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Feature book: Sweet Christmas Secrets

19 January 2022

Sweet Christmas Secrets

Subgenre: Christmas, historical romance
Release date: 8 Oct 2021
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Length: 742 pages
RRP: $4.95 (ebook)

This is a sweet anthology, with ten beloved Aussie authors each giving us a charming Regency novella. All the stories involve a letter or two and a secret or two, and each story stands alone.

Kidnapping Lord Blaymire by Catherine Bilson features an amusing—and unusual—tussle between a reluctant guardian and his ward. Move over Rapunzel.

In The Wallflower’s Christmas Surprise by Isabella Hargreaves we meet Violet—who has a secret admirer sending her notes. But who?

I Wrote My Love by Fiona M Marsden starts with Kitty Wantling receiving two marriage proposals: one from her beloved friend Johnny, and a most unexpected one from Captain Jonathan Gerard, a returned soldier who is injured and scarred. On the captain’s part, he doesn’t expect to be well received in terms of his proposal. He considers no woman in their right mind would want to marry him, as hideous as he looks and now plagued with bad memories of the war. Kitty doesn’t give a fig about how the captain’s injuries look, though, which is something that might surprise him if he knew. Whereas dear Johnny is confident in his affections for Kitty; they’ve drawn very close. Kitty carefully pens two letters to her proposals: one saying ‘Yes’, and the other saying ‘No’, but in the nicest possible terms. She is a heroine, after all, and a very nice lady. Inexplicably, the two letters get mixed up. The one intended to be ‘Yes’ goes to the wrong man, as does the ‘No’. And suddenly, Kitty is faced with the consequences of her yesses and her no! What will she do now? Can she find happiness with the ‘wrong man’? I truly enjoyed this story, it was very tender and lovely, and all was sorted out in the end.

The Secret Letter by Joanne Austen Brown is all about secret love letters from an unknown admirer.

The Widow and Mr Cat by Stephen Hart stars an earl in want of a wife, a mischievous talking cat (yes, really) and a widow. Ha ha, cats rule.

Love’s Sweet Arrow by Clyve Rose is a tender childhood friends-to-lovers story. Just lovely.

When We Were Wallflowers by Heidi Wessman Kneale—can two unlikely people find love?

Spying for the Earl by Susanne Bellamy has an unusual heroine: she owns a shipyard! Intrigue + in this story.

The Mysterious Mr J by Erin Grace has a hero and heroine who unexpectedly get blindsided by love.

Fetch the Earl by Ebony Oatenplays out the delicious scenario of an earl playing a footman. What happens next?

Well done, authors. The novellas are the perfect length to sit down for half an hour or so with a cuppa (or glass of something special), every day in the lead-up to Christmas. What a treat.

reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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