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A Regency Christmas: Scarlet Ribbons\Christmas Promise\A Little Christmas (Harlequin Historical) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Nov 2009

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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Carla Kelly: The Rose Between the Thorns 16 Nov 2009
By Susan Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If this anthology did not contain Carla Kelly's story I would have happily given it a one or two star rating. Carla by herself gets ten stars IMO.

If I never read anything by Lyn Stone again I don't believe I shall miss much. The writer's style is inane, simplistic, sometimes just simply inaccurate and she writes choppy, stagnant dialogue. The precept of a heroine with hysterical paralysis coupled with a disabled war veteran (the former making a perfect and overnight recovery) was too much. It stretched reality to the breaking point for me. I really don't know how the editors of this book agreed to include it. Zero stars.

Gail Ranstrom's contribution would, by itself rate two, possibly three stars. An average read, the plot device of quarreling relatives gathering like vultures over the death of an elderly (and very rich) relative has been done to death. This relative struck it rich in the late 18th c South Carolina goldfields. Well, I've never heard of this and a quick bit of looking at the internet mentioned a minor gold find in North Carolina in 1799 but otherwise, this is seemingly the author's fairy tale. I did like the hero in this one and the heroine was OK but they were trapped in a pretty bland story. Three stars max.

As ever and always, Carla Kelly delivers. Period, full stop, end of story. With a sure hand she gives a beautifully crafted story of another of the Channel Fleet captains who guarded England against Napoleon's invasion ambitions. With few words she paints a charming picture of a widow (of 35!!) and her family, living on very little, at Christmas. They are reunited with her childhood friend, our captain, and suddenly life seems lighter and more fulfilling for all concerned. This would have made a great full length novel but as the author herself has pointed out elsewhere, writing a short story is a challenge of its own and it takes a great deal of talent to produce one as lovely as this - one all about adult love. Ten stars.

Well, no doubt some will think giving this one four stars is misleading but at least this year our main Regency Chrismas anthology contains 3 new stories. Last year Signet paid us the insult of giving us a Christmas anthology full of recycled stories. Thank you, Carla, you gave me an hour or two of reading delight.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Not your mother's regencies! 23 Oct 2009
By Cilla - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
These stories are pretty tame when it comes to sex, given the graphic nature of many of the newer romance novels. But they are not like many of the old regencies due to the fact that in all three of the novellas, the couples have sex, and two of the heroines are virgins in an era where doing that was a huge decision that could ruin a girl's chance for marriage. I'm not a prude, just mentioning this so that readers will know beforehand in case they are looking for a more chaste romance. The sex isn't the reason I rated this book as just "ok." In the first novella by Lynn Stone,"Scarlet Ribbons," the story had a lot of promise, with both the hero and the heroine being in wheel chairs. I was just disappointed at how easily one of them had their problem resolved, and it just didn't ring true that after being in a wheelchair for over eight months, a person could be gallivanting around all of a sudden. The story was based on issues and conflicts that I've seen over and over again in romance novels, so what started out as original became the "same old same old." The second novella, "Christmas Promise," by Carla Kelly, was my favorite, and is the only reason I'm keeping the book on my "keeper shelf." Although there is premarital sex, it more understandable in the context of her being a widow and him having been out to sea for years. The plot was a bit reminiscent of Cyrano DeBergerac, but that is ok with me since I am a Carla fan and I love Cyrano! The last novella, by Gail Ranstrom, was the weakest of the three, since it seemed that the heroine turned "wanton" at the drop of a hat, and not much thought was given to the fact that she would be "ruined" in the eyes of society. I also thought that the plot was pretty far-fetched. It was imaginative, and the writing was good, but that wasn't enough to carry the story along for me so I skimmed through the end of it. All in all, this anthology is an entertaining holiday read, but I wouldn't re-read it except for the Carla Kelly story.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A cubic zirconia, a diamond and some paste. 11 Dec 2009
By Ridley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Scarlet Ribbons - Lyn Stone

Fairly forgettable story of a widowed soldier crippled in the Napoleonic Wars and a feisty spinster injured in a riding accident. I did enjoy their dialog and the mirroring of their injuries, but it was written with a mystifying emotional distance. I never felt truly absorbed into the story or like I understood the characters' motivations. Enjoyable, but lacking something. 3 stars.

Christmas Promise - Carla Kelly

Wonderful, emotional tale of love that waited, and waited. Captain Jeremiah Faulk is back in England after 22 years fighting in the navy. Ianthe Mears is his childhood friend and love, as well as his friend and comrade's widow. Both have secretly held a flame for the other for many years. A chance meeting with the Mears children brings Faulk to the Mears' for Christmas. In a short format, Kelly deals with Faulk's emotional fallout from his gruesome time in the navy, their undeniable love for each other and what their future will look like. She pulls no punches and the result is heartwrenching and uplifting in equal measure. Includes more crying than I've ever read in a novel, I think. 5 stars.

A Little Christmas - Gail Ranstrom

I found this so cliche riddled that I couldn't finish it. Totally lacking sexual tension or believable dialog, I could not care at all about the characters or what happened next. DNF.

In sum, I'd buy it all over again. The Kelly story was worth the purchase price on its own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Heartwarming 6 Jan 2010
By LPBeethe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I thouroughly enjoyed these Christmas stories. I found them heartwarming, just the thing I look for in a Christmas romance. Love and family is what truly matters, and these stories certainly fit the bill. I highly recommend this set of stories.
good Christmas stories 24 May 2014
By Peggy A. Ford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for Carla Kelly's story. However I enjoyed the other stories also. There is just something about peoples lives centered around Christmas.
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