A Regency Christmas Anthology. Susan Payne. 2020. Wild Rose Press. 212 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence from A Regency Christmas Story: “Oh Christopher, how could you do such a thing? How am I to explain to the shopkeepers they must wait yet again?” Penny couldn’t understand how grown men expected gambling debts to be paid within days while hardworking vendors and tradesmen were expected to wait sometimes months.
Premise/plot: Penny loves, loves, loves her brother no matter how irresponsible he may be. She's both mother and sister to him since their parents died. Now that he has HUGE debts due soon because of a high stakes gambling game, she will do just about anything--even play nice with the gentleman he owes the most money to--but what are HIS intentions towards her and her brother?
My thoughts: I really ENJOYED this one. Lord Leighton and Penny make a cute couple, and their path to love isn't smooth sailing by any means. Payne's storytelling was great--as were her characters--and this one was NEARLY clean!!! I felt the potential was finally realized.
First sentence from The Best Christmas Present: How had it come to this? A man his age viewing a room full of young ladies barely out of the schoolroom with their hair in ringlets and dressed up to lure and entice, looking like little girls in their mothers’ clothes.
Premise/plot: Lady Trowbridge (Malinda) has come to London with her young daughter, Emily, for Emily's first season. While at an event she spots an old flame--they'd shared a kiss when she had her first season years before, he is drawn to her once more. Will this be their time? Is he any more honorable now than he was before?
My thoughts: This is my least favorite of the three stories. Not that it isn't without some charm. It is the only story within the collection that is definitely smutty.
First sentence from Sugar Plum Christmas: The young gentleman wearing morning clothes picked up one of the petit eclairs Michie had placed on the silver tray covered by flower petals. Popping it into his mouth, he licked his fingers, saying, “I bet you are as sweet as that little bite of confection.”
Premise/plot: Micheline is a confectionist. She works in a bake shop making and decorating all sorts of sweet goodies. She's kept busying catering for the elite ton. But one gentleman has noticed her, Lord Hedley (aka Cyrus), and he's tempted by more than her baked goods. Will his interest in her be her downfall?
My thoughts: This was a SWEET story that I loved. I enjoyed their romance so much. I greatly appreciate that it was a CLEAN READ. You don't have to have graphic scenes to be romantic and have all the feels. I loved how sweet, honorable, and kind he was towards her and her mother.
Overall thoughts: I would say that I loved two out of three of the story; the middle story I merely liked. But I definitely am enjoying the STORYTELLING and character development aspects of the novellas. Unlike her previous books, this one contains two stories that are nearly clean or almost completely clean. One story definitely is still very graphic. But I am glad I read this one!
© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews