Sunday, 24 November 2013

Book Review: A Very Scandalous Holiday (Anthology)



A Very Scandalous Holiday
Authors: Nancy Fraser, Sophia Garrett, Amber Lin, Crista McHugh
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Release Date: 14 October 2013

Entangled Publishing presents…A Very Scandalous Holiday Anthology. Four very spirited vignettes of holidays past.

Erin’s Gift by Nancy Fraser
Chicago 1920
Widower, Seth Harrison, has no intention of falling in love again but will he be able to resist the sweetness of his son’s nanny, Erin O’Mara—his sister’s best friend?

An Eternity of You by Sophia Garrett
England 1833
The Duke of Sharrington left Rebecca with more than a broken heart six years ago—he left her with a son. His return rekindles their passion, but only a Christmas miracle will convince the town surgeon to believe in his promises of eternity again.

Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin
England, late Regency
After three years at sea, Captain Hale Prescott has the means to marry the love of his life and his best friend’s sister, Sidony Harbeck. However, she might never speak to him again. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter…at least, none he ever sent.

Eight Tiny Flames by Crista McHugh
1944 Ardennes, WWII
Lt. Ruth Mencher has always secretly admired Capt. Joseph Klein, but it takes the lighting of a Hanukkah candle to uncover the spark of mutual attraction. Each night awakens a new facet of their relationship, but as the Battle of the Bulge begins, the approaching Nazi forces threaten to tear them apart.

Review

The stories in this anthology are sweet, but some are stronger than others, which is why my rating isn't any higher.

Erin's Gift  by Nancy Fraser was my favourite of the four stories. It' set in the 1920s, an era i don't usually read about, which was unusual and really interesting. Erin is very sweet, she's trying to get by as best as she can, but one mistake changes everything. Seth, rather reluctantly, steps up to save the day and hires Erin as his son's nanny. The sparks were flying between the two, no matter how they both tried to ignore it. Erin lets the light back into Seth's life, and I thought they were adorable together. This squeezed in a lot of emotion for such a short story.

I also enjoyed Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin. It was sexy and sweet, and the reunited lovers is always a fun trope. They had some issues of trust to work through, but Sidony and Hale clearly loved each other.

Eight Tiny Flames is set during WWII, so it's another unusual historical setting, for me. It was good to see Hanukkah represented in the anthology. Ruth and Joseph are sweet together and I liked the setting, but the story came out as just alright.  

An Eternity of You has a lot going on in such a short story. It got to be a bit of a jumble with not enough background information, to be honest. Rebecca and Andrew had a mountain of misunderstandings that were resolved very neatly. I didn't particularly feel the chemistry between them, either.

This anthology is great as the holidays get closer, and has something for all historical lovers, from Regency manor houses to the frontline of WWII. All of the stories have sweet romances, but some are more effective as short stories than others. It's also a great to get a taste for each author's writing. 

*I received a review copy from the publisher, for my honest review. Thank you!


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