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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 TBR CHALLENGE REVIEW: "A Grosvenor Square Christmas" by Anna Campbell, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Kate Noble

A Grosvenor Square Christmas
TITLE: A Grosvenor Square Christmas
AUTHOR(S): Anna Campbell, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Kate Noble
SERIES: Sons of the Revolution #3.5; Stantons #4.5

GENRE:
Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Amazon
PUBLICATION DATE: October 10, 2013
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: Purchased on Amazon
LENGTH: 171 pages
DATE READ: December 2016

READING CHALLENGES:
2016 TBR Challenge; 2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY:
Enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Four short tales.
1803 - The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen
Rowena Harcourt, Duchess of Valère, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena. Now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally given him a chance to win her hand? 
1818 - One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly
Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind by sweeping her off her feet.
1825 - His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell
At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.
1830 - The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble
Susannah Westforth always loved Sebastian Beckett, but he only sees her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he must notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson's Christmas ball and to see his little Susie, all grown up.
MY THOUGHTS: 

I read this for the 2016 TBR Challenge -- December -- Holiday Reads.  The challenge is hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian. 

A Grosvenor Square Christmas is an enjoyable anthology that is centered around a legendary Christmas ball hosted every year by Lady Winterson.  I have had a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit this year so I am happy to report that this collection of stories made me smile.  Three of the authors are known to me with Vanessa Kelly being the only one I haven't tried before.

The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen
This is a concluding novella to Galen's Sons of the Revolution series, but I was easily able to get into the dynamics of the Harcourt family without having read the rest of the books.  I loved the fact that the hero was about ten years younger than the hero and that they were older than I usually see in historical romance novels.  The maturity of these two characters and their past encounters helped sell the shorter length of the story plus I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of the widowed duchess getting a second chance with a former footman turned war hero. 

One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly
This novella has two tropes that I really love: beta hero and unrequited love so I was predestined to like it.  I just adored the setup and the way that the author developed the story.  The hero felt very real and I wanted him to be happy.  I also appreciated the fact that, while he had been in love with Amelia for a long time, he didn't put her on a pedestal.  She was allowed to be a real person and was also someone I cared about.  The plot moved quickly, but it didn't feel rushed to me.  I find myself wanting to read the earlier books in the Stanton series to see more of Nigel.


His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell
Now we shift to a courtesan/protector romance which isn't my normal choice of story.  Thankfully, Anna Campbell's writing is almost always a winner with me and this was no exception.  I thought the protagonists were likable though they were not as developed as I would have liked.  The steam level was much higher and it worked for the type of story that it was.  I did feel like the hero's revelation towards the end was out of the blue and I think the plot would have benefited from a longer page length.

The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble
This was my favorite of the four novellas.  The reunited childhoods friends storyline was perfect for this anthology and the evolution of Susannah and Sebastian felt organic.  I completely fell in love with both of them and was rooting for them to find their happy endings.  I also liked the way that the side characters were developed and provided such a good background to the romance.  This was just a ton of fun and left me satisfied. 

Overall, this was the perfect anthology for the holidays.  The writing styles and plots were different, but the stories felt cohesive due to the Christmas ball theme.  And I want to give a quick shoutout to all four authors for the extremely subtle way they developed the relationship between Lady Wintersun and her wonderful butler, Philbert.  I came away from A Grosvenor Square Christmas with a smile on my face which is all I ask for in a holiday read.

2 comments:

  1. Ahh, yes -- this is one of my favorites from several years ago. I love anthologies that are tied together such as this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like a great anthology! I've enjoyed a couple of the ladies :)

    ReplyDelete

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