Regency Christmas Courtship (Signet Regency Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 4 Oct 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The first story is 'Wooing the Wolf', another humorous tale from Barbara Metzger. I very much enjoy her subtle tongue-in-cheek approach. In this one, Miss Margaret Todd's sister and husband die in epidemic in India and Margaret 'inherits' their two daughters. She is a companion to an unsympathetic Lady Bartlett and only has small savings. Unable to contact their solicitor who will be able to tell her if the children's parents have left them any money as he is 'Closed for the Holidays' (this is the sort of historical inaccuracy that does bother me in Metzger, but never mind), Margaret is faced with the problem of what to do with her nieces until the solicitor's return. She has befriended the housekeeper of the house next door and as Viscount Wolfram, the owner, is travelling to various Christmas house parties, Mrs. Olive suggests Margaret stay there with the children while continuing to work for Lady Bartlett during the day. Unfortunately, the viscount has had a fight with his mistress in which she has racked his face with her finger nails. Not wishing to be seen by anyone, he returns home to hide until his face has healed. What follows is the havoc caused by Margaret's two nieces as they 'woo the Wolf' for their aunt. Five stars.
The second story is 'The Dogstar' by Edith Layton. Alexander (Alex) Malcolm Grenville, fifth Marquess Grenville is seven years old with a very neglectful mother who does at least arrange for a friend of hers to take him from school over the Christmas holidays.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Barbara Metzger led the way. A young, impoverished woman, Margaret Todd, works as a companion to a selfish elderly lady. As Christmas approaches she endeavours to shelter her two orphaned nieces in the empty house of Viscount Wolfram next door. The two nieces, believing that their aunt and the viscount would make an ideal pair of new parents, consult George E Phelber's "A Gentleman's Guide to Courtship" for guidance on how to get them together. If I've not missed the joke, George Felber is Edith Layton's husband!!
In Edith Layton's story, a magical puppy becomes the means of bringing together an impoverished governess and an haughty viscount. When the seven year old Marquess of Grenville comes to London to spend his holiday with the governess, the stray puppy he has acquired gradually becomes the deus ex machina in a gradually unfolding love match.
Andrea Picken's offering was my least favourite in this collection. She writes of a diplomat and a Russian heiress trapped in the snow in a road/cabin romance. Although others had sought to make a match between them, they were unaware of the identities of their intended one so blissfully fall in love. I found, however, I could not warm to the story or the characters and the whole thing was a little boring. I struggled to keep my mind on it.
Nancy Butler's contribution was the story of a bluestocking who has lived in London for some time. Finding it necessary to spend some time in the country, she meets up with a somewhat rough and ready Welshman and falls in love with him. Unfortunately, this story was also a bit contrived and I could not garner too much interest in the characters or their predicament.
The final offering was from Gayle Buck. I admit that despite reading widely in the Regency genre, I've never read anything by this author. I was very pleasantly surprised. Her story is about the marriage of two young people who don't really know each other very well and have, as a result, kept each other at arm's length in the formal way common at the time. This is a very well done picture of two people shedding inhibitions and confronting their feelings for each other in a very realistic and touching way. I thought this was better than the Layton or Metzger stories - something that surprised me enormously. I shall be looking out for more works by Gayle Buck.
All in all, this is a good read and I can recommend it.
As always, Barbara Metzger combines mischief with mistletoe and merriment to weave a tale of love unexpected. A companion who suddenly finds herself as substitute mother for her two nieces gets all tangled up with the Viscount who lives next door. If he'd stayed in the country, he'd have missed out on the wonderful opportunity contrived by the two youngsters in "Wooing the Wolf".
Edith Layton spins her magic in "The Dogstar" when the love of a young boy for a dog captures a young couple in the resulting web. A governess and a viscount have difficulty in believing their eyes as the boy and the dog demonstrate the real meaning of Christmas.
Coincidence can happen, as aptly demonstrated by Andrea Pickens in "Lost and Found" when two travelers become lost in a snowstorm. Anna and Nicholas are dutifully heading for London-separately-when they're compelled to join forces in order to survive. Little did they guess that duty can sometimes be a pleasurable thing!
Nancy Butler always manages to pull a fast one on her characters and her readers. Thank goodness for this cleverness! "Christmas with Dora Davenport" proves that one can make a silk purse from a sow's ear, if one only has the right sow in the first place! Dora, who is really Elnora, really needs to find a husband who can support her, and who would like to live in London. Instead, she finds Gowan, a Welshman, who on the surface doesn't seem to be what she's looking for. But underneath? Well -
"Christmas Cheer" by Gayle Buck is probably more accurate than we think in these days of casual informality. Considering how little time a couple spent in each other's company before they were married, even a six-month wedding trip may not reveal a couple's personalities all that well. One such young bride-Gwen-learns that happiness may be found in the most unlikely places, when uncovered by her new husband, Lord Hallcroft.
This yearly collection has always been my present to myself-not to be opened and read until the last days before the Holiday. It never fails to fill me with Christmas cheer!
Our heroine, a lady's companion, unexpectedly inherits her two nieces and temporarily moves with them into the house next door, which is owned by an absent viscount, whose servants assure her he won't mind. The viscount returns home unexpectedly and the nieces set about trying to matchmake between him and their aunt so they'll be able to stay in the house they like so much.
**** "The Dogstar" by Edith Layton. Another cute one.
Both the hero and heroine have promised to look after a little boy home from school for Christmas. She's a down on her luck governess, he's a viscount. The boy finds a puppy when he arrives in London, and the dog is more than it seems.
***½ "Lost and Found" by Andrea Pickens.
Both the hero and heroine have been recalled to London for Christmas, under orders from family--his father, her uncle--to make a politically expedient match. Both end up taking a wrong turn and being stranded in a snowstorm at the same inn. You can see where this is going, can't you? Still, it's not obnoxious in its cliches, so it gets an extra half star for that.
*** "Christmas with Dora Davenport" by Nancy Butler.
I usually really like Nancy Butler's writing, but this one was merely okay. Perhaps it's because both elements of the story--the hero who helps the heroine in her quest to snag another man, and the heroine who's secretly a writer--have been done to death. Not bad, just nothing new or exciting.
*½ "Christmas Cheer" by Gayle Buck. Oh, gak.
The characters in this one are newlyweds who can't be bothered to actually, you know, TALK to each other, so they each think the other doesn't love them. So the hero gets this brainstorm that he'll act even more indifferent toward the heroine and then secretly invite her family to visit for Christmas, thus proving his love for her. You might think this might make for an interesting story, with amusing misdirection, etc. You'd be wrong.