The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Putney, Beverley, Bourne, Rice, Cornick, Elliott, Gracie & King

the-last-chance-christmas-ball-by-Mary-Jo-Putney, et al.The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott, Anne Gracie, Susan King
Series: None
Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: Great Britain, 1815
Published by Kensington
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: Sep 29, 2015)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
320 pages
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Hall is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year…

A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering decorations, and swell of the orchestra, every duchess and debutante, lord and lackey has a hopeful heart. There’s the headstrong heiress who must win back her beloved by midnight—or be wed to another….the spinster whose fateful choice to relinquish love may hold one more surprise for her…a widow yearning to glimpse her long-lost love for even one sweet, fleeting interlude …a charming rake who finds far more than he bargained for. And many other dazzling, romantic tales in this star-studded collection that will fill your heart and spice up your holidays…

Initial impressions

  • The Last Chance Christmas Ball is a ball held every year for the last 50 years. Of course, this is just the name the bachelors who come give the ball, because Lady Holly is something of a matchmaker.
  • Most of the stories are second-chance romances where the main characters already know each other and for one reason or another separated. Many of the men were soldiers and fought Napoleon and the French. That war is now over.
  • As is often the case with an anthology I like some stories better than others.

The stories:

  • “My True Love Hath My Heart” by Joanna Bourne–C+
  • “A Scottish Carol” by Susan King–C
  • “Christmas Larks” by Patricia Rice–C+
  • “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Mary Jo Putney–B
  • “Flames Dance” by Cara Elliott–C
  • “A Season for Marriage” by Nicola Cornick–C
  • “Miss Finch and the Angel” by Jo Beverley–B
  • “Mistletoe Kisses” by Anne Gracie–B-


  • As I state below I didn’t connect with most of the characters in these stories. However, a few of the stories had characters I like and remember:
    • Roxanne (Roxie) from Mary Jo Putney’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” is a memorable character. She’s self-confident, owns and runs her own property and a colorful character.
    • Lady Holly is a character in all the stories and the reason the Last Chance Christmas Ball happens. She’s an out-spoken old lady, has many godsons and goddaughters and is liked by all of them.
    • Clio Finch is Lady Holly’s companion. There’s mystery about her so that makes her interesting. Her story is “Miss Finch and the Angel” by Jo Beverley. The angel in the story is Lord Gabriel Quinfoy. He’s an interesting character and I like their story.


  • Most of these stories just didn’t capture my attention. Perhaps because of the length of the stories I didn’t connect with most of the characters.
  • The ball takes place after Christmas and there really isn’t a lot about Christmas. In a few of the stories the characters gather holly and mistletoe to decorate houses and sometimes they sing some Christmas carols. However, I didn’t feel immersed in these stories as I want to when I read Christmas stories.
  • Also even though the characters are invited to the Ball many of them don’t actually get to the Ball or if they do that happens days after they meet and fall in love.

And a few thoughts . . .

  •  I chose this book because I usually enjoy short stories set at Christmas and I’ve read and enjoyed books by Jo Beverley, Anne Gracie, Mary Jo Putney and Joanna Bourne.
  • I don’t read very much romance these days so part of my reaction to these stories may very well be me not enjoying romances very much anymore. Others may enjoy these stories more than I did.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

4 thoughts on “The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Putney, Beverley, Bourne, Rice, Cornick, Elliott, Gracie & King”

  1. Oh, that’s disappointing. When you can’t connect with the characters, it really brings down the story, and I would have definitely expected both Christmas and the ball to play a larger role.


  2. I always end up getting these anthologies though more often than not I end up being disappointed by them. I like that most of these are 2nd chance romances as I think those tend to work better in really short stories so the characters already have the early stuff out of the way. However, while some of these were good it doesn’t sound like the best anthology or that any story was really a winner for you. I think I’ll pass but great review!


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