4 Stars / Anthology / Historical / Review

Review: A Yuletide Kiss Anthology by Sabrina Jeffries, Madeline Hunter & Mary Jo Putney

The reigning queens of Regency Romance return with another delightful Christmas collection of three sparkling holiday romances, as stranded travellers find merriment, mistletoe, and holiday romance awaiting at a quaint country inn…

When We Finally Kiss Good-Night by Sabrina Jeffries
When Flora Younger first met Konrad Juncker, she thought she’d found her match, only to have her hopes dashed. Konrad is now a famous playwright whose plays Flora has secretly panned in reviews. But a chance meeting in a secluded inn may help them rewrite this star-crossed romance…

An Unexpected Christmas Gift by Madeline Hunter
Jenna Waverly has closed her inn, anticipating a blissfully quiet Christmas, until a snowstorm brings the first of several strangers to her property. Lucas Avonwood, as charming as he is secretive, is on a mission to track down a scoundrel, but the inn’s lovely owner is giving him a more compelling reason to stay…

When Strangers Meet by Mary Jo Putney
Kate McLeod is shocked to find that a fellow guest in the snowbound inn is the dashing sea captain who may or may not be her husband. Daniel Faringdon barely remembers that night in Bombay, but the desire they discover now will be impossible to forget, or to ignore…

Title:A Yuletide Kiss:
When We Finally Kiss Good-Night
An Unexpected Christmas Gift
When Strangers Meet
Author:Sabrina Jeffries
Madeline Hunter
Mary Jo Putney
Series:Duke Dynasty (Book 4.5) – Sabrina Jeffries’ story
Category / Genre(s):Anthology
Trope(s):Christmas Romance
Second Chance Romance
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense
Release Date:28th September, 2021
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Likeable, readable Regency collection

4 stars

This is a collection of 3 Christmas novellas that are interconnected but each stand alone. All the characters find themselves stranded at a country inn during a snowstorm at Christmas, giving them all a chance at love. Who could resist such a book?

When We Finally Kiss Good-Night by Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries was definitely the biggest draw for me with this book. The fact that it’s a Christmas romance is just the cherry on the top.

Our hero, Konrad, has been on the edges of Jeffries’ Duke Dynasty series and he now gets his own story with Flora – a romance teased in Undercover Duke, the previous book in this series.

While Ms Jeffries writing is up to her usual standard, for some reason this story didn’t give me the excitement or emotion that I’ve come to expect. While Konrad went through the motions, I just didn’t feel that his actions told of someone who had been – or was now – madly in love with Flora. There was sex and kisses but I didn’t feel that elemental connection that I really wanted which was a shame.

An Unexpected Christmas Gift by Madeline Hunter

In the second tale, our innkeeper, Jenna, finds her match in a mysterious stranger she nurses back to health. The first part of the story moved along nicely as we’re introduced to our characters and learn of a little intrigue with both Jenna and Lucas.

The intrigue isn’t really all that intriguing and while I suppose it comes to a conclusion – it’s fairly unsatisfying. That’s maybe the kind of storyline that works better in a full-length novel. As for Jenna and Lucas – I liked them as a couple but, like the first story, felt the emotion was somewhat lacking. There was sex but it was hidden behind some fancy wordplay and in the end, the ‘love yous’ were pleasing but somewhat sudden. Still readable and likeable.

When Strangers Meet by Mary Jo Putney

Our last story has Kate and Daniel realising that they have actually met before. Met before and married. But is the marriage real and should they make it real?

I liked this cute, fun (and surprisingly believable) premise and enjoyed that it was more Daniel that pushed for them to give their union a try. Kate and Daniel were likeable characters and I would have enjoyed more than the few kisses that they engaged in. While I felt this was the most well-rounded of all the stories, nothing much actually happened. There was much more detail about the Christmas preparations at the inn, and conversations, than any real storytelling. Still, a likeable and pleasing romance.

This was definitely a readable collection of stories that were eminently likeable. The Christmas element worked well what with the snowstorm, the inn and all the guests coming together and participating in Christmas merriment. None of the stories really dazzled me but all were fun and the pages turned easily. I’d probably give this 3.5 stars but rounding up to 4 because it’s Christmas!

4 stars

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