A Regency Christmas II is an anthology first released in November 1990. Seasonal stories written by some highly acclaimed authors . . .
Mary Jo Putney: "Sunshine For Christmas." -- Rating: B
A pleasant read. Impulsively, Lord Randolph Lennox decides to flee England to escape his painful memories. His whimsical plans include Italy and he finds himself in Naples at Christmas. Over a misunderstanding, Miss Elizabeth Walker gladly offers support to a bewildered Lord Lennox. Soon they are fast friends. Friends who discover they can escape life's loneliness together. Mary Jo Putney's SUNSHINE FOR CHRISTMAS is good, but it is the moments of painful tenderness that truly save the story.
Anita Mills: "The Last Wish." -- Rating: B
Repeatedly I am amazed at Anita Mills' talent to insert her reader into her story's setting and in THE LAST WISH this adept author once again capitalizes on her extraordinary skill. Sir John Grey is dying; he waits for death while he reflects on his life. His money-grubbing heirs gather for his death; all, but one, are ready to pick over the remains of Sir Grey's prosperous life. What they don't foresee is the arrival of a gentle woman and a small child. An unlikely pair who will forever change their lives. A well-written story, even though some of the slang was a struggle.
Mary Balogh: "Playing House." -- Rating: A+
PLAYING HOUSE is simply a wonderful story. There is not a drop of sexual activity found among these Balogh's words, but with this author's skill who needs it? Stephen, The Marquess of Bedford returns to his childhood home, the estate of Bedford Hall. He returns, with his small daughter, to relive the happy memories of carefree youth. He will give his child her own joyous memories. Instead he finds his first love, Lilias Angove. How dare poverty-stricken Lilias interfere in his renewal of happiness? Balogh pulls at her reader's heart with this touching and beautifully written story. Well done!
Clara Kelly: "The Three Kings." -- Rating: C
Too somber! Carla Kelly's THE THREE KINGS is just too gloomy for a Christmas anthology. Together, in the dead of winter, Lady Sarah Comstock and Colonel Luis Sotomayor travel through war-torn Spain. Unfortunately, they are only one step ahead of Napoleon's French troops -- French troops intent on slaughter. Kelly's words may be true, war is hell, but this is too depressing.
Sheila Walsh: "The Christmas Star."- Rating: C.
A CHRISTMAS STAR is definitely a story with a highly improbable plot. Russian Prince Andrei Zarcov beseeches Louise Beresford, a poor country girl, to befriend his childhood love. A lonely young woman who has just given birth to a child. Louise agrees, for Louise is bewitched by Prince Zarcov's fairytale good looks and smooth manners. Simply put -- too exaggerated!
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.