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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It�s magic, indeed --, 10 Dec 2004
kellytwo "kellytwo" (cleveland hts, ohio) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Regency Christmas Magic (Signet Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
Regardless of the calendar or when merchants begin to overstock their aisles with Christmas goods, I know it's the Christmas season when I find a copy of the Signet Regency Christmas Anthology, and settle in to read it. For sixteen years, this new-each-year collection of wonderful stories has ushered in the Holiday Season, and it is my fond hope that Signet will continue to publish this gem for at least another sixteen years!
Christmas is magic, you know, so why not a book wrapped around that idea? Some of the stories are more magical than others, to be sure. Amanda McCabe's "Upon a Midnight Clear" was delightful in its presentation of a heroine other than petite, blond and barely out of the schoolroom. Hurrah for that! Antoinette Duvall's presence in England and this book are a welcome addition to the genre, as well as being a perfect match for Captain Mark Payne, invalided out of His Majesty's Navy. Other than a slightly commercial, rather modern sensibility regarding buying gifts for everyone imaginable, this is a charming story.
Based on past experiences, I wasn't overly hopeful of 'The Ultimate Magic' by Alison Lane. When the first paragraph contained a young lady 'snarling' and slamming a door, followed by the next paragraph with a different young lady cursing, I decided to follow my initial inclination and proceed to the next in line, Edith Layton's "The Two Dancing Daughters".
This one is magical, but how could it not be with Ms. Layton in command. It's whimsical, yet grounded in the tale of two sisters, 'Rose Red' and 'Rose White' who don't seem to leave their home of an evening, yet wear out pair after pair of dancing shoes. A recuperating army Major is hired to find the solution, which of course he does, and he also gets one of the sisters for his own, as a reward. Delightful in its whimsy, it's just not as Christmas-y as some of her previous stories.
On the other hand, "The Enchanted Earl" is about as magical and Christmas-y as it's possible to be! Barbara Metzger always delights with her sometimes slightly cock-eyed take on various situations, and this tale is no exception. Laurel Mumphrey is a youngish widow, just out of mourning for her late, unlamented spouse. To celebrate her inheritance as well as Christmas, she plans a celebration at her home, and recalling magicians from her childhood, she sets out to engage one for her party. Little does she realize the hazards involved in trying to find one real magician. Spinrod the Sorcerer could hardly be the fulfillment of her dreams; he was elderly and not very magical. Or maybe she was wrong?
Magical and romantic describe "The Green Gauze Gown" by Sandra Heath. Two years after the death of her husband, Rosalind Harwood's older son-nine-year-old Peter-had become the sixth Marquess of Southdown, necessitating their return from America to Puckscroft Park, near Brighton. Her other son, six-year-old Jake, has seemingly formed an alliance with an invisible man, Mr. Dobbs, who does all sorts of wondrous things. Rosalind's first love, Sir Henry Trafford, still lives almost next door to the Park, with his sister and mother. His well-intentioned gift threatens to produce a major scandal until Jake and Mr. Dobbs intervene, clearing the way for the Rosalind and Henry to re-affirm their love.
Volume Sixteen is a splendid addition to Signet's tradition. Have some eggnog, light the candles, and enjoy the sounds and smells of the holiday season as you read this book. Happy Holidays!
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Regency Christmas Magic (Signet Regency Romance)
Regency Christmas Magic (Signet Regency Romance) by Barbara Metzger (Mass Market Paperback - 5 Oct 2004)
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