The Duke of Danby's Holiday Hijinx

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

I read these stories on the summary that promised Christmastime novellas.  Who doesn't like a feel-good love story around the holidays, right?  The first story was probably the best one for me and the other two were OK.  The stories did not live up to what I thought they would be.
Was this review helpful?
The Duke of Danby's Holiday Hijinx is the first anthology in The Duke of Danby's Christmas series by Ava Stone, Samantha Grace, and Claudia Dain.  Each book centres around the Duke of Danby's famous matchmaking balls. People know when they are invited to one of them they better look out because chances are they won't leave unless they are betrothed!

ON THE WAY TO THE CASTLE by Ava Stone

Lily and Amelia Woodward have been invited to one of Duke of Danby's balls. He is their great grandfather and they know what an invite to his ball means. 

Richard Plantier, Earl of Glasbury and his friend Mr Daniel Lacy have also been invited to the ball. Dire circumstances see them ending up sharing a coach with each other and before they even reach the matchmaking party love matches have been forged. Sounds simple, but it isn't. One couple can't be certain that theirs is actually a love match, and the other couple can't have a future for reasons you will read about. 

There was excitement, drama, beautiful romance and some sweet laughs in this book and of course a wonderful happily ever after. 

Definitely worthy of 5 stars!

THREE LITTLE WORDS by Samantha Grace

Victoria Eastland has travelled from abroad to find her real family after her 'brother' on his death bed finally tells her that she was adopted.

Colin Macbride has been given the job of escorting her to Yorkshire. One of Victoria's sisters is his sister-in-law. Before he has the chance to pick her up, not having been able to inform her beforehand that he was on his way, she has already left London and is making the journey by herself. Colin needs to put a rush on and try to catch up with her before anything bad happens. His brother will never forgive him if he fails to bring her home safely.

I am not going to say anything more about the plot because I don't want to give spoilers. Suffice to say that this book gave me many laughs, some deep heartfelt emotional moments, and happy sigh-worthy moments when Victoria gets her happily ever after.
There is one thing I dislike about the story. When Victoria gets her man we don't get to share their very first kiss. All of a sudden it's a done deal and they are sharing a kiss or two after they are engaged. Come on Samantha, no matter how quickly you might have to end a book there is always space for the wonderful first kiss.

This story earns a 4-star rating.

SUITOR BY SURPRISE by Claudia Dain

Miss Judith Whitton is the youngest niece of the Duke of Danby. She naively fell in love with John Copley before she had to depart for London from Yorkshire where she had been for the holiday. He promised he would be with her again soon, but a year later he still hasn't even sent a message. Judith still believes he loves her and is waiting for him. When the Duke discovers that she is in love with Copley he devises a plan to keep them apart. 

Alfred FitzHerbert is a gentleman, and a man that the Duke believes could easily distract Judith from her attraction to John Copley (the rogue). He needs some help with financing so the Duke agrees to help him if Alfred, in turn, keeps Judith and John apart.  He agrees and not just because he will receive money, but because he knows what a rotter John is and that no woman deserves to be used by him.

Will he achieve his goal, and will he be able to do it without breaking Judith's heart?

I liked this story but at times the possible relationship between Judith and Alfred seemed unbelievable, even when they supposedly were really falling for each other.  Everything came to a conclusion too fast for my liking. I think if there was more time for the characters to develop and for the ending to be more drawn out I would have liked the story a lot more. I also would have liked the Duke of Danby to have been featured more, or for some of the story to involve one of his parties.

This story earns 3 stars from me.

This set of stories was a pleasure to read, I love the Duke of Danby and his matchmaking. These matches, for the most part, were fabulous and I enjoyed reading them.
Was this review helpful?
It's the Christmas holiday and the duke of Danby is busy with matchmaking again. "On the Way to the Castle" by Ava Stone, twin sisters Lily and Amelia Woodward encounter Daniel Lacy and Richard Plantier and discover delightful secrets and truths. In "Three Little Words" Victoria Eastland travels disguised as a man to Yorkshire and meets Gavin MacBride along the route. Judith Whitton is known for her beauty and fancies herself in love with one man in "Suitor by Surprise" but finds herself taken by surprise by the interest of Alfred Fitzhebert.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for an ARC; all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The Duke of Danby truly does love to match his family with future spouses.  And, he is quite good at it as seen in these novellas.  This has been the perfect book for the Christmas holidays.  You will find yourself cheering for this charming Great-Uncle who assists, and even, saves his nieces and nephews from themselves as he helps them reach their HEA.  

These three authors, Ava Stone, Samantha Grace and Claudia Dain,  always deliver.  They have connected their novellas in a way that keeps you turning the page to see what is going to happen next.  Ironically, each of the main characters, and sometimes, secondary characters try to avoid a summons from their uncle for the Christmas season and ball.  But, to no avail as they are bitten by the love bug while trying to avoid it.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this anthology of holiday stories.  The stories were light and fun with just enough holiday theme to put me in the holiday mood.  Liked the stories so much I.'m going to check out the authors' works.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful collection of three stories by some of the best authors of historical romance, that will get you in the holiday spirit. All are headed to Danby Castle where the Duke of Danby resides.

Ava Stone's On the Way to the Castle, finds twins Lily and Amelia on the way to their great uncle's home, who is a notorious matchmaker.  Lily is ready to accept Danby's recommendation for a match, but Amelia is determined to fight because she is in love with another.  But fate steps in with an overturned coach containing some handsome gentlemen and it seems uncle may not have to step in at all!  Love everything by Ava Stone and this is no exception!  The perfect romance that warms the heart.

Samantha Grace's Three Little Words, finds Gavin MacBride asked to escort one Victoria Eastland, heiress, to Danby Castle.  How hard could that be?  Well very when he finds the young lady has set out on her own and he has the devil of a time tracking her down!  Only able to secure a horse, he is taking in by a stranger in their coach and the chase begins.  Or is it already over?  A lovely story of a feisty woman who cares nothing for society's strictures and finds a handsome man may just be her match.

In Suitor By Surprise by Claudia Dain, a most unlikely man is sent out to distract Judith, the niece of the Duke of Danby.  Having been enamored by a scoundrel (she does not know he was!), Alfred is tasked with distracting her from that man.  He just wants to get much needed funding for a bridge and the Duke made an offer he could not refuse.  The key was to distract her, but is seems more is coming of it as he spends time with beautiful Judith.

Prepare to be enchanted and only wanting to read more from these authors!
Was this review helpful?
So, I’ve been in a bit of a historical romance funk lately.  I haven’t been able to find books that I can really get into, but this novella collection really hit the mark.  Now I need to read all of the authors books.  I have not read any of the Duke of Danby series!  This was a great introduction and a perfect holiday read.  I have read books by all three authors and love them all!  I actually didn’t read the cover or description very well and thought it was only one story.  As it came to an end, I was disappointed BUT then I realized there were 2 more stories in this book.  It was like a small gift :)
I think it is pretty unique that it is a Duke who is playing matchmaker in each of these stories.  Although, it was never admitted…  It was laugh out loud funny how some of the characters were dreading being invited to Danby Castle for anything because of the Duke’s matchmaking schemes.  I love the “Holiday Hijinx” part of the title.  It sounds right for the period since you don’t really hear people say “hijinx” in everyday conversation.  
 In the book you follow Lilly & Amelia, Victoria and Judith on their journey to find their HEA.  There was something bold in each of the women and it was fun to see it unfold.  I love the friendships and connections and particularly how everyone tried to avoid their matchmaking turn with the Duke of Danby. The settings are romantic in all of the stories and the suitors are all swoon worthy in their own ways. I think in real life I would probably fall for Affie.  He is currently my book boyfriend.  But I guess Daniel  was my book boyfriend in the first novella and then Gavin *sigh*....
This was a really good choice to read during the holidays.  Fun, sexy, romantic...I loved the book!
Was this review helpful?
I hadn't read anything by any of these three authors before, so I was excited to give this collection a shot.  At the very least, I hoped that reading it would put me in a festive mood just before the holidays.  Unfortunately for me, even though this collection is advertised as the first in a series, the stories actually seemed to be follow ups to novellas that were published in previous collections, featuring secondary characters from the earlier stories.  That left me feeling a bit lost because there was some background and context missing that probably would have contributed to my enjoyment of the novellas included in this collection.  As it was, I can't say that I would recommend this collection for anyone who hasn't read the earlier, related novellas or who isn't already a fan of these authors.  While each of the stories was, for the most part, pleasant, none of them were anything special.  There are much better books out there to enjoy in anticipation of the holidays.

*ARC provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A delightful Christmas rom-com by Samantha Grace

   Of the three novellas in this boxed set, I only read Samantha Grace’s “Three Little Words”.  I was quite pleased with the amusing mix of disguises, mistaken identities, and rescues.  If the end had not seemed rushed, I would have given it 5 stars.  I love the writing style.  The dialogue is nicely witty.  I was intrigued and hooked from the very first paragraph.  The story takes place in November through December 1817.  FYI, it is a sweet romance, just kissing.  

   The heroine and hero were excellent as well.  Miss Victoria Eastland is a very independent-minded heiress who grew up in Nassau, Bahamas.  After her adopted parents and brother died of natural causes in Nassau, Victoria has journeyed to London to track down her birth parents, although she has mixed feelings about the parents who gave her away.  Victoria dresses as a man while traveling so that she won’t appear to be an easy victim to nefarious people, as a woman traveling alone would be.  Mr. Gavin MacBride is an architect and younger brother of the minor noble who recently married Victoria's birth sister.  Gavin has been sent on a mission to accompany Victoria on the journey to meet her mother and sisters.  However, she left before he could pick her up!  The hijinx ensue as they manage to meet each other anyway.  Gavin is a respectful and intelligent young man who loves his family.  He is a great guy.  I also really like Victoria, a bold and smart young woman with worries with which I can empathize.

   I recommend this novella to anyone who wants a sweet, fun, Regency Christmas romance.  I received a free advanced reading copy from the publisher via Netgalley, and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I am a fan of the Duke of Danby series.  This book adds 3 novellas to the series.  I am also a fan of all 3 authors. They did not disappoint in these novellas.  These all can be read individually. The only common denominator they have is that they take place at Danby Castle at Christmas.
I think the best compliment I can give these authors is that even though these were novellas, I felt like I read a full story.  Most times in novellas I feel you are coming in on the middle of the story. But not in the case of these stories.  
I'm not going to review each one individually but I'm just going to say I purchased several anthology Christmas books this season and this is the best one I read. Definitely 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely love this collaboration of stories.  These woman are amazing writers who will keep you entertained, on the edge of your seat, and dying to meet the Duke of Danby.   Though most people see the powerful Duke as controlling and manipulative, I think that the way he brings people together, and helps them find true love is one of his most redeeming qualities, and I would love to be invited to Danby Castle for any holiday!  The Duke of Danby's Holiday Hijinx is most definitely a buy, for anyone to add some much need romance to their holiday season.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great book for the christmas season! Consisting of three different stories in which you follow Lily&Amelia, Victoria and Judith on her ways to love, all connected with the duke of Danby, who obviously likes to play matchmaker. I can definitely recommend this book to everybody who likes to read historical romance stories (especially ones playing in Great Britain).
Was this review helpful?
Three quick Christmas novellas centered around the matchmaking by the Duke of Damby.

On the Way to the Castle by Ava Stone - my favorite of the three and two romances in one. Mystery and romance included. Loved this one!

Three Little Words by Samantha Grace - feisty and independent heroine and a hero trying to do right. Slight mystery and good story.

Suitor by Surprise by Claudia Dain - my least favorite of the three. Hard to keep the sisters straight and the whole premise was just ok. The dialogue was stilted to me. The characters talk and talk and talk, but seem to talk around everything. Found myself skimming through this one.

I received a review copy as part of the Regency Review Crew.
Was this review helpful?
There are things I like about reading an omnibus. Since I like to read a book in its entirety in one or two sittings, I find if I am short for time I can read just one of these stories at a time and pick the book up to read the rest at a later time. What I don’t like about reading these short stories is that I find there aren’t enough pages in the story to flesh out the characters and not rush the plot. I enjoyed this book and I liked that they all had a common theme of visiting the same Duke. Of them all, I found I liked Ava Stone’s the best. She is a new author to me and I will definitely be looking to read her other stories.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed all three of these novellas!

On the Way to the Castle by Ava Stone - 4 stars

This story was great because you get 2 stories for the price of one! Lily and Amelia are twins and on the way to their great-uncle's home from Christmas. He is known for his matchmaking, but each of the girls feels differently about what is about to happen. Traveling to his estate, they encounter two wounded men. The sisters find themselves attracted the strangers, if only their brother doesn't interfere. 

Three Little Words by Samantha Grace - 4 stars

Gavin has been tasked with bringing his SIL's sister home for the holidays, but he seems to always be one step behind her. He soon learns that the young man he has been traveling with is the woman he was looking for. But she doesn't want to be taken to her sister, whom she's been estranged from. Will Gavin end up disappointing his brother or the woman he is falling for?

Suitor by Surprise by Claudia Dain - 4 stars

Judith has fallen in love and can't wait for her beau to ask for her hand in marriage. Too bad it's been almost a year since she has seen him. Unknown to her, her uncle has tasked another to take her mind off or her beau. Will he succeed?

I really enjoyed all three stories buy these authors and will soon be reading the other Duke of Danby books that they have written.
Was this review helpful?
I was sent a copy of this Title by NetGalley and the publishers and have decided to leave an honest review.
The Duke of Danby is a matchmaker at heart and has certain ideas as to who will be paired up with who as the three very enjoyable stories revel couples and families who have been invited to the Duke of Danby's holiday celebration. I found the Ava Stone story to be my favourite out of the three. The overturned coach a pair of twins and two very handsome gentlemen and a very determined Duke will give the reader a lovely story to remember and enjoy. The other two stories are by author's I have not read before but I found that they were just okay. So I will recommend this book and hope the readers enjoys a touch of Christmas and a lovely rea.d
Was this review helpful?
I always enjoy these Regency Christmas stories and this set is no exception. I have ready many of Ava Stone's offerings but I wasn't that familiar with the other two authors in this collection, Samantha Grace and Claudia Dain. Their stories were fun as well as Stone's and I will see what else they have written that might be good. I really got a lot of chuckles from Dain's when the male characters were discussing the significance of a handkerchief given to a lady. Other reviewers have already summarized the stories so I will just suggest that if you want a quick fun read during this busy season you should give this collection a try. I received the eBook from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Three enjoyable historical romance reads with plenty of drama and romance.  The stories are fun and entertaining the characters are enjoyable and the stories put you in the Christmas mood.  I really like it!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this anthology! I loved how each story tied in with the rest. Great reading, and it put a smile on my face.
Was this review helpful?
The Duke of Danby is a meddlesome matchmaker, with a heart of gold and a love of his family… every last one of them. In the first anthology in The Duke of Danby’s Christmas series we have three enjoyable Christmas tales that might or might not have some help from our Duke with a Cupid’s heart.

I happen to love anthologies (or boxed sets for that matter) for they give me a chance to not only get a novella from an author I know and enjoy but to discover new to me authors as well. I enjoyed all three stories, On The Way to the Castle by Ava Stone, Three Little Words by Samantha Grace and Suitor by Surprise by Claudia Dain. I don’t really have a favorite from the group for they all were entertaining stories, each with unique twists and turns to the couple’s happy ending. The cover description gives enough of a look at each story to grab your interest, and I don’t want to spoil your reading enjoyment by saying too much.

I enjoyed this look back to Christmas in Yorkshire in 1817… and I intend to pick up the other two anthologies as well. If you love Historical Romance, especially at Christmastime, then you’ll find a treat for yourself with this group of entertaining Christmas tales. I would definitely recommend The Duke of Danby’s Holiday Hijinx to any reader who enjoys finding love in unusual circumstances, the joy of Christmas magic, and some really good stories to fall in love with.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Was this review helpful?