Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mischief and Mistletoe - Anthology (TBR Challenge 2013)

Mischief and Mistletoe

In this sparkling holiday collection, eight acclaimed authors (Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Patricia Rice, Nicola Cornick, Susan Fraser King, Anne Gracie, Joanna Bourne, and Cara Elliott) unwrap the most daring of Regency delights. . .Christmastime in England--a time for passionate secrets, delicious whispers, and wicked-sweet gifts by the fire. From a spirited lady who sets out to save her rakish best friend from an unsuitable engagement, to a bold spy who gets the unexpected chance to win the woman he's always loved, to a vicar's daughter who pretends to be a saucy wench, these holiday tales will make you curl up in front of the fire for a memorable season of mischief and mistletoe. . .

I have a great fondness for those traditional regency anthologies that publishers used to put out every holiday season (as you can see from my anthologies index) and when I discovered that this anthology was going to be published I was naturally happy and eager to get my hands on it.  I am sorry to say that it didn't entirely work for me, some stories I enjoyed, others not so much. I think one of the problems is that some of them seemed to short - or the author was unable to develop characters and plot in such few pages - and another problem is that reading eight novellas in a row made me feel like I was overdosing on them and as I neared the end I had problems remembering the first ones. I think 3 or 4 stories was be the ideal lenght...

She Stoops to Wenchdom by Mary Jo Putney

A bit of an outlandish plot with a serious theme resolved in a somewhat light manner. It doesn't make an memorable read but it was easy read. Grade 3/5

Miss Brockhurst's Christmas Campaign by Jo Beverley

A friends to lovers story that focused on the pagan side of Christnas to bring the hero and the heroine together. More to my taste than the first one. Grade 4/5

Intrigue and Mistletoe by Joanna Bourne
My previous attempt at reading Bourne did not go well but I have to say that I really enjoyed this story that included a heroine knowleadgeable in latin (too smart really but I suspende my disbelief) and a hero hunting frech spies. A second chance at love story that felt pretty well balanced. Grade: 4/5

Wench in Wonderland by Patricia Rice
A bit unbelievable  - I seem to have trouble believing in most amnesia plots - but ended up being a fun and light read after I suspended my disbelief. Grade 3/5

On a Wicked Winter's Night by Nicola Cornick

Another second chance at love story where the hero meets the heroine and her illegitimate daugher again after a few years apart. The heroine doesn't believe she deserves to be happy till the hero manages to convince her. Grade 3.5/5

Weathering the Storm by Carla Elliott

I thought this was a bit silly. On one hand that the h/h would be able to sail the boat on their own and then that the heroine's reason to want to reach London could be as important as the hero's who was a diplomat. Grade 2/5

The Mistletoe Bride by Anne Gracie

Another story I enjoyed. It had a fairy tale quality to it. the heroine that takes another woman's place quite by accident, the h/h falling for each other almost too soon and their worry about the two young girls that have only them. I wish this had been a longer story so it could be properly developed. Grade 4/5

A Wilder Wench by Susan King
I thought this story had potential but being so short it totally failed to convince me. Grade 2/5

This is my first entry for the TBR Challenge. Truth be told this one wasn't in the TBR pile for long but it seemed to fit both my mood for Holiday reads and the short stories type of book we were supposed to tackle in January


  1. That does sound like a nice read. I used to love the Signet Regency anthologies and I miss those.

    1. Lynn, thanks for stopping by! I have been hearing that Signet is making some of their old titles available as ebooks, I'm hoping some new-to-me anthologies will come out too.

  2. I read a lot of erotica anthologies like this - with really short stories by multiple authors. When you hit one where a number of the stories are middle-of-the-road they are hard to recall! Glad to see though you at least found a couple of good ones in this bunch.

    1. Wendy, yes I did enjoy some fortunately. I haven't read much erotica but maybe anthologies we be a good start to see how I like them...
      I plan to do some blog hopping some and check what everyone else posted for this challenge.

  3. Hey Ana!
    Interesting choice...of all the stories the one I would be more interested in reading would be Nicola Cornick's. I'm very, very curious over the idea of heroines who don't think they deserve to be happy. Can you suggest some more?
    How did the story progressed in that aspect?
    Have fun with the challenge!

  4. S.
    Cornick's story was about a heroine who had been abandoned by the man she loved and left with an illegitimate daughter. She feels strongly about her "mistake" and that's why she doesn't believe she deserves to be happy. The hero has always loved her and decides to pursue her once more.

    On heroines who think they don't deserve to be happy I'm not sure if I've read many books where that is mentioned exactly like that but I read some where the herines were pretty tortured and felt happiness eluded them. I can suggest the following:
    A Christmas Bride - Mary Balogh
    The Linnet - Elizabeth English
    The Lily Brand - Sandra Schwab
    To Have and To Hold - Patricia Gaffney
    The Perfect Bride - Brenda Joyce

    I'll let you know if come up with some more...

    1. Hello!
      I'm writing down these titles and I'll look for them...I love to see a heroine being proved she's as worthy as everyone else.



I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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