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Regency Christmas Spirits Mass Market Paperback – Oct 2001


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Book (Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451204387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451204387
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.4 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,869,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch VINE VOICE on 18 Feb. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Five Regency stories of how five couples were brought together during the holiday season of Christmas. "They Merry Wanderer: The Spirit Of Mischief" by Nancy Butler has the magic of the fairies in it!
"The Wexford Carol" by Emma Jenson, "High Spirits" by Edith Layton, and "A Gathering Of Gifts" by Andrea Pickens each show the love and joys of Christmas.
And "The Christmas Curse" by Barbara Metzger involves a couple of ghosts!
**** Perfect for Regency fans all over! I stopped after each one so I would not confuse the next set of characters with the ones I had just finished. So I can honestly say that each story left me with a warm glow and had me smiling throughout the day. Lovely! ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Huntress Reviews on 4 Mar. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Five Regency stories of how five couples were brought together during the holiday season of Christmas. "They Merry Wanderer: The Spirit Of Mischief" by Nancy Butler has the magic of the fairies in it!
"The Wexford Carol" by Emma Jenson, "High Spirits" by Edith Layton, and "A Gathering Of Gifts" by Andrea Pickens each show the love and joys of Christmas.
And "The Christmas Curse" by Barbara Metzger involves a couple of ghosts!
**** Perfect for Regency fans all over! I stopped after each one so I would not confuse the next set of characters with the ones I had just finished. So I can honestly say that each story left me with a warm glow and had me smiling throughout the day. Lovely! ****
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Making Merry at Christmastime. . . 29 Jan. 2002
By kellytwo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As with the liquid variety of spirits, some being more potent than others, this book will leave the reader in varying degress of tipsiness, depending on the most recently-read story.
Five highly-acclaimed Regency authors are represented here, with their stories featured in alphabetical order by the authors last name, with that of Nancy Butler taking pride of place as first and best in this edition-in this reader's opinion. Other contributors are Emma Jensen, Edith Layton, Barbara Metzger and Andrea Pickens.
THE MERRY WANDERER from Nancy Butler is fantasy at its very best for the season of wishes and dreams. Robin Goodfellow is not exactly what he appears to be when he presents himself at Arden House, the home of Julia, Lady of Islay. Nearing the end of her year of mourning, Julia is now facing the possible loss of her home and her younger brother, when the charming stranger intrudes into her very life. He does seem to be a bit strange, but then, so was her father. And so, yet, is her cousin, who is the threat to her happiness. After a bit of determination, and some help from friendly spirits, Robin finds himself forced to choose between his former legendary life-style, and a new, more mortal one. With help from Julia-and her younger brother, Harry-he makes the right, the only choice possible, bringing a Merry Yuletide to all.
'Tis no secret that Emma Jensen has a huge soft spot for Ireland, and she exploits this for all it's worth in the delightful tale extolling THE WEXFORD CAROL. Hollymore, the ancient and exceedingly dilapidated home of Elizabeth Fitzhollis is also in jeopardy. This time, however, it's more easily understood. Hollymore is falling apart around her very ears, and has been sold by the new heir to a Duke from Wales, who plans to tear it down and build a hunting estate. The Duke sends his cousin, a Captain Jones, to survey and inspect. Or so Elizabeth is told by her ancient solicitor. Turns out the gentleman is really Captain Lord Rhys Edward-Jones, and he's no more impervious to the ghosts of Hollymore than is Elizabeth.
Edith Layton's story-telling with its wicked sense of humor and wordplay propelled her to the top of my list of favorites, and has kept her very near the top for all these many years. HIGH SPIRITS is a different sort of story; heart-warming, to be sure, because it does, after all, have a happy ending. Layton of whatever vintage is excellent, and many readers will find a extra message in this tale of young Arabella, her silver flask and the tall, dark and handsome Rupert.
THE CHRISTMAS CURSE by Barbara Metzger is a romp, plain and simple. Well, not so plain and not so simple, really. It is the strangest mixture of bawdy and sweet. And the spirits? Not your ordinary selection, to be sure, as Sir Olnic and his Lady Edryth are the very restless, unhappy 'spirited' inhabitants of Worth Keep, doomed to wander the halls endlessly, until the curse muttered by the Lady be lifted. This is not an easy trick, either, and so far, it's been some four to five hundred years of struggle. Sir Olnic merely asked his lady for a favor when entering a joust one Christmas Day, but she was unhappy with him, and uttered the fateful words that began 'if you lose this ring...' As of course he did, having lost his life-as did his opponent-and his finger, and the ring. It must be reinstated on the finger of the heir's true love, during the twelve days of Christmas or they'll continue to be restless. The current heir, Oliver Nicholson, Baron Worth, is another battle-scarred veteran, convinced he'll never marry, until he meets the lovely widow, Amelia Merriot and her little dog, Sir Digby. In almost any book by Metzger, it's the dog who saves the day, and this one is no exception.
In A GATHERING OF GIFTS by Andrea Pickens, Lady Emma Pierson, daughter of the Duke of Telford, is by way of becoming a very spoiled and head-strong young woman. Her cousin, Charles, Viscount Lawrence, is very vexed with her, and to spite him, she rides off in the opposite direction and promptly takes a frightful spill on the icy field. Her new neighbor, Noel Trumbull, insists she be taken to his nearby home, Hawthorne House, for recuperation. His widowed sister Anna and her small son Toby are about to arrive for a visit, and he insists that they not be inconvenienced by the thoughtless young lady and her friends. To the surprise of everyone, both Emma and Charles find much common ground, and help each other heal their wounds, in time to celebrate the most wonderful Holiday on the calendar.
All in all, this volume is a grand continuation of this long-running series of Christmas anthologies, one you'll remember with fondness for many years to come.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Some wonderful stories for the Season! 11 Oct. 2001
By Huntress Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Five Regency stories of how five couples were brought together during the holiday season of Christmas. "They Merry Wanderer: The Spirit Of Mischief" by Nancy Butler has the magic of the fairies in it!
"The Wexford Carol" by Emma Jenson, "High Spirits" by Edith Layton, and "A Gathering Of Gifts" by Andrea Pickens each show the love and joys of Christmas.
And "The Christmas Curse" by Barbara Metzger involves a couple of ghosts!
**** Perfect for Regency fans all over! I stopped after each one so I would not confuse the next set of characters with the ones I had just finished. So I can honestly say that each story left me with a warm glow and had me smiling throughout the day. Lovely! ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Destined for the recyle bin, the sooner the better! 13 Jan. 2003
By Dr W. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite my hesitancy about anthologies normally, since I love Christmas stories I got hold of several of the Signet seasonal anthologies. For every good one - this year's volume, for instance - I suppose there has to be an absolute stinker, and this one is it. Even the good writers this time have produced duds, and overall the collection is so bad I'm trying to forget I read it.
We begin with Nancy Butler - variable to good usually - and The Merry Wanderer. Butler tries to merge Arthurian legend with Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and it simply doesn't come off. The story feels completely wrong for the period, and I found myself rolling my eyes as I continued to read. I couldn't wait to get to the end of it.
Better things had to come, I thought, and so I started on Emma Jensen's The Wexford Carol with high expectations. I do enjoy Jensen very much as a rule, and her Irish settings are usually very well done. Lizzie, trying desperately to save the family home which is falling down around her ears, is horrified when she discovers that her father's heir has sold it, and that the new owner is sending his agent to inspect it. The agent seems unable to recognise any of the delights of Hollymore. Captain Jones, or more properly Lord Rhys Edward-Jones, seems unable to find joy in anything - can Lizzie, and the atmosphere of Christmas, do anything to change him? This one is better, but felt over-contrived in places.
Edith Layton's High Spirits just didn't do anything for me. Arabella finds Society balls and functions unbearably nerve-wracking, so she takes to swilling brandy before she goes, and from time to time during each evening. Uhh... didn't anyone *notice*? Why wouldn't dance-partners or her chaperones have smelt the brandy on her breath? It's not as if she chose a drink which didn't have a strong smell. I found it incredible that the hero only noticed when he kissed her. Furthermore, it was very clear that Arabella was well on the way to becoming an alcoholic: would she have been able to stop drinking as easily as all that?
Barbara Metzger's The Christmas Curse was mildly amusing, but definitely forgettable. Two ghosts, cursed to haunt Worth Keep until one of their heirs falls in love and proposes to his love at a certain time and in a certain manner, try their best to bring about this happy event. Let's just say that a huge amount of suspension of disbelief is required.
And finally, Andrea Pickens, of whom I expected much, presents A Gathering of Gifts. A young lady is injured on Lord Kirtland's land, and he is obliged to offer Lady Emma a room under his own roof until she can be moved. She sprained an ankle - couldn't they have strapped it up and taken her home slowly in a carriage? Anyway, Emma is a spoiled brat who deserves no sympathy whatsoever. She treats her hosts as unpaid servants. Kirtland's infatuation with her makes no sense whatsoever; I simply couldn't believe it. And Emma's own rehabilitation was too little, too late, and entirely unconvincing.
The only novella here worth a second read is Jensen's Wexford Carol; the others weren't even worth the first read.
One Story Worth Reading 14 Sept. 2014
By L. B. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Five Regency-era short stories with a different understanding regarding 'spirits'.

Nancy Butler's The Merry Wanderer refers to Robin Goodfellow, a fairy in human form, whom meets Julia Fitzwalter and her brother Harry several days before Christmas. He is visiting their home to make sure a special book that was left in their now-deceased father's safekeeping is still being taken care of. A scheming cousin plans to own the ancient cache, possibly to use for darker purposes. Robin is determined to find a husband for Julia so the Fitzwalters can continue to safeguard the treasure but not every goes as planned. References to Shakespeare and King Arthur's Court are included in this story. 2 stars

The Wexford Carol by Emma Jensen describes a song that is whistled by various characters in this romantic take on a money-pit. If you enjoy seeing a starched hero unstuffed by a down-to-earth lovable heroine, this is the story for you. 4 stars

High Spirits by Edith Layton concerns a young lady who lacks personal fortitude when it comes to the marriage mart. Arabella Danton's brother Pace started her off, innocently, with a brandy to get her through an evening of dancing, dining and flirting. Soon, it became a crutch.

Rupert Aldridge went to various functions as a means of amusement. He was persuaded by family members to meet Arabella. He found an Arabella of the day and a different Arabella of the night. Logic finally told him what it was that gave her courage. 3 stars

Barbara Metzger's The Christmas Curse was all about Sir Olnic's and Lady Edryth's tempers. If only he hadn't lost his wife's ring; they were left to wander the castle until it could be found and placed on the rightful finger. They have another chance with 'Nick', Baron Worth, and a childhood friend. 3 stars

Andrea Picken's A Gathering of Gifts has two unlikely people forced to spend time with each other. Emma had an accident and was taken to her neighbor's estate; the doctor gave instructions that she was to stay put until her ankle had mended. She was the daughter of a duke and was use to having her own way. Noel Trumbull, Lord Kirtland, would not put up with her nonsense. I am still not sure why they fell in love. 2 stars

I have read books by all of these authors and was expecting much more with this anthology. Emma Jensen's short story was by far the best.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great Christmas collection by five Regency stars! 14 Nov. 2001
By Kate McMurry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Merry Wanderer, by Nancy Butler
A mischievous forest spirit spends the holidays inflicting mayhem among mortals...and is unexpectedly enchanted by love.
The lovers are enticing; the voice is light and quirky, and the magic is terrific fun. If you like fantasy romance, you will really enjoy this novella.
The Wexford Carol, by Emma Jensen
A remarkable lady touches the heart of a Scrooge-like hero.
This is a sweet and funny update of A Christmas Carol. The writing is smooth and witty. The characters are well-drawn and likeable. The romance is heart-warming.
High Spirits, by Edith Layton
An stiff-rumped lord is disgruntled to find himself growing far too fond of a lively young lady determined to overindulge during the holidays.
Terrific, sexy, sardonic earl with a sense of humor in the tradition of Georgette Heyer. The heroine is strong and amusing.
The Christmas Curse, by Barbara Metzger
To get out from under a curse, the spirits of a knight and his lady must help a hapless descendent find himself a bride.
I am particularly find of matchmaking ghosts, and the memorable pair from the ever-hilarious Ms. Metzger are real winners. The romantic couple are adorable, and Ms. Metzger's frisky authorial voice makes the story spin along.
A Gathering of Gifts, by Andrea Pickens
When a much indulged young lady and a cynical ex-soldier are thrown together for the holidays, much to the wonder of both, they find love.
Ms. Pickens has a very authentic Regency voice, bringing the Regency world very much to life. Her characters are unique and well drawn, and their redemption of each other very moving.
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