Best-selling and critically acclaimed historical romance authors Celeste Bradley, Eva Devon, Elizabeth Essex and Heather Snow heat up this Christmas with four never-before-released novellas guaranteed to make your holiday season merry and bright.
“A Rake for Christmas” by Eva Devon
Lady Evangeline Pennyworth is done with being a wallflower and turns to London’s most notorious rake, demanding he teach her how to be desirable. After witnessing the love of his parents devolve into pain and anger, Anthony Basingstoke has vowed never to be swept away by passion, even if he finds himself taken by this wallflower in a way he’s never been before. Only a Christmas miracle will make true love a gift that will last forever.
“Up on the Rooftops” by Elizabeth Essex
Mischievous widow Caledonia Bowmont longs for London’s Christmas cheer, but a string of jewel thefts has brought the festive season to a standstill—and Society accuses the Scottish Wraith, Tobias McTavish. Toby is determined to clear his name and reclaim the life he’s built, so with Cally’s help, he heads up on the rooftops to trap the thief. Will they stop the high-carat crime, or find the hidden gem of lasting love instead?
“The Very Debonair Lady Claire” by Heather Snow
When Claire Barton’s twin is murdered, she takes his place in the War Department to flush out his killer. Her ruse works perfectly—until the man who once broke her heart becomes her new spymaster. The worst mistake of Andrew Sedgewick’s life was walking away from Claire that Christmas six years ago. Now that he’s found her again, he doesn’t intend to let her go—if they both survive this holiday season.
“A Liar Under the Mistletoe” by Celeste Bradley
Fearless Amie Jackham doesn’t attend balls to dance, she’s there for the thrill of robbing the lockboxes of the unscrupulous. With the notorious Vixen still at large, Liar’s Club spy Lord Elliot Hughes is taking the opportunity to clean out a few lockboxes for the good of Crown and Country—and leaving the Vixen’s trademark lacy handkerchief behind. Thief and spy can’t resist each other in this sexy, catch-me-if-you-can Liar’s Club holiday novella.
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Dashing All the Way : A Christmas Anthology
A Rake for Christmas by Eva Devon
Lady Evangeline Pennyworth has been a wallflower for three seasons, and she longs to find a husband and have a home of her own. She decides to approach Anthony Basingstoke, who has a decidedly rakish reputation, and request his help in guiding her to becoming more attractive. Anthony agrees, and arranges for Evangeline to attend his sister’s houseparty. While there, Evangeline blossoms and attracts the attention of other gentlemen, but Anthony finds that he wants her affection for himself. Still, the example set by his parents and their tempestuous marriage has made Anthony run from any hint of commitment in the past. Will his feelings allow him to overcome his fears? This is a sweet story of a lonely young woman who longs for love, and a kind and caring man hiding behind the mask of a rake.
Up On the Rooftops by Elizabeth Essex
Tobias McTavish is a former thief who would leave a calling card of heather with his victims. He was eventually caught, and was offered a chance to join the navy as opposed to being tossed out of the country. Toby flourished in the navy, where he rose in the ranks and became a hero. When he was finally able to leave, he brought property, and began living a quiet life. But now, someone has begun stealing again, using his old signature of heather, purposefully pointing the suspicions to him.
Caledonia Bowmont is living a dreary life on a farm, supporting her mother-in-law, since her husband’s death. Her only reprieve is the Christmas holiday where she can join her family in town and take part in the festivities. She longs for excitement, and when her path crosses Toby’s, she doesn’t hesitate to involve herself in his battle with the authorities, who would dearly love to convict him. Their initial cat and mouse game quickly turns steamy as they begin an affair.
The Very Debonair Lady Claire by Heather Snow
Claire Barton’s twin brother, Clarence, was murdered, and with the approval of his spymaster, Claire has begun impersonating him and assuming his position as a code breaker. She hopes to eventually find out who his contact was, and what exactly he knew that caused his death. When the current spymaster unexpectedly dies, Claire is dismayed to learn that his replacement is none other than Lord Andrew Sedgewick, the man who broke her heart six years ago. Andrew immediately recognizes Claire, and whisks her away at the first opportunity learn what she’s about. Andrew and Claire were deeply in love, and he was about to propose when he was refused permission to court her. Andrew never told Claire his reason, he just disappeared from her life. Now they are forced to work together and to confront their old feelings and to see if there is a possible future for them.
A Liar Under the Mistletoe by Celeste Bradley
Lord Elliot Hughes is a spy and a member of the Liars Club. One of his many talents is thievery, and his recent duties have included breaking into suspected traitor’s safes and stealing valuables while looking for incriminating documents. On this evening, Amie Jackham has come to rob the same home, but Elliot has beat her to it. When he insists on a dance, she uses her skills to remove the pilfered jewels from his hidden pocket. It’s not often that someone bests Elliot, and while he doesn’t look forward to admitting his failure to his superior, he can’t help but admire Amie’s talent. Their paths will cross again, as there is an unfortunate connection between Amie’s late father and the Liars Club. As the members of the club draw their net in and capture Amie, it’s looking very bleak for her until Elliot stands up for her and recommends that she come to work for them. Could this be the start of a beautiful relationship?
These four stories include varied characters, from commoners to nobility, but each seems to feature someone on the outside of the norm – thieves, spies, agents, rakes. The stories are short and unique and range from kisses to hot. I wouldn’t really classify this as a Christmas read, as it seems that the holiday was merely the backdrop, and wasn’t essential to the plot of the stories.