TBR Review: A Regency Christmas II by Putney, Mills, Balogh, Kelly & Walsh

a-regency-christmas-II

 

A Regency Christmas II
Five Stories by Mary Jo Putney, Anita Mills, Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly, Sheila Walsh
Series: None
Genre: Historical Romance (Christmas)
Published by Signet, 1990
Paperback, purchased
347 pages
Overall grade: B
Synopsis: This warm and delightful collection brings together five all-new stories of Christmas by some of the most beloved and highly acclaimed Regency authors. Written especially for the new edition, these delightful tales capture the spirit of Christmas ritual and tradition, its hopes and heartbreaks, its joys and passions. These are stories that reflect happy reunions and homecomings, the fun and festivities, the pleasures of giving, and, of course, the love and goodwill that make life so special and comprise the true message of the holiday season. Here is a beautiful gift that touches the heart — a gift to be cherished now and all year ’round.

………………………….

“Sunshine for Christmas” by Mary Jo Putney
Grade: B

He had also admired the handsome Neapolitan women, had even been tempted by one or two of the sloe-eyed streetwalkers. But he did not succumb to temptation, for the price might be too high: it was said that the prostitutes of Naples often gave men souvenirs that could be neither forgotten nor forgiven.

  • Two lonely people, Naples and Christmas create a sweet story.
  • Lord Randolph Lennox travels to Naples, Italy in search of sunshine and respite from loneliness. He meets a fellow Brit–Miss Elizabeth Walker, a governess working in Italy.

“Playing House” by Mary Balogh
Grade: B

There were candles and evergreen branches and the Nativity scene before the altar. And the church bells before the service, and the organ and the singing during it, and the Christmas readings. And the sermon. And the church packed with neighbors and friends and family. There were love and joy and peace.

It was Christmas.

Christmas as it always was–and never would be again.

  • I read this story a few years ago.
  • I like the characters in the story.
  • Lilias, a little too proud for her own good, and the Marquess of Bedford, cynical and angry.
  • I do enjoy the three children in the story–Lilias’ sister and brother, Megan and Andrew–and Bedford’s daughter, Dora. Megan and Andrew are a little too perfect, but it’s Christmas so I don’t mind. Dora is often portrayed as petulant which gets a little old, but at least she isn’t perfect!
  • Mary Balogh does a good job showing an English country Christmas–and that it’s not the same as the Christmases the Marquess of Bedford thinks he remembers!

“The Three Kings” by Carla Kelly
Grade: A-

Dink passed a hand in front of his eyes. “Can’t believe how easy it is to forget the social graces in this scummy country. Luis Sotomayor, and there’s more, of course,” he whispered back. “how these garlic-eaters tack on name after name and then use the middle one baffles me.”

“Alargosa de Menem,” said the voice through the fire, not even raising his chin from his chest. “And it is not a scummy country, my lord. Devil take you Englishmen.”

  • My favorite story in the collection.
  • Takes place in Spain during the Napoleonic War. Illustrates the horror of war.
  • The Spanish Colonel is an interesting character–practical, pragmatic and sympathetic.
  • I like the details Ms. Kelly adds about the customs in Spain surrounding Christmas and the way she’s able to weave it into the story.

“The Last Wish” by Anita Mills
Grade: B-

“What an uncommonly sensible female you are, my dear.”

“I hope so. Good night, sir,” she repeated firmly.

After she left, he finished his brandy. One hundred pounds per year. He spent more that for his gloves, for almost everything, in fact. One hundred pounds per year. It made him wonder if perhaps in his own way he were not as useless a fellow as George….

  • A cute little girl and her impoverished aunt, a dying grandfather, three nephews gathered at the old man’s deathbed and it’s almost Christmas.
  • Story lacks some content and has some improbable character changes, but all-in-all a nice story.

“The Christmas Star” by Sheila Walsh
Grade: B-

“Oh, governesses don’t count,” Philip averred offhandedly, and did not notice how quiet Louise had become.

A companion is not so demeaning as a governess, she thought, swallowing a rather horrid lump in her throat. But there were times when she seemed to be in a kind of limbo–caught between upstairs and downstairs, not quite knowing her place.

  • A Russian Prince, a young woman from an impoverished family, a frightened new mother with her baby all come together in this story.
  • It’s a cute story, but very unrealistic. I didn’t really understand why the Prince fell in love with Louise. But it’s Christmas so I give it a break!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • These are Christmas stories so I don’t read them very critically. I mostly just enjoy them–especially historical romances.
  • I read this book as part of the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon, but also as part of the TBR Challenge. Each month we post a TBR review on the third Wednesday of the month. This month we were challenged to read a historical romance. I have had this book for a number of years. I found it at a used bookstore and the pages are quite brittle and the cover is starting to come apart.
  • Anita Mills is a new author to me as is Sheila Walsh so I’ll be adding them to my New Author Challenge.

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

Sunday Post–April 20

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpgThe Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to participate in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

Last Week

Around the house

My husband was gone all week on business, but got home Friday afternoon so we went out to dinner. Such a nice cupsevening. I got quite a bit done during the week plus quite a bit of reading. And listening to an audiobook, too. 🙂

I finally put up photos and a bit of commentary about my trip to Europe. It already seems so long ago! One photo I meant to add was of the cups I bought while I was in Ireland and Spain. It’s great to have more cups for my tea and coffee! Three of the cups came from Starbucks in Dublin and Barcelona (the only times we went to Starbucks) and one is from the Montserrat Monastery. It’s kind of hard to tell, but the Spain cups are very small which is great because the coffee I drank there was usually cafĂ© solo served black in a tiny cup. Occasionally, I had cafĂ© con leche (coffee with milk) which is served in a bigger cup. I wanted these little cups to remind me of the delicious coffee in Spain!

Posts on blog

What I’m reading

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Silence by Michelle Sagara (Audible book)

What I read this week

Discount Armageddon by Seanan Mcguire

Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

E-books bought

Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Angelbound by Christina Bauer

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

A Handful of Stars by Dana Stabenow

Skulk by Rosie Best

Never Too Late by Amara Royce

Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon

The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

From Audible

Next Week

Around the house

We are going to a Shakespeare play (Henry IV, part 1) Sunday night in Washington, DC with dinner before so that will be fun. The week will be busy and I hope we have more spring weather!

Posts on the blog

  • Review: Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach (Heaven’s Queen–the third book in the series comes out on Tuesday April 22)
  • Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning this next week?

My spring break-away

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We took planes, trains, metro, buses, taxis and our own feet…

My daughter–Karen–and I along with two cousins–Mary and Katie–(also mother and daughter) spent spring break in Ireland and Spain. It was spring break for Katie since she’s a Spanish teacher in Wisconsin so it was spring break for all of us. 🙂

Katie and Karen (who lived and worked in Colombia, South America for five months) were our Spanish language translators and tour guides. The one time Mary and I split off from our daughters we ended up walking back at night to our hotel in Barcelona and nearly ended up in a riot! Luckily, we only ran into police officers and closed off roads. We did have to ask the police for directions every few blocks, but even though we didn’t know much Spanish the police were very helpful.

Our trip began the last week in March in Chicago on Saturday, March 22 when we flew overnight to Dublin on Aer Lingus. The flight on Aer Lingus was great though none of us got much sleep. I especially enjoyed the cups of tea brought around every so often.

So…we stayed in Dublin for a day and a half (not long enough–but we only had a week for the whole trip). An Irish cousin met us at the airport and took us all over Dublin. After Dublin we flew to Spain. In Spain we stayed in Valladolid and Barcelona. We made side trips to Peñafiel (a wine region north of Valladolid) and to Montserrat.

The high points of the trip (according to me):

  • Talking, laughing, sharing a wonderful trip with people who are both friends and relatives
  • Malahide Castle (near Dublin)
  • Drinking Guinness at the Guinness Factory in Dublin
  • Staying in the old part of Valladolid
  • Peñafiel and the castle above the town
  • The lamb I had for lunch in Peñafiel (the best lamb I’ve ever had)
  • Antoni Gaudi architecture in Barcelona
  • Montserrat (a monastery in the mountains near Barcelona)–the scenery and the basilica
  • Shopping in Barcelona
  • Wine and sangria we drank in honor of spring break!

A wonderful trip with amazing memories!

  • Malahide Castle & Coastal Tour!
  • A Little About Valladolid
  • Dublin airport ‘an alternative hub to Heathrow’, says Aer Lingus

Sunday Post: March 16

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpgThe Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to participate in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

Last Week

Around the house

I managed to get packed and didn’t miss the plane to Iowa! I made lists and tried to remember everything I need for a three week trip to the Midwest and Spain. I arrived in Iowa on Saturday and my daughter and I looked at several houses after I arrived since she’s hoping to buy a house this spring. It’s always fun to look at houses!

Posts on blog

What I’m reading

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

Silence by Michelle Sagara (audiobook)

What I read

Shadows by Robin McKinley

E-books bought

Still Life by Louise Penny

Ink Mage by Victor Gischler

Dangerous Joy by Jo Beverley

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

The Frost Chronicles (5 book set) by Kate Every Ellison

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (library)

From Audible

Down Home Murder by Toni L. P. Kelner

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Next Week

Around the house

I think I got everything done and packed and now I have a week to relax and see what last minutes things I need to do. And repack just for Spain, of course! This will be a fun week and then we leave for Spain on Saturday. I’m trying to get some posts ready for next week and the week after.

Posts on the blog

  • Review:
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • TBR Review: Cold Mage by Kate Elliott
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning this next week?

Sunday Post–Mar 9

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpgThe Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to participate in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

Last Week

Around the house

I spent most of my spare time reading this week since I had two very good books. Thus, I didn’t spend much time on the internet or my blog!

We did have snow again and my husband worked from home Monday and Tuesday. It was good he didn’t have to drive on the icy roads. I’m hoping the weather starts to warm up now.

Posts on blog

What I’m reading

Shadows by Robin McKinley

Silence by Michelle Sagara (audiobook)

What I read

Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

E-books bought

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Metal Boxes by Alan Black

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Shadows by Robin McKinley (from library)

From Audible

Blood Sport by Dick Francis

Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

Next Week

Around the house

I’m headed to the Midwest next weekend so I need to spend the week making sure I’m ready. I spend a week in Iowa with my younger daughter then she and I and two other family members are going to Spain the last week in March! I’m so excited! After we return I’m going to spend some time with my older daughter in Illinois so I have a busy schedule for the next month.

Posts on the blog

  • Review: Pivot Point by Kasey West
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Review: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning this next week?