A Regency Christmas Collection by Hetty St. James

A Regency Christmas Collection by Hetty St. James
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical, Holiday, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (241 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Three independent stories of Love set during the English Regency period.
In the first, a Duke is challenged by his family’s heritage, while in the second tale, a large family gathers for Christmas traditions for the Christmas holiday season, and finally, a romp featuring a notoriously different hero who finally discovers his long-awaited heroine.

There is nothing more joyful than a gathering of Regency Christmas stories, especially three in one!

In A Regency Christmas Collection, the reader is treated to three stories of the period, each with independent story lines and characters. The one thing that flows through each small adventure is the simple joy of tradition and a sprig of mistletoe to make things merry and bright.

The first story is “The Duke’s Christmas Gift.” Waiting for the birth of her child, the Duchess wanders out into the snow and finds herself in a pickle. Her love for her husband is a restrained affair common to the time, but rife with affection. Her time falls upon her unexpected and she is thrust into the rigor of a difficult birth. When unforeseen tragedy befalls the event, the Duke finds himself fraught with unimaginable worry. The author does a wonderful job of illustrating this point as the story shifts from the Duchess to the Duke and the surprise ending that will be a bittersweet Christmas blessing for everyone involved.

The second story is “A Castle Cramlye Christmas.” This tale is set in the crumbling walls of an old family castle, complete with hidden rooms and secret spaces. When a group of young people converge on the dowager for the holidays, traditions are brought to life, old loves revisited and some new loves are found. It was a merry romp that lead the reader through the countryside and back into the passages of the aging castle for some holiday cheer and a bit of holly and ivy.

The third and most elaborate of the stories is “Pongo Guthridge Finds Love.” This story is a bit of mystery, a whole lot of intrigue. Love, lust, friendships and surprise romance all wind their way together for a very orange flavored holiday story. Pongo is a gentleman with a flair for the unusual; namely he has a penchant for dressing in orange. As the plot unfolds, a secret society is plaguing the town and a wealthy man is using his influence to make a great many people unhappy. Using his naturally devious and enchanting talents, Pongo sets about to make things right, at the same time finding out that the woman of his dreams might be someone unexpected.

This collection of stories was a merry ride through a traditional holiday season. The characters within are all memorable. The Duke and Duchess in the first story had tears sparkling in my eyes as their very own Christmas miracle comes to pass. The merriment of Lark and the other young people in the group visiting her Lady-Gran at Castle Cramlye was catching, although part way through the story, I found myself wondering where it was leading. The third story was the most detailed of the three and the most outrageous. Pongo is a fop, dreaming of his lady love. He thinks he knows who it is, but is delighted to find out that he was mistaken. Politics and machinations pervade the story, giving a multi-threaded plot formation that was sheer delight. I will never again think of the color orange the same way.

If you are looking for a sweet romantic collection of feel good stories for the holidays, look no further. Ms. St. James has crafted a vacation back to Regency England that will chase the chill from your bones and leave a smile in your heart.

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