honestly and openly, but in this story, the trope worked for me because their respective silence came out of who they were. I also tend to roll my eyes at the “I’m kidnapping you for your own good” trope, but I bought it in this case, because once again, it flows from who Heywood is. I hope the rest of the series is as good as “A Perfect Match”, because I want to know more about this family!
“One Wicked Winter Night” by Mary Jo Putney
Dressed as a veiled princess, Lady Diana Lawrence is shocked to discover that the mysterious corsair who tempts her away from the costume ball is the duke she once loved and lost. Now ensconced with Castleton at a remote lodge, will she surrender to the passion still burning hotly between them?
Putney’s lovely second-chance love story pulls together threads and families from several other books/series, notably the Rains and Lawrence families. We see Julia Rains Randall, her husband Alex, and her brother Anthony (now the earl of Castleton, and the hero of this novella) from Never Less Than A Lady (Lost Lords #2), alongside Athena and Will Masterson from Once a Soldier (Rogues Redeemed #1), and Gabriel Hawkins and Rory Lawrence from Once a Scoundrel (Rogues Redeemed #3). Rory’s aunt Diana, mentioned in Once a Scoundrel, is only 5 years older than Rory and is the heroine of this story. She is an absolute delight. There’s also a charming cat called “the Panda”, plus delightful banter, real passion, and heartwrenching pain between the two lovers. You could certainly enjoy “One Wicked Winter Night” without having read any of the books it ties into, but for me, the pleasure was heightened by seeing all these the characters from the former books and realizing how they are all linked together.
In summary, I highly recommend Seduction on a Snowy Night for lovers of Regency-era romance looking for a little winter warmth. “A Perfect Match” and “One Wicked Winter Night” were my favorites, and together were worth the whole price of admission (so to speak.) And if I enjoy Jeffries’ Duke Dynasty novels as much as I did the short story, I’ll have discovered a whole new series to love.