A Regency Christmas Anthology

A Regency Christmas Anthology by Susan Payne is a collection of three Regency romances. 

In A Regency Christmas Story, Penelope is struggling to pay her brother’s gambling debts to Lord Leighton. Will she offer up anything in order to pay?

In The Best Christmas Present, The Earl of Williamsburg is looking for a wife. But a debutante’s mother is catching his interest, and possibly his heart.

In Sugar Plum Christmas, Micheline works for a bakery which caters to the aristocracy when she catches the eye of Lord Hedley. Can he win her heart by discovering her past?

These Regency Christmas romances did not meet my expectations for Christmas stories. A Christmas story must transport you to the Christmas season, no matter what time of year it might be. Here I am right in the middle of the actual Christmas season and I found these stories to have only passing references to Christmas. The book cover is also very generic. It feels as if these were already existing stories that were thrown together at the last minute.

I also found the main male protagonists to be lacking character. They had no problem with taking mistresses on the side and their treatment of women was abhorrent. I found Sugar Plum Christmas to be the best of the three, but only because it describes the confections Micheline is baking so well. Sugar Plum Christmas also had the best Christmas atmosphere, although it was still not enough.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

Link to the Book on Amazon

Link to Susan Payne’s Amazon page

Link to my Goodreads Review

A Year Before Christmas

This is a delightful Christmas Story Poem by Cathy Cade. It is a new take on “A Night Before Christmas,” complete with Santa, Reindeer, and ….Engineering? You will enjoy this lively poem and its colorful, captivating illustrations. It is clever, saucy, and fun.

Buy A Year Before Christmas on Amazon

Cathy Cade’s blog and bio

Duffy the Christmassy Dragon

by Kate Noble

This book is adorable! This cute, captivating, illustrated children’s book tells the delightful story of how Duffy the Dragon helped Santa and his reindeer save Christmas. The illustrations are so colorful and well done, and the story is written as a fun kid’s poem. 

Here is one of the colorful and imaginative illustrations of Duffy the Dragon.

I loved this book and I can’t wait to read it to my five-year-old grandson. You can’t get any higher praise than that.  The book can be obtained on Amazon Canada or on the Author’s website. Both links are below. I live in the US, but still had the option of purchasing it on Amazon Canada. Instead, I ordered the book from the author’s website, where she offers personalized dedications. She is also working on more Duffy books.

I received a free digital copy via Netgalley. I loved it so much I purchased a hard copy. My review is voluntary.

Link to The Author’s Duffy the Dragon website

Link to the book on Amazon Canada

Christmas With The Ops Room Girls

Christmas season is near, and the Christmas reviews are here! Expect to see a lot of them pop up the next few weeks. Below is Christmas with the Ops Room Girls, about a group of WAAFs during WWII. Historical Fiction and Christmas all in one. Enjoy!

Christmas With The Ops Room Girls is the second in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force series by Vicki Beeby. May, a member of the WAAF during World War II, witnesses two evacuee children being separated and feels powerless to do anything. Meanwhile, Jess has volunteered her to play Prince Charming in a Christmas Pantomime. She is also getting uncomfortably close to Peter while dealing with memories from her past. She struggles to find the confidence and strength to handle all of these developments.

This book can be read separately, but characters from the first book show up midway through, so reading the first book would be helpful. This isn’t quite a cozy mystery, but there are mysteries to be solved and a slight crime subplot.

Overall, I found this book to be heartwarming and fun, and I would definitely recommend this series.

I received a free copy of this book from Canelo and Netgalley. My review is voluntary

Link to the book on Amazon

Vicki Beeby’s Facebook Page

Link to my Goodreads Review



			

Joy to the World

Oh how I love everything written by Jodi Taylor! This short story in the Frogmorton Farm series is no exception. You will laugh and cry.

There is a serious message in this short story about online predators, but there is also love, Joy, and a golden horse. Joy feels unappreciated and unloved by her father, Russell, and she feels her mother Jenny is weak and clueless. Her only friend is Tommy, a girl she met online. And that’s where the trouble starts…

I would suggest starting with the first book in this series, The Nothing Girl, so you will know the whole story of Jenny, Thomas, Russell, and more. In The Nothing Girl, Jenny is an orphaned girl who has a pronounced stutter. She lives a loveless life with her coldhearted aunt and uncle, until the arrival of a giant golden horse. This series is heartfelt and addictive. I love it so much that I want to go live at Frogmorton Farm.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story, read by Lucy Price-Lewis, who does a great job, especially with the voice of Thomas.

Since I am a huge fan of Jodi Taylor’s, I also recommend you read The Chronicles of St. Mary’s, about an organization of hilarious time-traveling historians, and The Time Police, a spinoff of that. Everything Jodi Taylor writes is amazing.

Link to the story on Amazon

Link to Jodi Taylor’s Website

Link to my review on Goodreads

Candy Cane Crime

*****

Candy Cane Crime is a short novella, and book 5.5 of the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. It can easily be read on its own, however.

I loved this story by Amanda Flower. Bailey, the owner of the candy shop in Harvest Ohio, is too busy to take on running the town candy cane exchange, so her cousin Charlotte steps in and begins collecting the messages that will be attached to candy canes and delivered all over town. To Charlotte’s amazement, some of the notes are addressed to her, and a sweet mystery begins. Who is sending the notes?

This story is short, but fun, and does what a Christmas story is supposed to do–it transports you instantly to the Christmas season, no matter what time of the year it might happen to be. It didn’t bother me a bit that the mystery was easy to figure out because the book was so enjoyable. The town of Harvest is brimming with life and fun, and I definitely want to read the rest of the books in this series. And Jethro! I won’t spoil it for you, but I loved Jethro. Rated against other cozy Christmas novellas, this gets five stars.

I received a free copy of this story from Kensington Books via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

Link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Candy-Cane-Crime-Amish-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08C9DQJVV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=candy+cane+crime&qid=1601596911&sr=8-1

Link to the Author’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Flower/e/B003AYZWD8/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1