Map of a Lady’s Heart by Caroline Linden
The road to happily-ever-after… With Kingstag Castle full of guests and the snow falling, Viola Cavendish has her hands full making sure the Christmas house party runs smoothly. The unexpected arrival of the Earl of Winterton and his nephew Lord Newton upends everything. Not only is Lord Newton flirting with the young ladies Viola is supposed to chaperone, Lord Winterton himself makes her pulse race.
Always takes some twists and turns Wesley Morane, Earl of Winterton, has come to Kingstag Castle in search of a valuable atlas, and he refuses to be deterred by the snow, the house party, his nephew, or even the most ridiculous play ever staged. But before long the only map he wants is one that shows him the way to Viola’s heart…
Hot Rogue on a Cold Night by Maya Rodale
Jilted by a duke: Lady Serena Cavendish was born and bred to be a duchess. Too bad, then, that the Duke of Frye mysteriously and suddenly ended their betrothal.
Seduced by a Rogue: Greyson Jones, an agent of the crown, is the only one who thinks being jilted has made Serena more alluring. When he lucks into an invitation to a Christmas house party at Kingstag Castle to cheer her up–and perhaps find her a husband–he seizes the opportunity to win her heart before they might be parted forever.
On the way to the altar: Their journey to happily ever after involves a ridiculous play, a lovesick swan, a mysterious gift and, of course, a kiss.
Snowy Night with a Duke by Katharine Ashe
The last time Lady Charlotte Ascot bumped into the Duke of Frye, she climbed a tree to avoid him. Sometimes it’s simply easier to run away than to face her feelings for him — overwhelmingly passionate feelings that no modest lady should have! Now, on her way to Kingstag Castle to celebrate the holidays with friends, Charlotte is trapped by a snowstorm at a tiny country inn with the duke of her steamiest dreams.
But Frye has a secret of his own, and Christmas is the ideal time to finally tell the woman he’s always wanted the whole unvarnished truth. Better yet, he’ll show her…
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: At the Christmas Wedding
This trio of related novellas takes place at a Christmas house party at the home of the Duke of Wessex, though he’s not in residence at the time. His wife’s sister is about to give birth, so they’ve traveled to be with her, leaving his three sisters, the dowager duchess, and the current duchess’s secretary to manage the affair.
Map of a Lady’s Heart by Caroline Linden
Viola Cavendish is the widow of a distant cousin of the duke. Though the duke offered a small income to Viola, she requested that he employ her instead, and she now is secretary to the duchess. With the host and hostess called away, and the dowager duchess ill in bed, it’s left to Viola to try to oversee the duke’s three sisters, and to try to keep some semblance of order. Wesley Morane, the Earl of Winterton has finally coerced the duke into allowing him to view an atlas in his possession. Wes believes it to be one that belonged to his deceased father, and was sold in error. He travels to the duke’s home, with his nephew, Justin, in tow, hoping to drum some sense into the young man who is beginning to enjoy a wild lifestyle. When Wes finds out the duke is away, he manages to arrange to stay for the party, hoping that he’ll come across the coveted atlas. Wes encounters an even greater treasure in Viola, and this couple falls in love amidst the revelry.
HOT ROGUE ON A COLD NIGHT by Maya Rodale
Lady Serena Cavendish, sister of the current Duke of Wessex, was betrothed for years to the Duke of Frye, an arrangement which their fathers set up. Recently, the Duke of Frye shockingly broke off the engagement, jilting Serena, and leaving her confused and anchorless. Serena isn’t heartbroken, as she felt only affection and friendship for Frye, but she did suffer humiliation. Greyson Jones is an agent for the crown, and Frye’s best friend. He has secretly been in love with Serena for years, but had no hope because of her engagement. Now that she’s free, the somewhat snarky Grey decides to make his move, and Serena finds that an exciting future which involves traveling with the sexy Mr. Jones holds a lot of appeal.
SNOWY NIGHT WITH A DUKE by Katharine Ashe
Lady Charlotte Ascot has just returned from a two and a half year trip abroad, a trip she took to escape the love she felt for her best friend’s fiancé, the Duke of Frye. Charlotte expected to attend the wedding, but instead finds that Frye has jilted Serena. The bad weather has stranded Charlotte at an inn en route to the house party, where she discovers that Horace Church, the Duke of Frye is also residing. Much to her dismay, Charlotte finds that her feelings for Frye are as strong as ever. Can the simmering attraction between Frye and Charlotte lead to a happy ending for them? We finally discover Frye’s true reason for jilting Serena, but he harbors another dark secret, one that may prevent him from accepting the genuine love that’s being offered to him.
All three stories are very well written and enjoyable. The characterizations carry forward seamlessly in each novella, though each author’s style comes through. The silly play that is such an integral part of the story is pure delight. Caroline Linden offers up a truly warm and romantic tale, while Maya Rodale’s is light and humorous. Katharine Ashe’s story is poignant and touching, and all three offer up some heat. AT THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING is a lovely collection of three connected stories that is pure joy to read and one that I heartily recommend.