The title: Regency Christmas Magic
The author: Amanda McCabe, etc.
Publication: Signet, 2004
Got it from: Er...don't actually remember. It was probably either Hannelore's or the library book sale, c. 2008-2009.
File this under totally weird coincidence. As I was looking for a picture of this book cover online, I was thinking about my last post. I finally found a picture I could use, and it turned out to be from a post of somebody who wanted to know who the identity of the man on the cover. He also talks about the plight of the familiar yet anonymous romance cover hero.
Read it. It's funny. "...virtually every time he has female company, he’s got designs on that company. Designs, and a signature move – he’s doing that not-so-subtle hand-slide in almost every setting, a wonderful gesture that’s both assertive and non-threatening."
You know what would be awesome? A romance story in which a reader falls for a particular cover model and buys all his books, and then gets to romance him in real life.
So on with this book:
Upon a Midnight Clear by Amanda McCabe - This was definitely an unusual character story. The heroine is a black woman from Jamaica and the hero is a scarred ex-naval captain. They are both outsiders in their community because of the way they look. He comes across her one night when she's practicing spells and they turn out to have a lot in common. Together they start to find acceptance in their small English village and realize they're falling in love. A sweet story.
The Ultimate Magic by Allison Lane - This was the funniest story, with lots of characters and misunderstandings and snappy dialogue between the hero and heroine. Before the story even begins, we're made to understand that the heroine has caused disaster whenever the hero is around, and when they meet again in the opening scenes he's all, "oh no, not you again!" I like stories with lots of intrigue and house parties, so this was a good one.
The Two Dancing Daughters by Edith Layton - In this story a former soldier is hired to find out where his two daughters are sneaking out to every night, as his servants are under some sort of spell. Obviously very similar to the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I found this one a bit dry. The romance wasn't a big part of the story and the hero and heroine were somewhat boring.
The Enchanted Earl by Barbara Metzger - This story was probably more like a real fairy tale than any of the others. A widow is trying to host a magic show on Christmas Eve and gets some rather unruly real fairies instead. She meets an old magician who is able to help her get rid of the pesky spirits. But is he more than he seems - is he actually a handsome earl in disguise? Of course he is, silly.
The Green Gauze Gown by Sandra Heath - Limp title, best story of the bunch. A widow with two sons returns to England and encounters an old flame. Years before, she had a romantic connection with a man named Harry, but married his best friend because of the romantic letters he wrote her. Of course, it turns out that they were Harry's letters all along. The hero in this one is definitely atypical - he is crippled and needs a cane, he's fair and wears spectacles - but he makes up for it in his passion for the heroine. Love the second chance stories and this one was a good one. Also loved Harry's matchmaking younger sister, she reminded me of Catherine from Northanger Abbey.
New Year's resolutions - read more, as always.