Entangled Publishing presents... A Very Scandalous Holiday Anthology. Four very spirited vignettes of holidays past.
Erin's Gift by Nancy Fraser
Widower, Seth Harrison, has no intention of falling in love again but will he be able to resist the sweetness of his son's nanny, Erin O'Mara - his sister's best friend?
An Eternity of You by Sophia Garrett
The Duke of Sharrington left Rebecca with more than a broken heart six years ago - he left her with a son. He's rekindled their passion with his return, but it will take a Christmas miracle to earn her heart.
Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin
England, late Regency
After three years at sea, Captain Hale Prescott has the means to marry the love of his life and his best friend's sister. Sidony Harbeck, however, might never speak to him again. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter... at least none he ever sent.
Eight Tiny Flames by Crista McHugh
1944 Ardennes, WWII
Lt. Ruth Mencher has always secretly admired Capt. Joseph Klein, but it takes the lighting of a Hanukkah candle to uncover the spark of mutual attraction. Each night awakens a new facet of their relationship, but as the Battle of the Bulge begins, the approaching Nazi forces threaten to tear them apart.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Nancy Fraser has been writing since she was a child, most often on the walls and with crayons or (heaven forbid) permanent marker. Since first becoming published in 1996, Nancy has received numerous five star reviews for her futuristic, time travel romance. She's also published in short contemporary, historical romance and vintage historical romances set during the Golden Decade of Rock&Roll (1955-1964). When not writing fiction, Nancy likes to spend time with her grandchildren and is excitedly awaiting a new addition to her grand-family in July 2013.
Amber Lin writes edgy romance with damaged hearts, redemptive love, and a steamy ever after. RT Book Reviews called her debut novel, Giving it Up, "truly extraordinary". Amber married her high school sweetheart, gave birth to a kid who's smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.
Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I sat and read this book in one sitting. All four stories are very engaging, with wonderful characters that are well very thought out. The story lines are all interesting and different from each other. I found it refreshing that I didn't feel like I was reading a different version of the same story four times over. In Letters For Christmas you will find a story of a young love that has been put on hold. There are misunderstandings keeping the young lovers from being together. Will Sidony forgive Hale when he gives her an unexpected Christmas gift? Will the young lovers finally marry, or will the misunderstanding always come between them? I really enjoyed this story. I love the imagery of sleigh rides in the snow and all the romance that can come with the Regency period. I found myself really hoping that the misunderstanding could be resolved and they could live happily ever after. In Eight Tiny Flames you will find a Hanukkah celebration in a setting that would seem ill fitted for any kind of celebration. The romance quickly kindles between the two main characters and gets pretty steamy. You will find yourself eager to see what will happen when the Nazis start closing in! I love that this story shows you that no matter where you are or what you are doing, love can appear in a blink of an eye. In Erin's Gift a lawyer finds himself attracted to his son's nanny. She is his sister's best friend whom he met when his sister took her to a speakeasy and got her arrested. Now that is an interesting way to meat the woman of your dreams! An Eternity of You is probably my favorite of the four stories. I really enjoyed how the Duke reacted to everything that was happening around him. The doctor is obviously a strong female in a time when females weren't considered equal. There were many elements to this story that makes it memorable, but the lovers finding each other and falling back into each others arms after years apart is my favorite. This is a very steamy read, so you should be sure to have a cooling beverage and maybe a fan at hand! I recommend this to any reader that loves romances, steamy sex scenes, and historical settings.
I know that anthologies or novellas have difficulties finding their way in France. Most of the time, the readers complain about too short sizes and frustrating stories. I really like on the contrary, it allows me to discover authors I wouldn’t have tried otherwise and to clear my head for a short story. That is why, when I saw that this anthology with such a lovely cover and really interesting synopsis was available on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance. I don’t regret having chosen it even though I didn’t like one of the stories at all. Fortunately the three other ones were really beautiful. I didn’t know any of the authors of this anthology: Nancy Fraser for Erin’s Gift, Sophia Garrett for An Eternity of You, Amber Lin for Letters at Christmas, and Crista McHugh for Eight Tiny Flames. I thought each story would take place at the same time, as it’s always the case with anthologies I’ve read, but not at all. There’s a theme, Christmas, and several eras. So for those who don’t like some eras, it would be impossible to make a choice. So Erin’s Gift takes place in the USA in 1920, an Eternity of You takes place in England in 1833, Letters at Christmas takes place in England too but during the Regency, and Eight Tiny Flames takes place in the Ardennes in 1944. The Second World War era is the one I don’t like at all. Unfortunately it’s the story I hated. Indeed, I find to be anti-romantic the fact that the heroes absolutely wish to wed a certain kind of partner. In this case, both the heroes are of the Jewish and clearly admit that they prefer to marry someone from the same religion. That doesn’t bother me if one of them isn’t or if he is but the other doesn’t know till the end; in a romance, I like feeling like the couple would have chosen each other no matter what. But it’s not the case here and that irritated me thoroughly. Under these circumstances, there is no magic in their relationship. So the characters may well be sympathetic, I may have learned things about the practice of the Jewish religion in December, the novella may really be a romance, I didn’t believe in their love story. It’s Eight Tiny Flames which gets only one star. Erin’s Gift is my favorite novella. I really liked the main characters, Seth and Erin. The latter is Seth’s sister’s best friend and the couple has been strongly attracted to each other for some times. Their lack of understanding is because Seth wants to court Erin and the latter gets the impression he doesn’t feel anything for her because he acts as a gentleman. However I didn’t like the hero’s sister, too immature. Even though she evolves, I find she’s behaving like a child for too long. Fortunately the hero doesn’t waste his time thinking Erin is of the same caliber as his sister, allowing the reader to enjoy his perspicacity. There is a lot of talking and tenderness between our heroes and we believe in their future when we finish this story. A story that fully deserves five stars. An Eternity of You is the most touching. The hero, who is a Duke, had to break it up with the young woman several years before without knowing she was pregnant with his child. Rebecca and Andrew have always loved each other and it’s a really strong feeling for the reader when witnessing their reunion and reading their introspections. I really like that Rebecca’s son knows who his father is, I really liked the children’s kindness and respect toward the grownups. I loved that the heroine doesn’t yield to the hero when he comes back but that their attraction is so strong they both give in before the big revelation. The hero’s realization when he understands all that he missed and what the heroine had to go through with the villagers during several years is terrible and will have you shed some tears. But the story is very beautiful and you’ll fall in love with the heroes and the children. I’ll give five stars to this novella too. Letters at Christmas was quite touching too. The hero went to war and even if he had to write to the heroine to whom he was informally promised, he never did. The reader learns little by little the reasons for this behavior. What I found really well done was how the author gets the reader to like the hero gradually when there was a long way to go. The heroine, Sidony, even though she resents him a lot, doesn’t stands her ground for too long. These two have loved each other for a long time and in this story, Sidony and Hale know they grew up together and learn to know and especially trust each other. All the characters were really likeable and we believe in the couple’s HEA. Four stars for this story. What I could notice in the different novellas is that the heroes are no Don Juan at all; even more, in Letters at Christmas and Erin’s Gift, the hero waited for the heroine. Yes, you understand the consequences of what I said. I love when a hero knows what he wants to the extent that another woman can absolutely not replace his soul mate. As for the heroines, they all are virgins, or in Rebecca’s case, she’s only known the hero. Therefore, when I say we believe in the different couples’ HEA, this facet is part of my evaluation. And I include Eight Tiny Flames which, even if not romantic, allows the reader to believe in the couple’s future. To conclude, it’s an anthology I really liked a lot. And if you can forget about the detail which had me not liking Eight Tiny Flames at all, you’ll appreciate the four stories.
A sweet, lovely historical romance holiday anthology. A Very Scandalous Holiday was a lovely collection of holiday romances. I really enjoyed reading them all. "Erin's Gift" was a very sweet story. Erin was a likable heroine who was genuinely nice. Seth was a sweet hero who didn't want to fall in love, but fell anyway. The romance was sweet, with a touch of spice and the story was lovely. "An Eternity of You" was a reunion between two lovers. Or, kind of. Rebecca was a strong heroine who went through a lot of tough times that have made her bitter. But, despite her resentment for her circumstances, she knew when to forgive. I thought she was great. Andrew was a hero who thought he was doing the right thing by leaving Rebecca. He didn't think his family would allow them to marry, so he left before he could ruin her, or so he thought. He didn't realize that a dream he had while he was ill and Rebecca was tending to him was actually real. And, the consequences of that, though he didn't know about them, were real. He was a sweet hero. He might have made mistakes, but he always loved Rebecca and was determined to make things right. The romance was sweet and lovely. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was perfect. "Letters at Christmas" was a story about a second chance. Sidony was a lovely heroine who unsure if she should trust again. I really liked her. Hale was a hero who never stopped loving Sidony, but was uncertain if she would forgive him. The romance was both sweet and steamy. I really enjoyed the story and the happy ending was wonderful. This one was my favorite of the stories in this anthology. "Eight Tiny Flames" was a sweet love story about two people who fall in love under the most difficult of circumstances: in a WWII battlefield, trying to celebrate Hanukkah while the anti-Semitic Nazis marched ever closer. Ruth was a feisty heroine that was very likable. She was strong and proved herself a worthy heroine as she held her own in a battle front. Joseph was a dedicated soldier who slowly came out of his shell as he fell in love with Ruth. He was adorable. The romance was sweet and lovely. I enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. A Very Scandalous Holiday was a fantastic historical romance holiday anthology. All of the stories were sweet and wonderful. If you want a lovely read that will get you ready for the holiday season, this is a book you'll want to check out. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
A Very Scandalous Christmas was a well written anthology of Christmas stories that span from the British regency period, to the roaring 1920s, and World War II. All the stories were well written, I especially enjoyed the story set during the Battle of the Bulge between a nurse and a surgeon. Its setting is unusual and I like how it made use of the 8 days of Hanukkah to tell its evolving romance. It was my favorite story from anthology, because I have never read any story like it before. the Both of the Regency romances were well written and involved strong women who longed for their loves. I enjoyed both stories and would happily recommend them to people who like this setting. My least favorite story set in the 1920s, was still well- written and enjoyable, just not very memorable. Overall this was a good anthology with some outstanding stories, I highly recommend it.
A Very Scandalous Holiday is a fun collection of holiday-themed historical romances, with two British Regency-era-ish stories acting as bookends for a World War II and 1920s era romance in between. There isn't a bad story in the bunch, but I definitely have favorites! "Letters at Christmas" by Amber Lin is the first story in the collection. Sidony Harbeck has to deal with the return of her former lover, Captain Hale Prescott. Three years earlier, he left to make his fortune at sea and she hasn't heard from him since. Now he's back, and determined to win her back. She's just as determined not to let him, though.... This late Regency period romance was a sweet reunited lovers/second chance story. I enjoyed the characters and found their situation to be mostly believable, but it was pretty standard fare. A nice way to spend an hour or so, and I wouldn't mind re-reading next year if the Christmas-historical mood strikes me, but it didn't stand out in any major way--though it did feature a cat as a secondary character, which is always fun. B+ rating. The second story blew me away, both for its unique twist on the traditional holiday story and its location and characters. Christa McHugh's "Eight Tiny Flames" is set during the Battle of the Bulge, right at the edge of the action. Lieutenant Ruth Mencher is a nurse in the 64th Medical Evacuation Unit, and she has long been attracted to the unit's all-business doctor, Captain Joseph Klein. Ruth decides to take a chance, and on the second night of Hanukkah she shows up at his desk with coffee, potato chips, and the inexpensive menorah her family sent in their latest care package. Ruth wears a Star of David necklace each and every day, and is proud of her heritage. Joseph, on the other hand, learned while growing up in Texas that it was sometimes better to hide his faith away. In Nazi-infested Europe, this seems doubly important. He's unsure what to make of Ruth's overtures at first, and fairly certain that getting involved with a nurse is a bad idea all around. As Hanukkah progresses, though, so does their relationship. I loved that this holiday story wasn't about Christmas, and I adored the WWII setting. Out of the four stories here, this one was definitely the most fleshed-out; it had a very strong story arc and felt complete despite its short length. I will absolutely be reading more from this author in the future, and re-reading this story again during the holidays. A solid A rating. I also really enjoyed the third story, "Erin's Gift" by Nancy Fraser, as well. It's set during the Prohibition era, which again was unusual for a historical holiday romance. Erin O'Mara is a shop girl struggling to make it on her own in Chicago--her parents had died several years earlier, ending her dream of becoming a concert violinist. She still hangs out with two friends she made during her single year at the music academy, though, Abby Harrison and Will Packard, even though their social status is now worlds above hers. An ill-advised trip to a speakeasy with Abby and Will ends Erin in jail, where Abby's older brother, Seth, a lawyer, bails them out. Representing her in court, Seth is taken with Erin's quiet beauty, but he has no intention of falling in love again. A widower, he's decided that his young son Ben and his family are all he needs. But that was before Erin was fired from her job, and moves in to act as Ben's nanny.... "Erin's Gift" was a sweet little story, and I loved the characters of Erin, Seth, and Ben. The relationships between those three characters were nicely done. However, two things kept me from rating this one higher: one, Erin was at times too sweet. She really didn't seem to have any flaws save extreme innocence and a tendency to undervalue herself. Secondly, there really wasn't a strong story arc here--a true climax (except for *that* kind of climax. We had several of those here) just never occurred. The biggest barrier between Erin and Seth was all in their heads, and quickly overcome. Absolutely everything comes fairly easily to these characters at the end. Still, it was a pleasant diversion--and I loved Ben and Seth. B+ rating. The final story, "An Enternity of You" by Sophia Garrett, was set just after the Regency era in 1833. The new Duke of Sharrington, Andrew Wingate, is returning to his family estate after spending six years away caring for his earldom in Sussex and trying to forget the girl he left behind in Wiltshire. Now a widower, he brings his young daughter Alice with him, determined to make a new life for them both...and perhaps rekindle an old flame at the same time--though he fears it may be too late. As far as Rebecca Rycroft is concerned, "too late" is just the tip of the iceberg where Andrew Wingate is concerned. She once believed his promises of love and forever, but that was before he left her without a word--and carrying his child. Her six years of letters have gone unanswered, and her circumstances--and those of the town that depends on Andrew's duchy--are becoming worse every day. Her son Thomas is all she has left. Can Andrew possibly convince her to give them another chance? Or will it take a Christmas miracle? This story had some pretty heavy issues going on--Rebecca's situation as the novella opens is really pretty dire, and the town is clearly declining fast. Andrew's dealing with major amounts of guilt--he left the girl he loved years ago and married one he clearly didn't, and he ignored the fact that his father wasn't fit to govern the duchy on his own during his absence, even though he should have known better. The motivations given for his actions really don't paint him in a favorable light, and for much of the story I wasn't sure if I liked him all that much. It especially bothered me that he never opened any of the correspondence from the estate manager in all that time. At least the reason why Andrew wouldn't have known he had a child--which admittedly was unfathomable to me at first--is explained in a fairly credible way eventually. The two children in the story steal the show, but in the end I felt like Andrew should do even more grovelling--both to the town and to Rebecca. I just wasn't convinced *he* deserved the HEA yet, though I was definitely rooting for Rebecca, Thomas, and Alice all the way. B rating. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Four fabulous novellas to put you in the holiday spirit! Each story is a quick, easy, and entertaining read with a common holiday theme designed to give you a blast from the past! I loved reading each story and even though they were all fairly short, the writing was excellent, the plot and characters were well-developed and all the heroes and heroines were down right lovable! If you are looking for a great way to kick off your holiday season, I suggest give this anthology a try! It’s great for reading if you don’t have a lot of time since you can just read one story at a time, but it’s also great for a lazy afternoon of reading! Don’t miss this collection! Rating 4 Heat Rating Mild Reviewed by April P Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More