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Christmas Wedding Belles

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Christmas Wedding Belles

Christmas Wedding Belles

Author: Nicola Cornick, Margaret McPhee, Miranda Jarrett
Copyright: 2007 (297 pages)
Series: Harlequin Historical (871)
Sensuality: Warm
Violence: Nothing too graphic

This is my second Regency Christmas anthology by Harlequin and I enjoyed it as much as last year’s. Though the stories were all set around the holiday, the stories were not about the holiday. Instead, the common theme was the high seas: pirate/privateer; smuggler; the Royal Navy. I wasn’t bothered by this, however, because I liked the nautical theme. I thought the stories were well written. Of the authors, the only one I’ve read before is Miranda Jarrett.

“The Pirate’s Kiss” by Nicola Cornick
Summary: {November 1808} Years ago, Lucinda Melville was engaged to Daniel de Lancey — who went off to join the Navy and seemingly forgot all about his betrothed. In humiliation, Lucinda married the first person who asked. Now a widow and a governess, Lucinda’s path crosses Daniel’s, who is now a notorious pirate.

Comments: This is “second chance” story, and I thought it worked well. Neither has really gotten over the other, and both try to resist the attraction. Lucinda believes that Daniel is completely unreliable — ready to go off on the next adventure — and doesn’t want to risk getting hurt again. Daniel was given the opportunity to be “pardoned” but he refused thinking he would be unable to adjust to a normal life — his activities, except the smuggling, were in service to the Crown. Though I knew everything would turn out right in the end, I felt Lucinda’s anguish when Daniel was taken prisoner after rescuing her from real pirates.

“A Smuggler’s Tale” by Margaret McPhee
Summary: {December 1803} Francesca Linden gets entangled with smugglers and finds herself falling for Lord Jack Holberton.

Comments: The author doesn’t wait long to put Francesca’s life is in danger. She follows her brother, Tom, down to the docks late one night thinking he’s involved with smugglers. The family is poor and she thinks he’s turned to smuggling to support the family. He is involved, but not in the way he assumes. Forced to go along with the smugglers, Francesca’s life and virtue are in danger from “Mr. White”, a nobleman with no scruples, and the rest of the crew. Tom and Francesca have no choice but put their trust in Jack. Jack — who recruited Tom — has infiltrated the smuggling operation to stop it. The only way to protect Francesca is to make it look as if he’s having his way with her. His ploy works so well, even Tom thinks that Jack has ravished her. After they all safely back on land, Jack courts Francesca — he admires her bravery and has fallen in love with her. Though she’s attracted to him, Francesca is enough of a realist to wonder if what his intentions are. It doesn’t help that her brother keeps reminding her that Jack has a reputation as a womanizer. I liked this story, it had a Cinderella-story feel to it, especially since Jack invites her and her family to a ball.

“The Sailor’s Bride” by Miranda Jarrett
Summary: {Naples, September 1798} Abigail Layton travels to Naples to catalog Sir William Hamilton’s antiquities shortly after the Battle of the Nile.

Comments: The author put her characters in a time and place with real people: Admiral Nelson; Sir William and Lady Hamilton. It’s love at first sight for Abigail and Lieutenant Lord James Richardson, though they seem to get off on the wrong foot at first. James, though the youngest son of an earl, has been at sea since he was 13 – for ten years – and not as comfortable in social situations. Abigail’s life has been wrapped up in scholarly pursuits so she’s never learned to dance or had a lot of finery. They spend much time together because he’s been detailed to help her catalog Sir William’s collection. Because Napoleon has captured Rome, they are running out of time to get it done and James is worried for Abigail’s safety. Their romance is sweet and I learned a few new things.

Started: 17 December 2007
Finished: 30 December 2007

Four Stars

Liked A Lot

Rating:

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Comments

Christmas Wedding Belles — 2 Comments

  1. Hmmm. Not sure what ideas you got. Book blogging? Reading recommendations? Certainly not tips for planning a wedding. 🙂