“Overall, this is a good addition to the Christmas repertoire for historical romances.”

~ Under the Covers

Four novellas all set at the same Christmas house party from four amazing historical romance authors.

Every year the Duke of Greystoke hosts the Christmas party to beat all others, the two-week long Christmas Revelry. Invitations to the event are much sought after and the plays, dancing, and grotto made of ice are the least exciting bits. Everyone knows that tons of scandals happen at the Revelry, and many marriages too. Lady Cressida ends up spending all her time managing the event for her father, the duke, and coming to terms with her father saying she’s unmarriageable. Lady Isabelle Wilkshire, isn’t interested in a marriage at all; she just wants to direct her version of the pantomime. Lady Caroline Whitmore is unhappily married but has to pretend all is well between her and her husband to get through the party. Miss Louisa Harcourt must get an acceptable marriage proposal by the end of the Revelry or her mother thinks it will be too late. With so many opportunities to get lost in the mayhem of the event, anything could happen!

I really enjoyed that these four novellas were all connected together. Once we had some world-setting in the first story (by Eloisa James), we got to skip over a lot of that for the remaining stories and just follow the romance. All the novellas went together well, even if they were all written by four different authors. This did allow me to get a flavor of each of the authors. I had previously read books by three of the four authors (Janna MacGregor was new to me), but I hadn’t ever read novellas by any of them. The stories also managed to have good pacing, despite being relatively short. I do wish that the stories were a bit more intertwined though. We know they’re all happening at the same party, but we don’t really see much of the other characters in each story, so we don’t see the overlap between the events. Only Cressida and Val (the duke’s heir) really show up in all of the stories, and even then we don’t see Cressida’s romance interacting with the events of the other novellas.

Cressida’s story was definitely my favorite, probably because of the world-building. We really got a sense of the chaos of the Revelry, as well as the magic of the event and Christmastime. The atmosphere was great and almost made me wish I could experience the spectacle of a Revelry myself (although I think that many people would be overwhelming). I also liked how strong Cressida was as a character and how she was the mastermind behind everything. I think Val was another great character that we should have seen more of. He pulled so many strings to make things happen for other characters so I wish he got a happy ending too!

Overall, this is a good addition to the Christmas repertoire for historical romances. I found that it took me much longer to read than I expected because I didn’t get fully immersed in the book, but I think that might be a me-problem. I don’t know if it was my mood going into the book or that I’ve had hit-or-miss experiences with these authors in the past, but I enjoyed my reading but didn’t completely love it. I think if you enjoy one or more of these authors, then definitely give it a try. I love reading Christmas novellas throughout December, and if you do as well then this could be a good book to add to your TBR!

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