Title: How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Author: Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe
The overall rating is the average of the following ratings.
Meet Me In Mayfair by Tessa Dare
3 stars – I liked it
This was a short and sweet Christmas romance. Louisa heads to a ball in the hopes of finding a wealthy man to marry who will settle her fathers debts and let them keep their house. Instead she runs into the very Duke who is calling for their debts and kicking them out.
I enjoyed Louisa and James’ story. It was short, sweet, and filled with holiday miracles. I really enjoyed how Louisa was determined to keep him at arms length but that just pushed him to get closer. This was an instant love romance that felt very possible for the time period. I did like that James felt hard and fast but still decided to slow down and court Louisa, even if we don’t get to see that. Overall, this was a good Christmas romance.
The Duke of Christmas Present by Sarah MacLean
4 stars – It was really good
This was a wonderful second chance story. Eben James, Duke of Allryd, unexpectedly became the Duke when he was 20. Two years later he is so absorbed in fixing his estate that he doesn’t notice that he is ignoring the one person who means the most to him, Lady Jacqueline “Jack” Mosby, his neighbor, childhood friend, and only love. They spend twelve years apart before they finally take another chance at Christmas.
I really liked this one. It jumps back and forth between the present and twelve years before when Jack decides to leave. Becoming a Duke slowly killed Eben’s love of life but he never stopped loving Jack, even if he failed to show it. I really enjoyed watching Eben fight his feelings for Jack and her refusing to let him keep her at a distance. These two had a lot to work though but it worked out once they finally sat down and talked. Overall, I really enjoyed this second chance romance and how they turned this grinch back into a Christmas believer.
Heiress Alone by Sophie Jordan
3 stars – I liked it
This was a short and cute Christmas story. After being left behind, Annis Ballister finds herself being whisked away to the Duke of Sinclair’s home to protect her and the servants from bandits. Calder, the Duke of Sinclair, may have declared he would never marry one of the Ballister daughters; he quickly finds himself falling for Annis.
This was an enjoyable story. I enjoyed watching these two get to know each other. I was surprised by Annis’ plan to become a nun but if I had that many annoying siblings, I might have thought the same. I liked how Calder was determined to show her that she wasn’t nun material too. Overall, this was a short and enjoyable Christmas romance.
Trigger Warnings: abandonment by family; death of parents and sister from Cholera pandemic mentioned;
Christmas in Central Park by Joanna Shupe
DNF Ch. 7
This story isn’t working for me. I don’t like how far Rose is willing to lie to keep her job, especially when she finds out how important truth is to Duke and his paper. I also didn’t love the whole fake affair part, which is basically when I stopped. While they aren’t actually cheating, Duke does believe she is married and is going ahead with the affair, which to me means that he is ok with cheating and I don’t like that. So this one isn’t for me.
Trigger Warnings: domestic violence briefly mentioned (not towards heroine);
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