An anthology of four historical novellas
Available at Amazon
The Countess's Groom
by Emily Larkin
Rose, the Countess Malmstoke, is trapped in a marriage from hell. Escape seems impossible—until her horse groom Will Fenmore offers to help her find a way out.
Will has loved Rose since she was brought to Creed Hall as a new bride, but their relationship has only ever been that of mistress and servant. Born worlds apart, Will knows he could never be her husband, but maybe he can be her salvation.
As they plan her escape to the American colonies, Rose learns to trust Will with her life and her heart, but trusting him with her body is another matter. Can she conquer her fear of the marriage bed? Is the future she dreams of—being Will’s wife—possible?
by Susanna Fraser
Time-traveling PhD student Sydney Dahlquist’s first mission sounded simple enough—spend two weeks in December 1810 collecting blood samples from the sick and wounded of Wellington’s army, then go home to modern-day Seattle and Christmas with her family. But when her time machine breaks, stranding her in the past, she must decide whether to sacrifice herself to protect the timeline or to build a new life—and embrace a new love—two centuries before her time.
Rifle captain Miles Griffin has been fascinated by the tall, beautiful “Mrs. Sydney” from the day he met her caring for wounded soldiers. When he stumbles upon her time travel secret on Christmas Eve, he vows to do whatever it takes to seduce her into making her home in his present—by his side.
The Blacksmith’s Son
By Rebecca Thomas
Captain Quentin Drake returns home after his Naval commission ends to find a young groom being beaten in the village stables. Weary from his travels, he only wants a good night's sleep, but refuses to turn a blind eye to the lad's mistreatment. He intervenes, taking the lad to his room, only to discover the boy...is a woman.
After Ally Lockwood witnesses an earl murdering another man, she’s in fear for her life. She flees his estate and masquerades as a boy while assisting the local blacksmith. Her ruse is up when a handsome stranger tending to her wounds disrobes her. Involvement with the Captain lures Ally into believing she can return to life as a woman, but it may also draw the killer back on her trail.
The Earl’s Christmas Colt
By Rebecca Thomas
Lady Arabella Sutton is stunned to learn her brother has betrothed her to a stranger despite his promises for a season in London. Although she is the first to admit no man would suit, since she’s more interested in horses than marriage, the last thing she wants is to become a brood mare to a stuffy old earl. Facing a future she cannot abide, she takes an impetuous ride to clear her head and ends up tending her injured mare instead.
Oliver Westwyck, the Earl of Marsdale, can’t believe his luck when he stops at an inn the night before he’s to meet his fiancée. In the stable, while tending the colt he intends to give to his future wife, he happens upon her—rain-drenched but beautiful. She assumes he’s a stable hand, a fine joke he means to end...until Lady Arabella declares all noblemen are egotistical, conceited, and arrogant. How can he reveal his true identity before he’s managed to change her mind and win her heart?
My Review: I received this anthology from the authors in exchange for an honest review.
I read this anthology while I was away on my cruise. It was really the perfect read to enjoy on vacation. Every story was sweet, heartwarming, and just left me smiling. I'm glad the stories were short because once I started one, I really didn't want to stop reading!
The Earl's Christmas Colt was far and away my favorite in the anthology. I felt an instant connection with main character Arabella. Oliver was just adorable in his rather inept subterfuge. There was just something about this story that really moved me.
Christmas Past was a rather intriguing story involving time travel. I think this story would have made a great novel rather than a novella. Be prepared to suspend belief, as we always must do with time travel. While I had no trouble following the story, I really would have liked to know more about Sydney's past and training.
The Countess's Groom was a tad darker than the other novellas. There was a constant dark cloud hanging over the story as we wondered whether things would work out for Rose and Will. Ally in The Blacksmith's Son has the worst luck ever! I was avidly cheering her on throughout her escapades.
I highly recommend The Twelve Days of Christmas Past to everyone high school and up that enjoys sweet historical romance novellas. I added this one to my favorites list on Goodreads!