Review – Convenient Christmas Brides by Carla Kelly, Louise Allen, and Laurie Benson

About the Book:

A convenient arrangement: Three festive Regency romances!

In The Captain’s Christmas Journey by Carla Kelly, Captain Everard is escorting Verity to her governess job—and for propriety’s sake that means a convenient engagement!

In Louise Allen’s The Viscount’s Yuletide Betrothal, Eleanor advertises for a “suitable” gentleman to pose as her betrothed over Christmas.

And in Laurie Benson’s novella, Juliet’s One Night Under the Mistletoe leads to a marriage of convenience with handsome former love Lord Montague…

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                      Convenient Christmas Brides: The Captain’s Christmas Journey\The Viscount’s Yuletide Betrothal\One Night Under the Mistletoe

My Review:                     

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

THE CAPTAIN’S CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Carla Kelly

Captain Joseph Everard of the Royal Navy has a sad duty to perform while on leave, but it’s one that he’s been tasked with far too many times.  One of his men, Lieutenant Newsome, was killed during battle, and he will be bringing his personal effects to his family.  It’s the Christmas season, and most of his men are overjoyed for the leave and the chance to spend the holiday with wives and families.  But Joseph has no family, and he wonders what it would be like to know he had someone waiting at home for him every time he returned from the sea.  Verity Newsome, brother of the dead sailor, has recently lost her teaching position, and is about to accept another.  Since both she and Joseph will be traveling by coach, Joseph offers to escort her.  Verity has no financial need to work, but she feels a desire to be useful, and Joseph greatly admires her character.  There is an instant rapport between Verity and Joseph, and both are sad that they will have to part so soon.  Joseph knows that Verity is a strong woman, the kind who is perfect for a man who is often away at sea, the kind it would be so lovely to come home to.  Circumstances (or, perhaps a little Christmas miracle?) seem to keep ensuring that Joseph and Verity spend more and more time together, growing closer and even falling in love.  THE CAPTAIN’S CHRISTMAS JOURNEY is a warm and lovely romance with a hero and heroine who are not youngsters, which I love.  I was left smiling, as I imagined many happy homecomings over the years for Joseph and Verity.

THE VISCOUNT’S YULETIDE BETROTHAL by Louise Allen

Soldier Drew Stanton is about to inherit the title of Viscount Ravencroft, but in the meantime, he is living on a shoestring budget until all the paperwork is complete.  He is desperate enough to answer an advertisement for a temporary position that will tide him over until he takes possession of his estate and funds.  Ellie Jordan is an heiress, who needs to present a temporary fiancé to her family over the Christmas holidays, in the hope of convincing her uncle to change his way of thinking about his plans for her younger brother.  Drew and Ellie concoct their story, with only Ellie’s siblings in on the masquerade.  As Drew and Ellie pretend to be engaged and in love, their touches and embraces don’t seem to be pretend at all.  When it seems that they may be on a path to a real love, Ellie finds out that Drew is about to inherit a title, and she fears he may be a fortune hunter.  Ellie also has unfortunate birth circumstances, and that surely means she’s not suited to be the wife of a titled gentleman.  Will Ellie and Drew come to realize that their love is strong enough to overcome these obstacles?  THE VISCOUNT’S YULETIDE BETROTHAL is a sweet romance with strong characters, who perhaps have a bit too much pride.  The family holiday celebration is prevalent and joyful and fun to read.  I love the way author Louise Allen resolved this story, with both Ellie and Drew deciding that they had to be together.

ONE NIGHT UNDER THE MISTLETOE by Laurie Benson

Four years ago, when Montague (Monty) Pearce and Juliet Sommersby first met, they were very young, yet felt an intense and immediate attraction toward each other.  After just a short week of secret meetings and a stolen kiss, Monty proposes.  When Juliet’s guardian firmly refuses the match, Monty’s pride suffers a great blow.  He refuses Juliet’s pleas to elope, and ends their relationship in a very direct and hurtful way.  Juliet’s love soon turns to hate as she watches Monty, seemingly unaffected, go on with his life.  Monty convinced himself that what he felt for Juliet surely wasn’t love, yet he’s never been able to find another woman whose kiss affects him the way Juliet’s did.  As he sneaks away for another assignation, he’s shocked to find Juliet at the rendezvous instead.  Even worse, they are found alone, and totally compromised.  Neither wants marriage, but they have no choice if they are to avoid social ruin.  Yet, a Christmas miracle occurs as they gather mistletoe to decorate the family home.  Seeking shelter from a mishap forces them to spend time together in close proximity, and finally they talk, and love, and make a new beginning.  ONE NIGHT UNDER THE MISTLETOE is a warm holiday romance with both a second chance at love, and marriage of necessity, two of my very favorite tropes rolled into one.  Monty and Juliet were so young when they first fell madly in love, and perhaps their second chance will be much sweeter and stronger.     ~Rose

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