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Posted December 27, 2008
2 out of 3
While I loved both Sabrina Jeffries's story and Julia London's, I found Jane Feather's left something to be desired. Great to curl up with a cup of tea and read on a chilly winter day!
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Posted March 29, 2014
Christmas stories are some of my favorites because it¿s a time o
Christmas stories are some of my favorites because it’s a time of year for families to get together…and when people meet during snowstorms, there’s always the potential for romance. “Snowy Night with a Stranger” is an opportunity to read how three different authors approached this concept. Other reviewers have provided a description of each story, so I’m just going to provide a review. (SPOILER ALERT)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
(****- Four STARS) “A Holiday Gamble” by Jane Feather – Feather is a masterful storyteller. Her original descriptions and characters leapt off the page and captured me. Most of the story takes place from the hero’s point of view, Viscount Allenton, who is returning to his estate after many years in India. I empathized with Allenton’s discomfiture as he reacquaints himself with a life he thought abandoned him. Through his eyes, we are the reluctant prodigal son returning home and forced to rely on the mercy of a neighbor to seek shelter from a snow storm. Even though Allenton has resigned himself to marry a childhood sweetheart, he can’t help be attracted to Georgiana, a veritable rose among the weedy overgrowth of females at this holiday party. While the characters and conflict were superb, I felt that the ending was rushed. Some other reviewers have mentioned this and I have to agree. As soon as they find her father’s will and escape, the story ends leaving a few untidy ends. The reader can only assume that everything wraps up neatly.
(*** - Three STARS) “When Sparks Fly” by Sabrina Jefferies – this story is a continuation of her ‘School for Heiresses’ series. I’m not familiar with this series and after reading this short story, I was not compelled to read the rest of the books. I rated this story lower than the others because, even though I liked the characters, I felt that the story was clichéd and not well developed. The heroine is on her way home, determined (or resigned) to be a spinster, when her family’s coach overturns forcing them to find shelter. Enter hero (stage left), haunted by the accidental death of his brother, resigned to push people away lest they lose their lives to his dangerous research. At first, there is some mutual animosity (a.k.a. conflict) between Martin and Ellie, but once they get to know each other, Ellie set her marriage radar on Martin. All she has to do is convince him that he’s not going to accidentally kill her if they get married. What? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. His paranoia seemed a bit farfetched and her quick turnabout from spinsterhood was just too convenient.
(***** - Five STARS) “Snowy Night with a Highlander” by Julia London, in my humble opinion, was the best story in the anthology. The beginning was a bit improbable - the heroine is ordered to warn her brother that the prince is looking for him. Why would she get a royal escort to Scotland and why would they not accompany her the rest of the way? But, the story really gets started when they begin the journey to her childhood home. Again, there’s this feeling of coming home, appreciating the people and things you didn’t when you were young and stupid. Isn’t that what the holidays and romance have in common? London’s true talent is lighting this romance ember between Duncan and Fiona and fanning the flames over the entire story (in other words, there is some amazing sexual tension). Even though Fiona does most of the talking, her compassion and good-natured persona make her appealing instead of coming across as an empty headed miss. The plot timing and reveals are well paced and the ending left me with a sappy grin and wanting to read the next story – isn’t that the sign of a good writer?
Posted October 27, 2009
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