Mistletoe Christmas is an anthology written by four authors of romantic historical fiction. All of the stories are set during the Duke of Greystoke’s annual Christmas reverly: a well known celebration of plays, dances, and scandals. Particularly the scandals that lead to marriages. This hilarious setting provides the perfect backdrop for some good ol’ holiday mistletoea kisses and seduction.
The first story is A Mistletoe Kiss by Elosia James. Cressida is the Duke of Greystoke’s youngest daughter and secretly she had been the mind behind the Christmas reverly. With her father on his death bed, she plans on this being her last Christmas reverly. She has never been given credit for her work and is further devastated when she finds out her father has given away her beloved family home. Cressida is such an intelligent and creative character who deserves so much more than what she is given. Even with the romance in this story, she deserves better. Elias is a little over the top with his sudden interest and instant feelings regarding Cressida. He does defend her to her abusive father but overall, the romance is just meh.
Wishing Under The Mistletoe by Christi Caldwell is such a fun second chance romance. Isabelle and Cyrus were engaged for three years before she abruptly broke it off when he became obsessed with the idea of obtaining a fortune for their future. Ten years later, they are both at the Christmas reverly and as much as they try to ignore it the sparks are still there. Yet there are still things they need to work out before they officially get back together. I found to be such a satisfying Christmas reunion story. Both characters are well thought out and had good chemistry together.
Compromise Under The Mistletoe by Janna MacGregor is another second chance romance. This one did not work for me though. I felt myself cringing as the characters Caroline and Stephen pretended to be together in order for Caroline to have access to her trust fund before her uncle died. The whole idea seemed selfish to me as did the reason as to why they were separated in the first place. Caroline just seemed immature as a character and who was not ready for marriage especially to someone like Stephen. Honestly. I was glad things didn’t work out exactly as planned for them.
Mischief and Mistletoe by Erica Ridley is the final story in the anthology. Louise Harcourt is attending the Christmas reverly in order to find a marriage partner. According to her mother this will be her last opportunity and this is why she’s willing to even consider these matches. None of them strike her fantasy at all – they are appalling. She would rather just stay single and write poetry than be with one of them for the rest of her life. At the reverly Louise encounters a fellow written and Sparks fly between them forcing her to question why she just settling. I really like this one because it explored woman’s desires outside of marriage. Plus Ewan is so supportive of Louise, it made them easy to root for.
Mistletoe Christmas was a mixed bag for me. While I liked the setting of the Christmas reverly two of the stories missed the mark for me. There was seduction and scandal under the mistletoe but, the characters and romance just didn’t entice me. All of the stories do transport the reader to the Christmas season in 1815 though so if you are looking for some historical romance this holiday season, this one may work for you.
Rating: 3 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**