Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Reading: ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE

Four popular romance novelists come together to bring readers delightful tales of Christmas Magic and the dukes that make us swoon… The holidays are a time for dining, dancing, and of course—dukes! Celebrate the Christmas season with this enchanting collection of historical romances featuring the most eligible bachelors of the ton…
Synopsis:


The Duke and Duchess Trap by Valerie Bowman
A childish prank may have reunited the Duke of Hollingsworth with his estranged wife, but only the magic of Christmas will show this couple ‘tis the season of second chances…
Sophie and the Duke by Tiffany Clare
Sophie Kinsley planned to remain a wallflower at the Duke of Helmsworth’s ball. Yet when a dance with him leads to a stolen kiss, will the duke be willing to let her go? Or will Sophie’s Christmas wish be granted at last?
The Duke’s Christmas Wish by Vivienne Lorret 
To the Duke of Vale, science solves everything—even marriage. When the impulsive Ivy Sutherland makes him question all of his data, he realizes that he’s overlooked a vital component in his search for the perfect match: love.
One Magic Season by Ashlyn Macnamara
Patience Markham never forgot the fateful dance she had with the future Duke of Kingsbury. But when a twist of fate brings them together for Christmas Eve, will the stars finally align in their favor?



MY THOUGHTS

The Duke and Duchess Trap by Valerie Bowman
The Parent Trap was one of my favorite movies growing up and I think the premise really lends itself to a Regency adaptation. In this story, the focus is really more on the parents side and the romantic aspect of the situation rather than the children getting to know each other and their new-found parent. Although I enjoyed many aspects of the story, for me the fact that Nathaniel had had affairs with several random widows throughout their 12 years apart was just an enormous turn off. Then his anger that Elizabeth might have had an affair with Tony, her neighbor and friend, just put me over the top. The fact that they were nameless widows who meant nothing to him does not make the infidelity any less valid in my book. Now you might be saying, "but Cris, it was socially acceptable for a man, especially a Duke, to have extramarital dalliances and he was estranged from his wife at the time". Well, you know what, I don't read romances for what's "socially acceptable". Call me an idealist, but cheating is cheating and estranged does not mean divorced. And the fact that once he discovered she had never been unfaithful, even though he had, he promised himself he would make it up to her "...by making her come again and again and again" turned me off his character all the more. Do orgasms really make up for infidelity? Although in my head I know this was meant to be just a tiny, insignificant element of the romance, personally it was all I could focus on and it tainted my respect for the hero. I thought the story was well written and had a great premise, I just wish I could have enjoyed it more.

Sophie and the Duke by Tiffany Clare
I love the idea of childhood friends reunited as adults and finding that they're a perfect fit for one another. I feel like the romance aspects were a bit rushed and I would have loved to get to know the characters more and see their love grow. I quickly fell for Adrian and Sophie at the masquerade and would have just liked a little more time with them because the moments they did have together were teasing and sexy. Their interactions were just so satisfying and smile-educing. All in all, I think it was a very sweet and fun holiday romance.

The Duke’s Christmas Wish by Vivienne Lorret 
Northcliff is a man of science, who dreams of gaining a fellowship with his new 'Marriage Formula', which is designed to determine the optimal mate for members of the aristocracy. What his formula never accounted for was a consuming attraction to Ivy Sutherland, whom his calculations deem of no consequence. Although most of the ladies at the Duke's house party are there for the express reason of securing his hand in marriage, Ivy has no aspirations towards matrimony despite finding herself completely entranced by North. As much as these two try and discount their attraction, they find themselves in love in spite of all reason. I love the premise of the story and think it featured a wonderfully developed romance. You really get the feeling that North and Ivy complemented each other's personality as well as sharing a deep passion. I adored the whole 'Frog Prince' aspect of the story as well. The end result is an utterly charming holiday romance that left me enticed to see what happens to some of the secondary characters that were introduced. No small feat for a story this short.

One Magic Season by Ashlyn Macnamara
During a Christmas snowstorm, two former flames are reunited and get a second chance at love. I'm usually not a big fan at second chance romances but I think both of these characters are really suited to it. They are both in a place in their lives where they're a bit lonely and have never stopped dreaming of what could have been. I loved Kingsbury and Patience's playfulness and thought that their snowball fight was a perfect embodiment of the season. Plus, I love a story where an uppity relative gets shut down. 


All in all, I think this a great historical romance anthology for the holidays. It's got a great mix of situations, all involving our beloved Dukes, that really capture the love and magic of the season. Definitely a fun read to get you in the Christmas spirit!


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Any thoughts or opinions shared are my own. 



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AUTHOR INFO

VALERIE BOWMAN
Valerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally dog, Roo. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.
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VIVIENNE LORRET
USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order ... but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, and the Rakes of Fallow Hall series.
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TIFFANY CLARE
Deciding that life had far more to offer than a nine to five job, bickering children and housework of any kind (unless she’s on a deadline when everything is magically spotless), Tiffany Clare opened up her laptop to write stories she could get lost in. Tiffany writes sexy historical romances set in the Victorian era. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two kids and two dogs.
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ASHLYN MACNAMARA
USA Today bestselling author Ashlyn Macnamara writes Regency romance with a dash of wit and a hint of wicked. She considers writing her mid-life crisis but reckons it’s safer than hang-gliding or rock-climbing. She lives in the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband, two teenage daughters, and one loudmouth cat. Although she writes about the past, you can find her in such newfangled places as her website Facebook, and Twitter.
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2 comments:

  1. Great review! Thank you for hosting the ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE ANTHOLOGY

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've only just read the first story and I thought it was a little cheesy. Plus the i discretions also turned me off. I've read a few with that theme and it makes me feel iffy about the romance.

    ReplyDelete

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