I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas. I was so excited to read this and it was absolutely magical. This is a collection of stories set in a Regency setting. Such a refreshing book to set down to. If you love historical romance and Christmas, you will love this.
*thank you to netgalley for an arc.
The Holly and the Ivy is a Yuletide collection that includes novellas from four authors—Sarah Eden, Esther Hatch,, Dana LeCheminant, and Anneka Walker.
The first story is The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M. Eden and features Adam, a young Duke of Kielder, who is struggling with the death of his father and the abandonment of his mother. His neighbors, Lord and Lady Jonquil invite him to their home and shower love on the little boy—including a Yuletide party that he’ll never forget. Adam’s nursemaid Robbie also features in the story as she finds love in the most unexpected place. A sweet story of finding family and what love truly means.
The second story is Hiding Christmas by Esther Hatch. This one was a fun adventure as Kirstine is hiding her trip to London to celebrate Christmas, but gets tangled up when a little white lie turns into her pretending to be married—to Isaac, who is the only Englishman in her Scottish village, and her enemy! But as they are thrown together on their trip to England, she begins to realize that maybe the things she’s thought about Isaac aren’t true and her feelings may have turned to something she never thought she’d feel for an Englishman. Such a fun and light-hearted story.
The third story is A Twist of Christmas by Dana LeCheminant. This is a story with a lot of twists and turns as two couples hide their real identities at a house party. Elizabeth has entered society and is already weary of being treated so differently just because she’s a duke’s daughter, so she convinces her companion to take her place. Graham is also tired of his position in society and how his brother is always overlooked, so he convinces his brother to take his place. Mayhem ensues in this multi-faceted and complicated romance of who’s really romancing who and if anyone or everyone will find their happily-ever-after!
The last story is A Season to Love by Anneka Walker. Alice is praying that God will help her find a husband before she’s forced into a marriage she might not find happiness in. When her prayer is overheard by her rector, Thomas Perry, he agrees to help her find a husband. There was a lot of unexpected humor in this story as Alice and Thomas come to realize how perfect they are for each other. And the children in this story were adorable and stole all of their scenes! A sweet and surprising romance.
This collection will definitely put readers in the celebrating mood and get us ready for the upcoming holiday season!
This is such a wonderful collection of stories from an outstanding group of authors. A couple of these stories connected to other stories that the authors had written previously, so it was fun to revisit those characters again. (Though not needed to have been read first to enjoy these stories). Even though these stories are set around Christmas time These stories can be enjoyed any time of the year, especially as Christmas was used more as a backdrop as a reason to gather, not the focus of most of the stories., I wouldn't say they are all heavily written around Christmas, like they could've taken place in other times of the year- except for Sarah Eden's. I couldn't choose a favorite story, as they are all creative and fun in their own ways. This is definitely a must-have, heartwarming anthology to add to your collection.
I just finished this sweet collection and no surprise here, a great set of Christmas novellas from a wonderful group of authors.
I completely enjoyed revisiting beloved characters in Sarah Eden’s story. Getting to revisit Adam as a child was special and to see the hardships he faced and the people that tried to ease his burdens and love him through his trials made me happy.
Esther’s story with a stand out for me. I loved the twist of Scottish and English and the historical aspect of the tensions at that time. Throw in just the right amount of swoon and great characters, and it was such a fun story.
Dana and Anneka both wrote great stories as well each bringing me joy and brought that regency Christmas feel that I love. As a whole I think this is the perfect addition to your Christmas collection. Each story was enjoyable and easy
The perfect holiday bundle! I found myself picking this up in small snippets and it was the perfect collection for that. I fell right back into the stories everything. If you don't have time to commit to a full novel, I highly recommend this book that delivers on all the feels.
What a delightful collection of sweet Christmas romances! I enjoyed each one, as they were all well-written and had such wonderful characters.
THE HOLLY AND THE IVY is sure to delight Sarah M. Eden fans, as it is all about the young Duke of Kielder. I love the beautiful messages of family and celebration.
An enemies-to-love from Scotland to England, with a dash of a fake marriage, is the premise to HIDING CHRISTMAS. I completely enjoyed this light-hearted holiday jaunt.
Mistaken identities abound in A TWIST OF CHRISTMAS and were the cause of much entertainment. These lovely characters stole the show in this Christmas house party.
A SEASON TO LOVE had me secondhand blushing, as Alice is overheard asking God for a husband by the rector in this holiday romance. This gentle tale was the perfect way to wrap up this collection.
Content: all stories are free from anything other than very mild romance.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were voluntarily given.*
This was a cute collection of wholesome holiday romances, though some were a bit difficult to get into. The first story, the Holly and the Ivy, started more sad than I was prepared for, but it was ultimately a sweet story. The second story, Hiding Christmas, started with what felt like a ridiculous premise, but I didn't know there was a time where Christmas celebrations were banned in Scotland so it was cool to learn something new. Of the four stories included, these first two had to do a lot with grief (loss of parent, loss of sibling/grandchild). The third story, A Twist of Christmas, started with me hating the hero, because who did he think he was? Again it was a cute story, but it dragged a bit and then concluded quickly, and I think I might have preferred to have some insight into the other couple (Jemma and Henry) instead. The last story, A Season to Love, might have been my favorite, especially since I really liked Mr. Perry! It also sounded like the sisters had their own stories as well as this one focused on the youngest. I'll likely be going back to read the stories by this author about the other sisters! Overall, this was a nice collection, but be prepared that some stories deal with grief, and I would describe each romance as wholesome (no spicy scenes).
Loved this whole collection! Each story was so unique! I laughed and I actually cried! The spirit of the Christmas Season was shown in each character and setting! I am so glad for this chance to review it! What a charming bunch of Authors! Thank you!
A sweet and festive Christmas anthology! We read about Young Adam and the Jonquil parents having Christmas together. Isaac and Kristine pretending to be married due to a loaf of bread. Graham and Beth tired of being treated differently because of their status, who switch places with other people to avoid meeting each other and end up falling in love anyways. And Alice who convinces Thomas to help her find a husband before she’s forced to marry someone she doesn’t choose. This book is one I’ll be rereading every Christmas season!
This was a great collection of novellas. I really enjoyed each story for different reasons. Loved reading it during the holidays.
Heartwarming and enchanting stories from some of my most famous authors. These books will give you a true glimpse of the Christmas spirit.
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair review.
A heartwarming collection of Christmastime romances.
The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M. Eden
After the death of her young charge's father, Christmas is a sad affair, but a kind couple invite both Nurse Robbie and the young duke to spend a holiday with them.
A heartwarming read, that brought a smile to my face. I loved how Lord and Lady Jonquil opened their home and hearts. An enjoyable read from beginning to end.
Hiding Christmas by Esther Hatch
Kristine and her grandmother celebrate Christmas, which is frowned upon in Scotland. A misunderstanding leads to a chance at love.
A humorous situation in this charming Christmastime story brings two unlikely people together. Enjoyable and sweet, I loved Kristine's grandmother!
A Twist of Christmas by Dana LeCheminant
Swapping places for the holidays, two brothers, and a lady and her maid step out of their comfort zones and get a chance at love.
A charming read, with delightful twists and wonderful characters. A highly enjoyable romance!
A Season to Love by Anneka R. Walker
A woman's prayer for a husband is answered for Christmas.
A sweet romance, with good interaction as they get to know each other. A charming romance.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This is, I believe, the first Christmas collection I have ever read. Boy, did I enjoy it. Every single one of these authors knows how to write! They are one talented group of women. The stories were well written, engaging and made me want more. I did not want any of these stories to end. I could have kept reading about Adam Boyce growing up to become the formidable duke he is well known as; Kirstine and Isaac's growing relationship as they heal, and so on and so forth. That's how good they were. I was able to get into the Christmas spirit easily. I highly recommend it! It will probably be a Christmas re-read, next year.
I must admit I am generally not a huge fan of short stories, but I always end up reading these Christmas stories because I want to read more about the Duke of Kielder by Sarah M. Eden. And this time around did not disappoint! I loved her story. However, I was also pleasantly surprised Esther Hatch's Christmas story too. Hiding Christmas kept me entertained and hoping for the sweet happy ending. A Twist of Christmas by Dana LeCheminant was a rather fun story as well and I must admit I had a hard time connecting with the characters in Anneka R. Walker's story, A Season to Love.
All in all, a fun set of romantic stories to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Thank you Covenant Communications and NetGalley for the eARC! All opinions are my own.
I requested this collection of stories for Anneka’s contribution, and found her Christmas love story to be delightful. Her writing gets better every book or story, and I get all the feels from reading them. I definitely recommend this collection for her love story about an awkward young woman looking for marriage and the rector who begins to fall for her. I look forward to reading the other two at Christmas time. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc.
This was a good anthology! I enjoyed the first two stories more than the last two, but they were all good! The first story wasn't what you would typically think of as a romance story, but it was a nice story of hope and healing. The last two stories weren't very christmassy so I think this anthology could be enjoyed year round. I felt like each had a theme of hope and I thought that was great! There were lots of fun tropes within this anthology as well. I would recommend this to fans of historical romance or inspirational fiction (primarily for the first story).
The Holly and the Ivy was a fun Christmas collection of sweet Regency tales. I had read two of the authors before and two of them were new to me. And although the novellas may link to other stories written by these authors, they all four were entirely enjoyable as stand alone titles.
In The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M. Eden, I loved getting to reconnect with characters from some of my favorite books. It was wonderful to get to see Lord and Lady Jonquil again, from the series The Gents. And the young Duke of Kielder is a character that comes into their lives in the first book of that series. He is also the grown man and main character of the first book that I read by this author titled, Seeking Persephone. But the main characters are his nurse, Robbie, and Mr. Simpkin, who has been hired to plan a garden at the grand home. I liked the progression of the relationship between these two. Their first meeting did not go very well, but it all improved from there! A very sweet story.
In Hiding Christmas by Esther Hatch, I liked the tension that existed between the two main characters from the very start. Kirstine finds herself in quite the situation and Isaac steps in to save the day. He also hoped their time together would provide him the opportunity to finally connect with Kirstine and share more about the time he spent on the battlefield with her brother. I really enjoyed the way Kirstine began to feel drawn toward the man she had sworn to dislike.
In A Twist of Christmas by Dana LeCheminant, I was at first concerned that I would feel awkward about this storyline. I am not usually a fan of people pretending to be other people or switching identities. Yet, this novella was actually quite charming and I ended up liking the way things moved along. The connection that the two main characters felt for each other was charming and made me feel happy for the way things worked out for them.
In A Season to Love by Anneka R. Walker, it was clear that these two main characters were perfect for each other. It just took them a bit to figure that out! I liked the way they connected in friendship almost immediately. Alice had a lot of trouble feeling worthy in comparison to her sisters and family, but I liked the way that Thomas saw her for the gem she was from the beginning. These two were quite the pair and made incorrect assumptions about what each other were feeling quite often. But things eventually resolved and headed for a happily ever after, of course.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
This wonderful collection of novellas was such a delightful read!
The first is a heart warming story of a group of people that sets out to share love and the joy of Christmas with a young Duke who has grown up too quickly.
The second is the story of a young woman who has held on to grief to the point that it has become bitterness toward a man whose only hope has been to find a place to belong among a people her brother taught him to love.
The third is about two people who are hoping this Christmas gives them the opportunity to take a break and be themselves, and hopefully, find someone who will love them for it.
The last is about a young woman who feels the pressure to find a match her family will celebrate, but finds her missteps and imagination to be stumbling blocks. Will this be the Christmas she finds someone who loves her not in spite of her quirkiness but because of it?
Each author tells a story full of warmth and love, celebrating all that is lovely about the Christmas season. I loved each novella, and it is a delightful read for the holidays or throughout the year! :)
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
I LOVE these Christmas collections and look forward to them every year because they always have stories by some of my favorite authors!! This year it's too hard to pick a favorite as I loved all four of them!! Each of these novellas are sure to get you into the spirit of Christmas.
The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M. Eden--We get to see Adam, Duke of Kielder, as a little boy, with his nursemaid Robbie spending time with Lord and Lady Jonquil. He didn't get to celebrate Christmas like most children do so Lucas and Julia decide to have Christmas for him even though it's springtime. This story is so sweet and tugged at my heartstrings. I could've read an entire book about Adam with Lucas and Julia Jonquil.
Hiding Christmas by Esther Hatch--What a fun story this one is. It's an enemies to love, fake marriage and close proximity story with a generous dash of humor. Celebrating Christmas in Regency Scotland could land you in hot water but that didn't seem to bother Kirstine's grandma, who couldn't wait until they arrived in England to bake the Yule bread. Not wanting to eat it right then or throw it away, Kirstine has to come up with a way to hide the bread on their journey to England. Oh my heavens this one made me giggle so much but still touched my heart.
A Twist of Christmas by Dana LeCheminant--This story has not one, but two hidden identities!! Graham is tired of young ladies who are only interested in him because of his title. Elizabeth (Beth) is weary of being treated differently since intering Society. Before attending a house party Graham decides to switch places with his brother Henry, and Beth switches places with her friend and companion Jemma. Both couples, Graham and Beth and Henry and Jemma, had wonderful chemistry and it was fun to see Graham and Beth get to know each other without the pressure of their positions in Society getting in the way. This story had multiple twists in it which made it a lot of fun.
A Season to Love by Anneka R. Walker--This story was different than the usual Christmas romances. Alice goes to the church and prays out loud for a husband, as her sisters are already married and her aunt will send her back to London and choose a husband for her. The rector of the church hears her and makes a deal to help her find a husband in exchange for acts of service. I loved how Alice couldn't remember the names of her potential suitors so she made up names for them such as Mr. Side-Whiskers, Cravat, Stubby-Legs, or Mustache. This was such a cute story.
Each of these stories are sweet romances with just kisses but are still swoony. I received a complimentary copy for review from the publisher Covenant Communication via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I loved this collection of stories! I honestly wished that each was a full blown novel. This made me want to cozy up next to a fireplace and read! I couldn’t set this book down. All four ladies novellas were so romantic! Definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys romance novels!