The title: Together By Christmas
The author(s): Nicola Cornick, Catherine George, Louise Allen
Publication: Harlequin, 2009
Got it from: Amazon.com
I'm shallow and I bought this book because I thought the cover was gorgeous. There, I said it.
Now for the stories inside.
No wait, let's look at the cover again. Shiny Christmas ornaments! So pretty!
Okay, now we'll look at the stories.
"The Unmasking of Lady Loveless" by Nicola Cornick (Regency era). This one had an interesting premise, where a husband suspects his estranged wife is writing erotic literature and goes to tell her off. Unfortunately, the execution was awful and I didn't like this story at all. The hero was a total brute and instead of asking her what she was about, he practically rapes her as a form of punishment. Also, the story was really rushed and the romance felt forced. A big disappointment.
"Christmas Reunion" by Catherine George. Felicia and Gideon once played Romeo and Juliet in a high school play, but their real-life romance was cut short by a misunderstanding. Now, ten years later, they have a second chance at love. I really enjoyed this story, having not read many contemporary Christmas tales before. I liked how this one was set in England, too, because it showed some different British holiday traditions. I also like how the hero was rich but in an unconventional way (he owns a big chemist chain, or pharmacy chain in North American speak). Altogether this one felt very realistic and believable.
"A Mistletoe Masquerade" by Louise Allen. Back to the Regency era again. Lady Rowan agrees to go undercover as a servant to find out the truth about her friend's betrothed. She soon finds herself sparring with the man's irritating but oh-so-handsome valet. But surprise - the valet is actually the man's titled friend who is going undercover for similar reasons. Overall, a very silly story (they should have just been honest with each other and saved themselves a heap of trouble) with lots of anachronistic behavior and dialogue. But I enjoyed it anyway because I just love those sparring protagonists.