It is impossible to state which of the four short stories complied in this novel is the best...they are ALL INCREDIBLE!
If this does not get one into the Christmas spirit, I can't imagine what will!
1.) The first story, Let Nothing You Dismay by Jennifer Moore, is a delightful story set in England. It is a bittersweet story of romantic interlude gone wrong and if through time, love can endure.
It contains a flare of the movie An Affair to Remember.
2.)the second story is Christmas at Canterwood by Krista Lynne Jensen.
This is an outstanding tale of Christmas in a community in England.
A Recently Hired Governess - and former daughter of a recently deceased vicar - and an elderly grandmother is caring for the children while the parents had to make a long journey alone.
The local vicar is invited to the home by the grandmother who has a special project she would like accomplished before Christmas. It puts a lot of responsibility on the vicar and governess.
This tale is set during the years of War with Napoleon Bonaparte when many of those left behind, while the men were sent to fight, lived in such poverty.
While the events unfold, the reader feels such strong excitement and inspiration toward the Christmas Season.
3.) Story three, Winter Angel by Anita Stansfield is an inspiring and touching tale. It is a tale of "charity, the pure love of Christ".
The owners of Pritchard Bakery were just such people. It was a tradition instilled in them for generations. The way they started every day, seven days a week....A little extra at Christmas.
It wasn't just the one daily tradition but many other acts of kindness.
The fourth and final story is Christmas Grace by Chalon Linton (the only one I am unfamiliar with but an impressive talent).
This is a story of a young widow who, at the end of her year of mourning had a sudden revelation of how best to honor her deceased husband. Against her mother's proclamations, she hurriedly packed, determined to travel with her entourage to attend to traditional festivities at her manor. However, there was an accident so her arrival threatened to be tragically delayed.
This brings ideas of new Christmas traditions one can apply in one's own life (as does the entire book) and how one individual found new meaning in his life in helping to relieve a woman's worries
All four were extremely well-written and captivating.
The Title Cover and content are all a "perfect fit".
This truly deserves a Five Stars rating.
* This was gifted me with no requirements at all. This is my honest review.
This is a great book to get you in the Christmas spirit. They're love stories that happen over the Christmas season, but I found them to be more than that. I think each of them show the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas. The stories take place in the Regency era but aren't about the holidays being celebrated by the titled and elite, and each one is completely different. I couldn't pick a favorite because I like each one for different reasons.
The individual stories are short enough that you can read one while taking a break, but the writers are still able to give enough details about the characters and make you care about them. The stories don't feel rushed. All of these are definitely sweet, clean romances.
If I had to describe this collection in one word, I'd call it sweet. The stories are all quite different, but when I finished each one my first thought was how sweet each story was. And, even more important than sweet stories, I also came away being inspired to look for and help those in need this Christmas.
Novellas can be tricky. Some are too rushed, and just don't feel complete, but I thought each of these authors did a good job of engaging me and making me care about the characters. It is a perfect collection for a quick romance with a Christmas setting.
I can see myself reading this again.
This set of four novellas was everything I wanted in a Christmas collection--miracles, cheer, and lots of joy. I just wish it had come with hot wassail as well. These authors all did an excellent job creating characters I loved in a short amount of time (which is super hard to do with novellas) with settings rich with detail that helped me join their Christmas journey. I highly recommend this collection. It made me smile.
Jennifer Moore-Let Nothing You Dismay – Millie and Benedict (Ben) are childhood sweethearts who vow to elope before he heads off to join his dad in India. But 8 years later, they are still unwed due to a horrible misunderstanding. The two come together in this second chance story, and it was poignant and touching. Moore did a good job, setting up characters that really spoke to me. I felt their emotional angst and loved the setting, dialogue, and plot. My only small gripe was it ended too fast (most novellas do). I like more closure and happily ever after shown to me. But novellas usually don't give me that. This was so good, I wanted a full book length with these characters.
Krysta Lynn Jensen--Christmas at Canterwood – A cute governess helps her young charges stir up the true meaning of Christmas, but needs help from the quiet, sober young vicar to keep things right before the Lord as they write and put on a Christmas play for the family. This one has quiet, subdued characters that were fun to watch and cheer for from the sidelines. When love is stirred up as well during this Christmas production, it’s fun to see the subtle sparks fly between the two characters.
Anita Stansfield—Winter Angel—Joseph has noticed the pretty baker’s daughter who always delivers bread to the poor as he walks around town to get to his job. He feels grateful for sweet angels like her who work to relieve the suffering all around him. When his luck turns and he finds himself homeless and unable to help himself, his angel helps him, and what transpires between them as they get to know each other is a true Christmas miracle. Loved these two characters, and especially Mariah’s awesome father. Bravo.
Chalon Linton—Christmas Grace--Grace, widowed a year ago, determines to show respect to her dead husband by continuing his charitable Christmas traditions in their home village. She braves storm and snow to head home, but a carriage accident turns her fate a different direction, to a bachelor named Gordon who comes to her aid. I loved seeing their hearts knit together through this sweet story, and loved the ending where I was seeing stars.
***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This is such a perfect book of Christmas novellas, I loved each and every one of them. I loved that each of the novellas is an easy, quick read that I was able to read and enjoy fairly quickly. There was something great about each and every one of them!
I loved Jennifer Moore's "Let Nothing You Dismay." I loved the way that it was a little bit like An Affair to Remember in that the main character is hurt but doesn't want to let the man she loves know. And the man is confused, yet still in love with her. This was such a great story. I loved the whole feel of it.
Next up is "Christmas at Canterwood" by Krista Lynn Jensen. I loved Julia, the main character, in this one. I loved that she was willing to work hard to be a governess, and she was a great governess. She worked hard to lead her young charges to be kind to each other and others. I loved the service opportunity that she and the young vicar came up with for the kids. I also loved the scene where they act out the nativity together.
"Winter Angel" by Anita Stansfield was a fun one as well. I loved Mariah and the way she and her family took care of London's poor and homeless by feeding them every day. But my favorite thing about this one, was the extra special treat she came up with and the note including a modified scripture she added.
And last, but not least was "Christmas Grace" by Chalon Linton. I liked Grace in this one. She's a widow of about a year, ready to move on with her life. And pay tribute to her husband in a way he would have loved. I love how much planning on her part went into the Christmas Eve party for the children. I loved how Gordon was willing to jump in and plan and work just as hard as Grace was.
This is such a great Christmas collection, it definitely put me into the mood for the whole Christmas season. Too bad Christmas is still too months away!