Monday, November 9, 2015

Review: What Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran

What Happens Under the Mistletoe
by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp, Meredith Duran
Pub. Date:  Oct. 27, 2015
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Pages:  352
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, and Candace Camp, and USA TODAY bestselling author Meredith Duran come together for a sizzling historical romance holiday anthology.

Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s delightful yuletide story, The Heiress and the Hothead. In the snowy Scottish countryside, Karen Hawkins’s rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter in Twelve Kisses when the alluring lady he surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle. In By Any Other Name, Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as Candace Camp sends a curious gentleman in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise—one who refuses to reveal her true identity, though she fears he has already stolen her heart with his kiss. In Sweet Ruin, will the festive spirit of the season sweep Meredith Duran’s feisty heroine beneath the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue whose carelessness soiled her reputation and sent her into exile in London?

In this all-new story collection sparkling with sexy charm and heartwarming wit, four beloved bestselling authors reveal the mix-ups and make-ups, the missed chances and golden opportunities that come but once a year.

This anthology was a great way to get ready for the holidays. And look at this author line-up... 4 greats from the realm of historical romance. I was uber excited to give Christmas books a try when I saw that. I don't know why I usually shy away from holiday books... it seems rather silly to me now. I think its because I don't want to read Christmas books when its not Christmas time, and I never think to pick them up come December. So now that I have jumped on the holiday bandwagon, I hope I can fit a few more festive books in before this Christmas.

The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries: 3.5 stars / 2 flames
This story is part of the Sinful Suitors series, the first book came out earlier this year. Our heroine in the story is Amanda Keane, sister of the hero from book one. Amanda is an American heiress, owner of cotton mills in her own right. Our hero, Stephen, is a journalist and writes about the horrid circumstances in English mills, hoping to shock society into reform. Our H/h pairing was combative for much of the story, but it was an enjoyable read. There was an oddly placed intimate scene that had me raising an eyebrow, but it was fun nonetheless.

Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins: 4 stars / 2 flames
This second chance romance is part of the Oxenburg Princes series. I have been reviewing that series on the blog, so I was happily surprised to see this story is related. While the hero was not one of the princes, Marcus is a close friend and adviser to Prince Nikolai. The gypsy grandmother in this series is always meddling in the love lives of her grandsons, and it was nice to see her antics only have a rudimentary effect on the story. It made the antics more amusing than aggravating. Marcus and Kenna have always had one of those explosive love-hate relationships... so there was a lot of drama to get over past hurts and find their way back to each other in this story. I loved the snowed-in plot line - they are always such fun.

By Any Other Name by Candace Camp: 4 stars / 2 flames
This was my first story by Candace Camp... I have several of her books but have not picked one up before now. This little Scottish story was so cute. I like the stories where the heroine goes carousing dressed as a man, they are always such fun. And Rylla was beguiling in her interactions with Gregory. This was one of those sweet romances that give you a toothache, but you won't mind it one bit.

Sweet Ruin by Meredith Duran: 4.5 stars / 2 flames
This ended up being my favorite story in the anthology which surprised me because its a second chance romance. I usually do not get into the second chance romances because there is so much angst and drama, and Sweet Ruin did look like it was heading in that direction. However, I ended up loving the Georgie and Lucas. They learned they were betrayed by someone close to them, and I was ecstatic that they realized the truth of the deception early on in the story. I didn't want them to be at each other's throats the entire time. I joined in the outrage with Georgie and Lucas against the culprit, and I was so happy they got their HEA.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.