What Happens Under the Mistletoe

What Happens Under the Mistletoe

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Overview

What Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp, Meredith Duran

New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, and Candace Camp, and USA TODAY bestselling author Meredith Duran come together for a sizzling historical romance holiday anthology.

Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s delightful yuletide story, The Heiress and the Hothead. In the snowy Scottish countryside, Karen Hawkins’s rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter in Twelve Kisses when the alluring lady he surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle. In By Any Other Name, Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as Candace Camp sends a curious gentleman in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise—one who refuses to reveal her true identity, though she fears he has already stolen her heart with his kiss. In Sweetest Regret, will the festive spirit of the season sweep Meredith Duran’s feisty heroine beneath the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue whose carelessness soiled her reputation and sent her into exile in London?

In this all-new story collection sparkling with sexy charm and heartwarming wit, four beloved bestselling authors reveal the mix-ups and make-ups, the missed chances and golden opportunities that come but once a year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476786087
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 10/27/2015
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 509,271
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 4.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Sabrina Jeffries is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of several Regency-set historical romance series, including the Royal Brotherhood, the School for Heiresses, the Hellions of Halstead Hall, the Duke’s Men, and the Sinful Suitors. When she’s not writing in a coffee-fueled haze, she’s traveling with her husband, caring for her adult autistic son, or indulging in one of her passions: jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, music, and costume parties. With more than nine million books in print in twenty languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing aside a budding career in academics for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world. She always dreams big.

Karen Hawkins is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of many wickedly funny historical romance novels set in Regency Scotland, including the wildly popular MacLean Curse series, the enchanting Hurst Amulet series, the funny and charming Duchess Diaries series, and now the romantic Oxenburg Princes series. Karen is also the author of two sassy contemporary romances set in the little town of Glory, North Carolina. Find out more at Facebook.com/AuthorKarenHawkins and KarenHawkins.com.

Candace Camp is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than sixty novels of contemporary and historical romance, including the bestselling Regency romances Enraptured, Treasured, and The Marrying Season. She grew up in Texas in a newspaper family, which explains her love of writing, but she earned a law degree and practiced law before making the decision to write full time. She has received several writing awards, including the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award. Visit her at Candace-Camp.com.

Meredith Duran is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thirteen novels. She blames Anne Boleyn for sparking her lifelong obsession with British history (and for convincing her that princely love is no prize if it doesn’t come with a happily-ever-after). She enjoys collecting old etiquette manuals, guidebooks to nineteenth-century London, and travelogues by intrepid Victorian women.

Read an Excerpt

What Happens Under the Mistletoe

  • Walton Hall, Hertfordshire

    December 19, 1829

    Lord Stephen Corry, youngest brother of a marquess, might be considered too radical for polite company, but clearly he still had some credit in society. Otherwise he wouldn’t now be a guest at the manor house of American artist Jeremy Keane and the man’s new wife—Stephen’s old friend—Lady Yvette.

    He entered the drawing room to find Yvette directing footmen who were hanging a large painting on one wall.

    “Ah, there you are,” she said. “And just in time for the unveiling of my new portrait. Jeremy hasn’t seen it framed yet, so I’m surprising him by showing it off to our guests. The gentlemen are changing clothes after a day of shooting, the ladies will arrive any moment from shopping in town, and this must be hung before I can summon Jeremy from his studio.”

    “He didn’t go shooting with the men?”

    She laughed. “Jeremy is not the shooting sort.”

    Stephen well understood that. “I fear I’m intruding on your house party.”

    “Nonsense. Clarissa was absolutely right. It’s absurd of you to spend the night at the village inn when we have so much room here.”

    What would Yvette think if she knew that her best friend—his cousin—had her own reasons for wishing him here? It had been a stroke of luck when he’d run into Clarissa earlier in the day.

    I’ll convince Yvette to invite you if you’ll kiss me under the mistletoe in front of Edwin, Clarissa had said.

    Why on earth would I wish to attend some society house party? he’d asked.

    You told me once that you wanted to meet the owner of Montague Mills. Well, she’ll be at this party. I’ll introduce you.

    Though Stephen hadn’t been sure what Clarissa was about with Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, he’d found the promise regarding Miss Amanda Keane, Yvette’s sister-in-law, impossible to resist. He had an article to write, after all, and he’d have no chance of meeting the American mill owner otherwise.

    By all accounts, she was a colorless spinster with a hard-nosed view of life, who ventured into society as little as possible. He’d heard she’d be leaving England in a couple of weeks, so this would be his only chance to interview her.

    “Well, I promise not to cause too much trouble,” he joked.

    “Somehow I doubt that. Between our tendency to provoke people and the way women react to you, I imagine there will be trouble aplenty.” She grinned. “Fortunately, I enjoy a lively party. As does Jeremy.”

    “Wait—how do women react to me?” he asked, genuinely curious.

    Yvette eyed him askance. “You know perfectly well that every lady you meet wants to fall into your lap. The older you get, the more unobtainable they find you, and now that you’re nearly thirty, they’re practically salivating to catch the elusive Lord Stephen.”

    “I’m only twenty-eight,” he said sourly.

    “Close enough. Especially when you stalk about with that air of dismissive impatience that perversely attracts them all.”

    “Have you been reading gothic novels again?”

    “No, as a matter of fact,” she said lightly. “I’ve merely spent years watching you trail women behind you as though you were a prodigal son pied piper.”

    The prodigal son part certainly fit. And it wasn’t his fault that his pursuits left him no time for the fairer sex. Or that his lack of interest only seemed to attract them more.

    Sounds of horse hooves crunching on the snowy drive outside wafted to them. “We can continue this discussion later,” Yvette said. “That’s the carriages bringing the ladies from town, and I’m sure the gentlemen will be down soon, too. Go corral everyone and move them into the drawing room quietly, so as not to spoil the surprise, will you?”

    Before heading off, Stephen asked, “Does my brother know I’m here?”

    “How could he? When I arrived earlier, he was still out shooting with the others. But I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you.”

    “I doubt that.” Ever since Stephen had begun writing for The London Monitor, he and Warren had been at odds. “He thinks me a dangerous radical determined to foment revolution and destroy England.”

    “He does not. He merely worries you’ll do something rash and get yourself killed.”

    Stephen snorted. Granted, some of his speeches had been known to rouse tempers, and his series of articles regarding the poor treatment of workers in mills hadn’t been well received by his peers, who cursed him for his lack of loyalty to other Englishmen of his class. But no one would murder him for them.

    And once he interviewed Miss Keane and demonstrated that American owners were no better than English ones, people would see he wasn’t just throwing stones at his countrymen. That the situation in English mills mirrored an equally bad situation in America. Perhaps then they would finally regard working conditions in the cotton industry as a problem that spanned continents.

    Perhaps then they would finally do something about it.

    He entered the foyer to find chattering women everywhere, stamping the snow off their boots as footmen hurried to take their bonnets, cloaks, and capes. Some gentlemen had already come down, including Blakeborough.

    Overhead hung a kissing bough, a ball of evergreens with a bunch of mistletoe dangling from it. Here was Stephen’s chance to discharge his obligation to Clarissa. Now, where was she?

    Ah—there she was, with her back to him; he recognized her forest-green cloak and deep-brimmed bonnet. She was near the earl, so she must be setting up the scene she wanted him to play for Blakeborough’s benefit.

    Making sure that the earl was looking on, Stephen strode up to his cousin and spun her around. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere, you little minx!”

    But as he bent to angle his head under the bonnet’s brim, he caught sight of a freckled nose that was decidedly not Clarissa’s.

    That arrested him—especially when the woman gave him a startled look from eyes the color of a sparkling brook. With her sweet-featured face turned up to his, he could now clearly see the curls beneath her bonnet.

    A low simmer began in his blood. Her hair was vibrantly, gloriously red. His favorite. Besides, they were under the mistletoe, and he couldn’t balk at kissing her now or it would look as if he’d found her lacking.

    Everyone had fallen silent to watch what he would do. So he pressed his lips to hers. For her sake, of course.

    He enjoyed it, too, despite the tittering and whispering around them. Her mouth was soft, supple. She smelled of apples and tasted of cinnamon. And when she raised up slightly to meet his kiss, it made him want to stand there forever with his lips sealed to hers . . .

    God, what was wrong with him? He had no time for this.

    Pulling back, he reached up to pluck the requisite berry from the kissing bough, then forced a smile for his blushing mistletoe miss. Or perhaps not a miss. Damn it, what if he’d kissed someone’s wife?

    Seeking to recoup, he handed her the berry. “Thank you for that, madam.”

    She took it with a look of confusion. “Pardon me, sir,” she said in an accent he couldn’t quite place. “Is this some quaint English custom for greeting guests?”

    English custom? Wasn’t she English? “Actually, kissing under the mistletoe is a quaint Christmas custom. I take it you were unaware of it, Miss . . .”

    “Keane. Miss Amanda Keane.”

    That froze the simmer in his blood. “Miss Keane,” he said disbelievingly. She certainly didn’t look like a colorless spinster. “Owner of Montague Mills.”

    That seemed to amuse her. “As a matter of fact, yes. And sister to the man of the house.” Removing her bonnet, she handed it to a nearby footman. “Though I don’t believe we’ve ever met.”

    “No.” This was bad. She would think him a complete idiot to be kissing a stranger, and then he would never get his interview.

    She was even more fetching without the bonnet, her hair a flaming beacon in the foyer. She had the sort of freckle-faced country girl appearance that fired his blood and made him want to tumble her in a haystack.

    God save him. He hadn’t reacted this fiercely to a woman in a very long time. Why did it have to be with her, of all people?

    Then Blakeborough stepped up to cast Stephen a chastening glance. “Miss Keane, this is Lord Stephen Corry. Knightford’s brother. I’m sure you’ve heard of him.”

    Her smile faltered. “You’re Lord Stephen? Who writes the articles in The London Monitor??”

    “You’ve read my articles?” This got worse by the moment. How had a woman with her family connections encountered a radical newspaper? That would make it damned hard to get her to answer his questions truthfully.

    “Yes, I have.” Her pretty eyes hardened. “Every ill-considered, blustering word.”

    His temper flared. “If that’s how you feel about bettering conditions for workers,” he said coldly, “then I suppose I know where you stand on the matter of reform.”

    “That’s how I feel about your depiction of mill owners, sir.” She was a tiny thing, but somehow her voice expanded to fill the room. “You write only about the worst ones, then tar the rest of us with the same brush. I’ve toured several English mills and have seen none of the things you describe.”

    He laughed harshly. “And who arranged these tours? The owners? Because they aren’t about to show an esteemed foreign visitor how matters really are.”

    “Yet they’re willing to show it to a lord whose idea of hard work is writing an article?”

    As he bristled, Yvette hurried up to take Miss Keane’s arm. “Come, Amanda, your mother has been asking for you in the drawing room.”

    Sparing a disgusted look for Stephen, Miss Keane let herself be led away.

    She’d so roused his temper that he’d already started after her when someone grabbed his arm. “Leave her be,” Clarissa muttered.

    He halted, though his eyes followed Miss Keane as she marched purposefully into the drawing room. Like a man. Or a woman with a very firm will. Oddly, that attracted him even more.

    No, he was not attracted to the termagant. How could he be? She was an owner, for God’s sake.

    “What were you thinking, to kiss Miss Keane so blatantly?” Clarissa went on. “I realize you were under the bough, but still—”

    “I was thinking to do you a service.” He dragged his gaze from the doorway through which his mistletoe miss had disappeared. “It wasn’t my fault I mistook her for you.”

    “How could you? We look nothing alike.”

    “She was wearing your cloak and bonnet.”

    “Not mine. Her own.” She scowled at him. “Yvette bought matching sets for the three of us. She thought it might be fun to have them for Christmastide.”

    “How was I to know that? I saw Miss Keane from behind.”

    Clarissa rolled her eyes. “You could have actually paused to speak to her before you put your mouth on her.”

    “In hindsight,” he snapped, “that does seem the more sensible choice. But you weren’t in the room, so I assumed she was you, setting the scene for Blakeborough.”

    “I forgot my reticule in the carriage and had to go back for it,” she said defensively.

    His eyes narrowed. “How fortuitous. Did you plan this?”

    “Oh, for pity’s sake.” She huffed out a breath. “Yes, I planned for you to sneak up on the poor woman and kiss her senseless without stopping to think.”

    When she put it that way . . . “I wouldn’t exactly describe her as a ‘poor woman,’?” he grumbled.

    “No,” Clarissa said with a faint smile. “Unlike most of the ladies who set their caps for you, she actually has a mind of her own.”

    “I noticed. And it’s dead set against me. I’ll never get my interview now.”

    “Well, I’ve lost my chance, too. Edwin is going to be highly skeptical about your interest in me if you’re kissing every other woman in the house.”

    “Wait, is that what this is about? You’re trying to make Blakeborough jealous?”

    She blinked. “Don’t be ridiculous. This is about . . . something else.”

    “If you say so.” He headed for the drawing room door. “Whatever it is, it looks like we’re both on our own from now on. And I, for one, mean to try again with Miss Keane.”

    There was more than one way to go about this. Her reaction to his kiss before she’d learned who he was had been decidedly enthusiastic. Perhaps he could use that. Flirt with her. Tease her. Gain her trust so he could find out what he needed to know.

    That’s right—this is all for my cause. It’s not because of any attraction to her. No, indeed.

    She was a means to an end, no more. And he would do whatever he must to achieve that end.

    With that resolved, he entered the drawing room. Unfortunately, he was immediately confronted by the one person sure to ruin his plans: the Marquess of Knightford.

    Who was also his eldest brother, Warren Corry.

  • Customer Reviews

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    What Happens Under the Mistletoe 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great mix of Christmas stories
    FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under the Mistletoe includes four Holiday-related short stories by four different National Bestselling Authors. An anthology encompassing 391 pages, each story is concise and packed with mischief, missed chances and mystery. Two of these short stories share the theme of a love gone sour when misunderstandings occur. With time and space keeping them apart, can the mistletoe bring them back together? The other two short stories bring together two unlikely couples with entirely different personalities and beliefs, but will their pride keep their love from growing? Sweetest Regret – Promised an authentic English Christmas, Georgiana must entertain her father’s house guests after he is called away on business. Not only is he called away, but a very important letter has gone missing, one of extreme importance and secrecy. In an effort to aid Georgiana, he sends Lucas, Georgiana’s old love interest who broke her heart two years ago. Will this letter bring them together, or will their past tear them apart? The Heiress and the Hothead – An obligation to kiss someone under the mistletoe as revenge may not be such a great idea when someone else is wearing an outfit of the same description of the person you were to kiss. Not only did he kiss the wrong person, he kissed the exact person he wanted to interview as a mill owner in his paper, The London Monitor. Striving to make a change in the mill industry, Stephen has taken to exposing the wrongdoings of mill owners and their awful conditions. A mill owner herself, Miss Keane is reluctant to speak to him because of his poor opinion of mill owners and his prejudice that all mill owners are bad. Will a life or death situation be enough to make them put aside their differences? Twelve Kisses to Midnight – In this short story, yet another unfortunate incident occurs under the mistletoe. After accidentally kissing his long-lost love instead of his mistress at a masquerade, Rothesay comes upon quite a spectacle. Recent widow Lady Montrose and Rothesay are caught kissing under the mistletoe and it becomes rumor he has seduced her. In an effort to clear her good name, she goes to visit her father. With a snowstorm approaching, she sets off on an unfamiliar path, leaving Rothesay no choice but to follow after her, where more trouble ensues. By Any Other Name – Rylla Campbell is on a quest to find her brother, who has disappeared just before Christmas. With fear that he will not return home, she sets out dressed as a man to find him. It is then she finds herself in some compromising positions and dire circumstances. Thankfully, she meets Gregory Rose, who not only protects her, but sets out to help her, while falling in love along the way. Some of these stories are romantic and will have you cheering for the couple to reconcile their differences, others are a little more cliche and predictable, but all tied in the Christmas spirit and make you want to snuggle up with your loved ones. Quill says: Make sure to place the mistletoe in all the right places when the Holidays come around, because nothing will put you in the loving Christmas spirit more than this anthology.
    sportochick More than 1 year ago
    "The Heiress and the Hothead" by Sabrina Jeffries - A brilliantly written yuletide love story between an outspoken American heiress mill owner, Amanda Keane and radical Lord Stephen Corry who spends his time writing hard nose articles about injustice and reform. I loved how the author setup the main characters and worked the reader through their difference of opinions while creating a beautiful love story. One of the parts I enjoyed was the center point of the mistletoe tradition and how both Amanda and Stephen used it's presence in the house to their advantage throughout the book. This book is not just a fluffy love story. It shows some of the dangers of the mills and how it effected peoples lives but it also shows that not everyone who was a miller was cruel and inattentive to their workers safety. Both main characters are fully developed and make fun sparing partners keeping the reader smiling as they read. I give this 4 STARS and know everyone will enjoy reading this romantic read. "Twelve Kisses" by Karen Hawkins - Delightful story about two people who use to be in love and they meet again after 10 years. This story is filled with lots of tension and the author does a superb job of using this tension to keep the reader involved in who did what and why. Several of the characters in the book added excitement to the story. One of my favorite was the Grand Duchess Natasha Nikolaevna. Her eccentric personality really gave this story an additional spark. Her grandson Nikolai, the Crown Prince of Oxenburg help to give additional support to Marcus's character. Marcus definitely sets the pace in this story by his treatment to Kenna and his feelings about their past. His growth throughout the story was one of the parts of the story I enjoyed the most. There are many facets to Kenna and I love her approach to getting Marcus to help her in her endeavors regarding her father. I give this 4 stars for how the author expands the story behind the lost love between Marcus and Kenna. "By Any Other Name" by Candace Camp - The meeting between Rylla and Gregory is priceless and I had to chuckle at how they both dealt with it. This story has an unusual plot for a historical romance and I fully enjoyed the authors writing. There are some areas in the book that I felt could of been developed a little more. I give this 3 STARS for the plot. "Sweetest Regret" by Meredith Duran - A quick romantic read during the bustle of the holidays this Christmas Novella centered around the mistletoe, a country party, stolen documents and an old lost love is just want the romantic needs to take away the stress. There are a lot of examples of Christmas traditions woven into this book that makes the story an enjoyable and instructive read. Speaking of Christmas traditions one has to chuckle at how Lucas uses the mistletoe to get his way with Georgina. It was also entertaining to see how Georgina outsmarts Lucas regarding his taking advantage of this mistletoe custom. Having no idea about the true mistletoe custom I looked it up. According to Slate "It wasn't until the 18th or 19th centuries, though, that the British started hanging mistletoe as part of Christmas celebrations. Charles Dickens paints a scene of mass sub-mistletoe kissing: Young women "screamed and struggled, and ran into corners, and did everything but leave the room, until … they all at once found it useless to resist any longer and submitted to be kissed with a good grace." In this context, mis
    MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
    This was a fun collection of Christmas novellas with strong heroines who weren't about to be told what to do at Christmas time or any other time of the year. In Sabrina Jefferies' "The Heiress and the Hothead," the heroine is an American heiress who owns a cotton mill. The hero just happens to be a noble younger son who has turned his talents to newspaper reporting and working for reform in Parliament. His favorite subject? Abuses by cotton mill owners. In Karen Hawkins' "Twelve Kisses to Midnight," two former lovers get a second chance after getting stranded in someone's well-appointed love nest during a highland snow storm. The heroine in Candace Camp's "By Any Other Name" gets into all kinds of trouble when she dresses up as a man in her effort to find her brother amongst the gaming hells of Edinburgh. Good thing the hero has an uncanny feeling that he should look out for this particular young man! "Sweetest Regret" by Meredith Duran was the story that tugged at my heartstrings the most. Separated by circumstances beyond their control two years ago, the heroine and hero are determined to remain aloof when they are thrown together again while hunting for a spy who has stolen a sensitive letter. Each blame the other for the break-up, but it becomes clear that they both want a second chance at love this Christmas.
    Crazybooknerd More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins and Candace Camp Overall Rating: 5 Stars -This book was a surprise for me, I was hesitant to pick it up.. mostly because I had other books in line from authors I love and this book has 3 out 4 authors that I don't know that well. I am sure glad I read this though! What a fantastic compilation of stories! The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries 4.5 Stars - Well first off this story takes place on my birthday - a century and a half earlier.. but still great choice in days! I like the little feeling I get from Warren toward his ward Clarissa… Could they have a story? Stephen and Amanda had good chemistry… I only felt it seemed rushed at one tiny spot. The writing was well done, and I quite enjoyed the family dynamics. I got a few chuckles as well which is always a bonus! Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins 5 stars - I can feel the chemistry right away between Marcus and Kenna. These characters had a lot of internal monologues, more than usual from Hawkins I thought - not bad at all, just different. Even though it's a short story. The writing is so well done it doesn't feel rushed or lacking at all. By Any Other Name by Candace Camp 5 stars - Right away I am intrigued by this story. Has a bit of the Cinderella feel in part where she is mysterious and he wants to find her. I loved the pace of this book. It didn't feel rushed and I felt the chemistry between the Rylla and Gregory throughout the entire story. I don't believe I have read this author before, but I will be sure to check out her back list! Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran 5 Stars! - I am generally not a fan of political plots so when this started off as a party full of politicians, I was a bit disappointed, however when the two lead got together on the page.. some crazy magic happened. Lucas.. his words, his feelings.. wow! What a great lead! The writing was wonderful, and did not feel like a short story at all. I am definitely going to check out more from this author! * I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review *
    Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
    This is a review for 3 of the 4 stories in the collection The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries This was a lovely story, with some action and suspense in the mix too. Amanda is an American heiress and a mill owner . She's visiting her brother in England, and meets Stephen at a house party. As a younger son, Stephen is making his own way in the world and wants to make an impact, so he's taken on the cause of the rights of workers, particularly children who work in deplorable mill conditions. At first meeting (under the mistletoe), a case of mistaken identity brings a kiss, followed by the realization that they don't see eye to eye on Stephen's newspaper articles. Eventually Stephen learns that his passion for worker's rights can sometimes blind him to the fact that he's not the only one willing to help as Amanda soon figures out that her one-sided opinion of Stephen isn't a true representation of his character. It's particularly difficult to maintain their animosity towards each other with that unwelcome sexual attraction they feel! As the two of them come to know each other, they share some sweet and sexy scenes and though at first it seems that there's no way to get a happy ending, with her living in America and him in England, they make one after all. Very enjoyable. By Any Other Name by Candace Camp Rylla is determined to find her brother Daniel, and she fears he's gotten himself into some gambling trouble. Dressing up as a man and infiltrating these establishments seems the best solution, so with wit and courage she does so, only to find herself in a spot of trouble that Gregory helps her out with, finding her secret out (she's a girl!) at the same time. But she leads him a merry chase indeed, hiding her true identity and leaving Gregory to chase after her from one social event to another. I loved this little charade that Rylla engages in, and how Gregory doesn't give up on finding the woman who has enchanted him from the start. There is a definite attraction between them and it doesn't take long before they share some steamy scenes together. This one was definitely a fun and entertaining story. Sweet Ruin by Meredith Duran The last story in the collection is another second chance at romance one, with Lucas and Georgie having met in Munich where Georgie's father, a diplomat, was stationed and Lucas was climbing the ranks in the foreign service. For a brief time they were friends hoping for more, until a misunderstanding and deceit perpetrated by Georgie's father resulted in a two year separation and broken hearts. Now they are back under the same roof and trying to be civil as Lucas is tasked with retrieving a letter thought stolen by one of the houseguests Georgie must entertain while her father is away. But of course, those feelings of animosity tinged with sadness and regret are at the forefront of their relationship - until they realize that their separation didn't have to happen. Some sexy scenes, a few tears (on my part!), and as always stellar writing made this a truly enjoyable and riveting story. I loved hearing about the Christmas traditions of the time, and the sexual tension just builds and builds as we wait for Lucas and Georgie to reconnect. My favourite of the collection!
    PDX_reader_Jane More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under the Mistletoe Mistletoe ---- love’s magic or menace? There’s nothing like an historical romance with a Christmas theme. Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran gift us with 4 novellas. Although the stories are classic boy/girl meeting and falling in love, it’s how they get there that’s the fun! And mistletoe has a star performance for each one. I learned a few tidbits about this berried plant along the way, too. I am a huge fan of Sabrina, Karen and Candace, but I have never read any of Meredith’s books. After reading this book, I will definitely read more!
    def618 More than 1 year ago
    This is a very good Christmas anthology by wonderful authors. I enjoyed all four stories, some more than others. A favorite secondary character in several of Karen Hawkins' books, Tata Natasha, shows up in this story with her usual advice and meddling. Candace Camp's story is part of her current Scottish series. It was nice to see Andrew straighten up. I haven't read a lot of Meredith Duran but loved her second chance at love story. Sabrina Jeffries' story is part of her current series and features the sister of artist Jeremy Keane. If you like holiday HEAs this is a good choice.
    -Cail- More than 1 year ago
    What a fun appetizer! These four Christmas stories, written by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran are great for a quick getaway to the holiday season. These unconnected stories provide us with stories of adventures in Scotland, renewed love, mistaken identity, and an insight into the horrors of mill work. Readers who have enjoyed recent series from the same authors will enjoy seeing characters again. Overall, I definitely recommend this set of novellas if you enjoy a short, well written story.
    DebMcC More than 1 year ago
    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not a reader of the "Holiday" books. They just have never appealed to my reading tastes. I expected gooey, feel good, quicky stories pushed by publishers for that holiday sale buck. I filled the tub, poured a glass of wine keeping the bottle close and sat back to trudge through this book. I was pleasantly suprised! I suppose this should not have suprised me as I read novels by each of these authors and enjoy their works. But, as others tend to do I pre-judged this style of book, at least one written by these authors. Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran, I am so happy to report I enjoyed this book. Reading it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I recommend it to other fans of your works and to others like me who don't read this style of book. I think all will like it..even without the wine. Then again, a warm filled tub, wine and a good book is a chilly winter afternoon delight!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    JamieDe More than 1 year ago
    Four great stories by four great authors. While two of the authors Sabrina Jeffries and Karen Hawkins are authors I have read before and enjoy their work, Camp and Duran are new to me. But none the less I enjoyed them just as much and will read their work again. Two of these stories is about second chances with old flames and seeing them and still knowing they are deep in their hearts and are pulled to each other through different obstacles. Two of these stories are about meeting someone and while you may not first click with them because you have your own opinion about them from what you've heard or they aren't who they appear to be, people are drawn to each other. Loved reading these stories as they have really gotten me looking forward to the Christmas season as it is around the corner. Great book!!
    ButtonNose More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under the Mistletoe is a fun and witty anthology of Christmas romances penned by Jeffries, Hawkins, Camp and Duran. These stories are perfect if you only have time for a short read after a busy day and are in need of a feel good story! Sabrina Jeffries' "The Heiress and the Hothead" shows the error in judging a book by its cover. Amanda Keane is an American mill owner and Lord Stephen Cory is a crusader for the rights of the mill workers. Sudden attraction under the mistletoe, distrust, finding common ground and ultimately romance make for an enjoyable story. "Twelve Kisses to Midnight" by Karen Hawkins brings another angle in the use of the mistletoe. Kenna Stewart and Marcus Sutherland were once engaged, but it ended abruptly with both parties broken hearted. Surprise kisses under the mistletoe, a little help from the meddling Tata Natasha (The Princes of Oxenburg)and a snow storm all mean a second chance at love! Amaryllis Campbell meets Gregory Rose under indelicate circumstances in Candace Camp's "By Any Other Name." It is Christmas time and Rylla's younger brother Daniel needs to come home. She dresses as a man to search for him in the Edinburgh gaming halls, finding trouble as well being saved by Gregory. He is infatuated, seeks and finds Rylla and suddenly mistletoe and romance are in the air. The hero and heroine in Meredith Duran's story "Sweetest Regret" are Lucas Goodwin and Georgiana Trent who lost their true love due to Georgie's manipulative father. They are thrown back together at Christmas and learn their feelings are as strong as before. What would have happened if they had swallowed pride and asked questions two years ago? What goes round, comes round! Mistletoe, restoration and love! I highly recommend this book. It will put you in the Christmas spirit and I know I'm making a Mistletoe Ball for my den this year!
    JustReadingABook More than 1 year ago
    Let the holiday fun begin! I loved this book and just in time for the holidays or anytime really. Great fun interesting stories from each author. Each using characters from previous books/series so that made it even better. Can read alone too! Characters were all well done, stories interesting and easy to get into quickly, full storylines and lots of holiday festivities to enjoy reading about. A don't miss book for the season!!
    dbrown34001 More than 1 year ago
    “The Heiress and the Hothead,” by Sabrina Jeffries is part of her Sinful Suitors series. Lord Stephen Corry is a second son and a newspaperman. When he kisses a woman under the mistletoe at a house party held by old friend, Yvette Keane and artist Jeremy Keane, she’s not whom he expects. She’s Miss Amanda Keane, a cotton mill owner from America, and Yvette Keane’s sister-in-law. That makes her a prime target for Stephen’s articles on the despicable conditions in the mills, both in England and America. That kiss blew him away, but may have ruined his chances to interview Miss Keane. She’s more receptive to him after Stephen promises her a meeting with someone who can substantiate the facts about the mistreatment of children in the mills. In exchange, he expects her participation in his article. The meeting does not proceed at all as either one expects. Karen Hawkins enhances her Oxenburg Princes series with this delightful novella, “Twelve Kisses to Midnight.” Prince Nikolai Romanovin has set his sights on Lady Kenna Montrose. Even the disapproval of his grandmother, Tata Natasha cannot dissuade him. The prince’s friend, Marcus Sutherland, the fourth Duke of Rothesay, agrees to arrange an introduction. He’s reluctant to do so as the lady was once his fiancée. A masquerade ball is scheduled as part of the house party they’re both attending, so Marcus identifies Kenna’s costume for Nik. Not realizing several ladies have donned the same attire, Marcus mistakes Kenna for his mistress and kisses her instead. Unfortunately, they are caught in their indiscretion. The novellas continue with Candace Camp’s, “By Any Other Name.” Rylla Campbell must find her brother. Dressed as a young man, she sneaks out one foggy eve. Trapped by a robber outside a gambling hell where she went looking for her brother, she is rescued by Gregory Rose. Their chance meeting is the beginning of something special. The suspense builds toward a satisfying ending. In “Sweetest Regret” by Meredith Duran, Georgiana Trent’s diplomat father charges her with finding an important purloined letter. He neglects to inform her he’s also included Lucas Godwin in the search. Lord Godwin is the man who stole her heart then abandoned her two years before. Although he was called away on an essential mission at that time, Lucas has never forgotten Georgie. To protect herself from his charms, she continues to snipe at him as they look for the letter in the rooms of the members of the Christmas house party. This fine collection of Christmas novellas will warm the reader’s heart for the season. Although each is unique, all pave the way to a hard-won HEA. These authors excel at their craft and it shows here.
    zeeba More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under Mistletoe is a fabulous anthology by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp, Meredith Duran. This is a perfect holiday romance, as a fan of Karen and Sabrina I was sure their novella would be wonderful, but It was the first I read by Candace and I must say I really enjoy it. Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen is romantic, funny with stubborn but adorable characters. Marcus Sutherland, the Duke of Rothesay, has been engaged and in love with Lady Kenna Montrose years ago. Now kissing her under mistletoe by mistake in a house party and causing a scandal, Lady Kenna needs to leaves the house party and seeks her father help. So Marcus follows her in order to keep her safe and end up injured and wake up in a nice cottage alone with Lady Kenna. Can they stop their attraction and forget the past........ The other three novella are really enjoyable too. A wonderful book for holiday.
    Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
    ***The Heiress and the Hotheat by Sabrina Jeffries - book 1.5 in the Sinful Suitors series*** Amanda Keane is visiting England to see her brother as well as learning more about the textile mills that are more profitable than the one she is running in America. She didn't count on falling in love. Lord Stephen Corry, a writer and crusader against the unjust treatment of mill workers, doesn't know what to think about the woman that her mistakenly kissed under the mistletoe. As a mill owner, she represents everything he is against. Can these foes get past their differences to find their HEA? A quick read with some of my favorites from last and current series by Jeffries. Foes that turn into lovers are always a favorite of mine. ***Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins - loosely tied to the Oxenburg Princes series *** Marcus Sutherland, the Duke of Rothesay sees his mistress standing under the mistletoe and sweeps in for a kiss. As soon as his lips touch hers, he knows it is not his mistress. It's his former fiancee, Lady Kenna Montrose. Scandal ensues and Kenna leaves the house party to get her father to "fix" things. Of course, Marcus follows her and he gets injured. Kenna luckily finds shelter, but they are forced to stay for several days while a winter storm passes. Will their close proximity rekindle the love they once held for each other? A wonderful, quick read! I always love a reunion story and Hawkins hit it out of the park. It also helped that Grand Duchess Natasha Nikolaevna was there to meddle!! ***By Any Other Name by Candace Camp*** Rylla Campbell is desperate to find her brother before Christmas, so much so that she dresses as a man and huts for him in the gaming hells. Leaving the hells, she is attacked and Gregory Rose steps in to help. He soon learns she is a girl which is a relief since he couldn't imagine why he was feeling an attraction to the young man he rescued. Not wanting to let her go, Gregory agrees to help her find her brother. Spending every evening together brings them closer than either anticipated. Another great read by one of my favorite authors. Mystery and romance...a perfect combination! ***Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran*** Left in charge of her father's house party, Georgie Trent is left to entertain her father's guests. If that weren't bad enough, her father has sent for Lucas Godwin to find some letters that were stolen. Georgie has no desire to see Lucas again after he broke her heart two years ago, but what is she to do? Seeing Lucas again makes her realize that she never got over him. Can they get passed their previous hurt to work together and find the love that they lost? Another wonderful reunion story that had me wishing it was a full length novel!
    reececo331 More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under the Mistletoe (Mass Market Paperback) by Sabrina Jeffries "The Heiress and the Hothead" Sabrina Jeffries From two different worlds these two thought they had all their lives planned. They both thought they would rebel against society and go their own way to change the world for the better. What they did not plan on was that their attraction will be an asset in their establishments. "Twelve kisses to Midnight" Karen Hawkins The Christmas party brings an estranged couple back together. This is the story of the regret of time, and the loss of loves labor. They were engaged yet they allowed the people that surrounded them to tear them apart. Or was it just their pride that made their lives take a different route. "By any other name" Candace Camp It was a compromising situation but she would have to do it. She would have to dress as a man to find her brother; he had been missing for four days. Beside herself with worry, Rylla was willing to go beyond social manners and ideas to find him. Her concern may have caused her to be daring, but it is Gregory Rose who will not only find the solution to her problems, but the solution to her heart. "Sweetest regret" Meredith Duran They had their chance, it did not work out. She knew not why but he left her abruptly without a by your leave. In desperation she had accept him of all people into her home to help her resolve a diplomatic issue for her father. She had no strength to fight her feelings anymore two years had been too long. He believed he knew the lay of the land. Yes he had left abruptly but his broken heart gave him reason. It was providence that he will at least see her again, two years has been too long. Can they find peace, resolution, in the holiday season?
    TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
    Four excellent historical novellas to put you into the holiday mood. This historical romances have plenty of drama and romance to keep you entertained throughout each story. The characters are excellent as well as the chemistry between our heroes and heroines. If you are a fan of historical reads you won’t be disappointed.
    lrhubble More than 1 year ago
    Some Great Authors The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries Two strangers share an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve. They find themselves stunned by the heat of it especially as they come from two vastly different worlds. Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins A rakish duke finds an alluring lady under the mistletoe that he surprises and she is not who he expected. Though what he does find is a long-lost love with a score to settle. By Any Other Name by Candace Camp With Edinburgh aglitter a curious gentleman finds himself in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady that is in disguise. A lady that refuses to reveal who she truly is. Though she is also a lady that fears the gentleman has already stolen her heart with just one kiss. Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran A feisty heroine finds the festive spirit of the season sweeping her under the mistletoe. Though will it also sweep her back into the arms of the dashing rogue that broke her heart two years ago? This is a book that is sure to have a story to please everyone that enjoys historical romances. The stories are all different and all fun to read. Readers will also find themselves getting into the spirit of the season with each and every story. Seeing each couple get around the obstacles that are standing in their way to getting the happy ever after they all want makes for some compelling reading. With each story being short it makes for a book that anyone can read during short breaks or even all at once. For holiday reading this is definitely a book to check out and find a new author to read.
    tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
    This book is a collection of four Christmas novellas from Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran. The Heiress and the Hothead is the story of Lord Stephen Corry and Amanda Keane, Jeremy Keane's sister. I loved these two together. They both tended to speak their minds and were both also stubborn. I love how they worked together to find out secret things about the London mills. And the whole thing about the mistletoe was wonderful! Great characters and a great happy ending! Twelve Kisses to Midnight is Marcus Sutherland and Kenna Stuart story of second chances. This was very entertaining. I loved how they ended up at the secret cabin. And I really enjoyed Tata Natasha...this woman was too funny. By Any Other Name was Rylla Campbell and Gregory Rose's story. It was fun how these two met! I loved how they were both just so drawn to each other. I loved how they played a game of cat and mouse in the beginning. I wish we say more of what happened with Elenore and Andrew though. Sweetest Regret is Georgie Trent and Lucas Godwin's story of second chances. I just adored this story. I loved how they both were wrong about past events and how they came together in the end. It was perfect. Overall, this was a wonderful book of four great Christmas stories!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under the Mistletoe is a delightful collection of novellas by some well known and talented authors. The reader finds laughter, holiday cheer, and (of course) romance with each turn of the page. Sabrina Jeffries "The Heiress and the Hothead" starts off with a simple kiss under the mistletoe, but quickly turns into so much more for a second son that has dedicated his life to exposing poor working conditions in Brittan's mills and an American mill heiress. Karen Hawkins's "Twelve Kisses to Midnight" shows that sometimes the most unexpected surprises, such as a kiss and a snow storm, can make second chances possible for even the most prideful and stubborn couple. Candace Camp engages the reader with a bit of intrigue, a damsel in disguise, and mystery in "By Any Other Name" with the heroine desperate to find her brother and the hero desperate to help her. Last but not least, Meredith Duran spins a delightful tale of lost, but never forgotten love and their complicated journey back to each other in "Sweetest Regret." All of these stories are great as a stand-alone, however some do include well loved characters. While being more familiar with Sabrina Jeffries and Karen Hawkins's style of writing, I have found that I did enjoy all four stories and look forward to reading more from Candace Camp and Meredith Duran. I gratefully received an ARC copy for my honest review.
    julieford More than 1 year ago
    What Happens Under the Mistletoe is a compilation of 4 novellas written by 4 fabulous authors. Sabrina Jeffries' story is The Heiress and The Hothead. A story of a second son trying to change working conditions in England and an American heiress and owner of a cotton mill. The two butt heads over their differences but realize that they are working towards the same goals and a love develops. Karen Hawkins' story is Twelve Kisses to Midnight. This is the story of lost love and a kiss that could rekindle the flame. Marcus kisses a woman who he believes is his mistress but recognizes the lady as his former love. Kenna wants another chance at the love she lost. Candace Camp's story is By Any Other Name. This is a story of disguise, intrigue and discovery. Rylla disguises herself as a gentleman to enter a gaming hell looking for her brother. Gregory believes he is saving a young lad from a mugging. When Gregory learns that the lad is actually a lady he goes to extremes to discover her identity. During the time they spend together a love blossoms. Meredith Duran's story is Sweetest Regret. Two years ago Lucas and Georgie were separated because of the lies told to them by her father. Georgie believes that Lucas is just a flirt and Lucas believes Georgie is a snob. Two years later they must work together to locate a stolen letter but the truth is revealed and their love is rekindled. These are four heartwarming, touching stories filled with love, mischief, deception and of course Happily Ever Afters. I highly recommend this book to get you into the yuletide spirit.
    brandihowell1 More than 1 year ago
    Loved this anthology!!! I am a big fan of Sabrina Jeffries and Karen Hawkins. I am now looking for more books by Candace Camp and Meredith Duran. Each story was a great escape. Christmas time brings all sorts of new beginnings. If you need to discover new authors, find your love for the holiday, and need an escape, this anthology is the one for you.
    JuliaAD More than 1 year ago
    I really enjoyed all 4 stories. I always enjoy stories by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins and Candace Camp. Meredith Duran is a new author for me, but I will be checking out some of her other books. The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries - Stephan and Amanda meet under the mistletoe. She thought is was a nice kiss until she learned the identity of the kisser. As the two come to know each other, they find they aren't so different after all. One of them will have to make a large sacrifice for them to be together. Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins - Marcus and Kenna have a history. Both are sure they don't want to go there again, but just can't seem to help themselves. They end up spending some alone time with a little help from Tata Natasha. By Any Other Name by Candace Camp - Rylla is trying to find her brother before Christmas. She dresses as a man and goes to a gambling club to look for him, runs into some trouble and Gregory. Gregory discovers that she is a woman and decides to help her find her brother. Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran - Lucas was in love with Georgie 2 years ago, but her father intervened and broke them apart. Neither knew the extent of his interference. Now he has come back into her life and so has the hurt. They both have pasts that keep them from believing in themselves and each other.