When I was little my grandmother held a Christmas in July celebration. Her birthday was in July and one year she decided for her birthday, she wanted to celebrate Christmas, so she did, and I LOVED it.
When I received an ARC of All Hearts Come Home for Christmas, in July, it wasn’t quite that level of amazingness, but it was pretty close. Though I love anthologies, I don’t always love every story in them, this one was the exception.
I had already anticipated loving “Christmas as Falstone Castle”, I couldn’t imagine a better Christmas story than one that included the danger duke of Kielder, and I did not disappoint! However, I don’t think I could pick a favorite story out of the bunch. They were all equally entertaining and heart warming.
Christmas at Falstone Castle – Sarah M. Eden – “The Dowager Duchess of Kielder eagerly anticipates spending Christmas with her son and his family. Though their relationship has been strained, the duchess is determined to heal the chasm. Even with the help of the widowed local vicar, her plan will take a Christmas miracle. But during this magical season, anything is possible . . . even two second chances for love.”
–Not only was it so fun to read about Christmas at Falstone Caslte, and I will warn you, you will fall in love with the dangerous duke all over again. However, I loved that he wasn’t the focus. I love that we got a fresh look at the dowager duchess. This was a second chance story I could get behind. It wasn’t just a second chance at romance, but a second chance at being the mother she wanted to be, and it was beautiful.
The Heart of Christmas – Anita Stansfield – When a chance meeting brings together a gentle seamstress and a widowed banker, each lonely soul finds a first hint of hope. As their lives become entwined, it will take Christmas spirit to guide a broken family to love and healing.
–This story had a little bit of Cinderella magic, a little bit of Christmas magic and a whole lot of heart.
’Tis the Season to Be Daring – Esther Hatch – Elizabeth Davenport has had quite enough of the London Season. Determined to evade a parade of unsuitable suitors, she seeks help from the one gentleman who has no regard for Society’s rules. All of Society knows Lord Hawthorne is not interested in marriage, yet he cannot deny Miss Davenport’s unique charm. And as the Christmas season works its magic, their charade begins to feel less like playacting and more like love.
–I possibly laughed the most with this one. It had delightfully witty banter with just enough scandalous behavior to be both clean and entertaining.
The Christmas Dress – Joanna Barker – Seamstress Nell Addington is thrilled when her childhood friend Jacob Hammond commissions a dress for his sister. But when Nell realizes her feelings for Jacob run far deeper than friendship, an unexpected snowstorm—and some holiday cheer—may convince them both that love is worth fighting for.
–If I had to pick a favorite as far as story line went this one would possibly be it. Joanna always uses pertinent metaphors to pull you right into the story. I loved how much character development and story building she was able to connect me to in such a short amount of pages.
I’m ready for Christmas, who’s with me??
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