ARC courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.
The moment I saw Suzanne Enoch’s name on this, I quickly requested the title. To be honest I hadn’t read any of the other authors in this anthology, but I thought, “heck, it’s got Suzanne’s name on it, it’s gotta be good.”
This book is a compilation of four Christmas’s stories. All were previously published individually back in 2013 and are now being published together as an anthology. All four stories are rather short, except for maybe the last one. It’s a bit longer than the others.
I’ll start with Suzanne’s One Hot Scot.
This is the first book in her Scandalous Highlanders series. And as it’s usual of Suzanne Enoch’s stories, this one had me cracking up in the first few pages. Julia is running away from the man who kidnapped and wants her to marry him all because of her sizable dowry. She finds herself lost, Christmas Bridesand without a horse and who know whose land. She’s trying to figure how she’d make it to some place where she can get help and send for help. She doesn’t want to marry the man who kidnapped her, and fears he’d find her then kill her when she finds a none too clean garment on the ground. She decides to cover herself with it so she can brace the cold of the night upon her. Just then a gorgeous man makes his way out of the water, and she can’t help but admire the well muscled body before her.
Oh, my. A thick cock rooted in dark, curling hair hung between muscular thighs.
You’d have to read the entire scene so that this sentence makes sense, and I swear you’d be laughing as loud as I did. It turned out the “garment” she found is Duncan’s kilt. I have to admit the way Suzanne describes Duncan is nothing like I’d imagined him. He’s better looking than Arran MacLawry!
Anyway, once the issue with his kilt is sorted out, Duncan can’t help himself and helps her from her faith. Little does he know that in doing so he’s also sealing his faith.
This was a cute Christmas story. Some things happened way too fast, then again I kept reminding myself it was a short.
I wasn’t too convinced about Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins. I liked the story, I guess I just wanted more of it. Ellen’s dad increased her dowry so she can find a suitor. Then, there is Lord Swainsbury, who recently came upon the title, and finds a way to meet her. Ellen thinks he’s after her fortune, but he later confesses he’s after the man that killed his sister while he was away in the continent. Their interaction draws them together, and eventually he finds his sister’s murderer. Still, it’s a cute read.
The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex. From all four stories this one had the best sex scene. LOL. I just wasn’t too crazy about Anne. She sorta seems like the ugly duckling, but she isn’t ugly at all–not after Ian sees her with her hair down and a different gown. But their relationship felt a bit forced, like I couldn’t really see these two characters together. Then Ian’s dad was such an odious character. I guess that’s a good thing. All the man cared about was making sure Anne ended up pregnant with the next heir in line. I liked that Ian didn’t give in to his dad’s demands, and did what he wanted and felt was right. This was another easy and quick read.
It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman was my favorite in this anthology. Though I was upset after all the foreplay and the one heated scene between Oliver and Cerian NOTHING happened! Why, oh why? There is a mysterious cat in the story, which I absolutely loved as part of the plot. It added sort of a magical feel to it. Then the attraction between Oliver and Cerian was great. They meet each other in a silver closet while hiding from pursuers. Neither wants to get married with any of the people in attendance. Oliver is a new Duke, Cerian is just an heiress with no title who doesn’t feel comfortable with society because she didn’t grow up within the confines of society. They make a deal to pretend they’re enamored with each other so that their pursuers give up trying. But in their pretend game they fall in love.
This would’ve been a greater story if it would’ve been longer, but as it is, it’s still a great read. I’m still bummed about the NO SEX piece. How could she do that to me? Especially after that hot scene in the closet. Ugh