Monday, December 15, 2008

A Victorian Christmas - Anthology

A collection of five holiday stories, each set in Victorian England or America, by Patricia Gaffney, Edith Layton, Patricia Rice, Bettina Krahn, and Mary Jo Putney, reflects the old-fashioned charm of this popular era.

Edith Layton - Bird of Paradise
A young woman works to support herself and her small brother who gets in trouble when he tries to sell the turkey she got as a Christmas bonus. They are helped by a young man who is very attracted to her. I think the characters lacked some interest and I was never much invested in their story. Grade: 3/5

Patricia Rice - A Christmas Angel
The heir of an earldom returns to his estate after several decades in the US, and finds the village suffering difficulties due to the neglect of the previous. He goes about trying to solve things but without disclosing his identity to the girl he feels attracted to. The girl was just too bitter. Grade: 3/5

Patricia Gaffney - Second Chance
An old cowboy returns to the woman he once left at the altar when she is preparing to marry again. Not that the new husband to be sounded any good but the cowboy didn't seem hero material to me. Grade: 2.5/5

Bettina Krahn - Kidnapped For Christmas
This was funny and original if you can ignore the improprieties. A wealthy tradesman whose profession and birth make him not so respectable sees his daughter’s entrance to a young ladies academy denied. He kidnaps one of the teachers to convince her to accept the child and finds love instead. Grade: 4/5

Mary Jo Putney - The Black Best of Bellaterre
My favourite story is a beauty and the beast story. A man known for his ugliness marry a beautiful young lady to save her from being sold by her father to the highest bidder. Although she never sees his face his kindness and companionship make her fall in love with him. Grade: 4.5/5

Grade: 3.5/5

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