Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Silver Bells (A Timeless Romance Anthology)

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Silver Bells Collection 

Silver Bells Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology) by various authors
292 pages
Published October 15th 2014 by Mirror Press
My Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Descriptions/My Reviews: Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Silver Bells. Readers will love this collection of six historical novellas, all centered around the Christmas season with one thing in common: Romance.

*In NY Times & USA Today’s bestselling author Lucinda Brant’s delightful novella, FAIRY CHRISTMAS, Kitty Aldershot is orphaned and forced to live on others’ charity. Offered a home under the generous roof of her relatives, the Earl of Salt Hendon and his countess, Kitty wants for nothing, not even the affections of Mr. Tom Allenby. But when Kitty stumbles across a letter written by Lady Caroline that reveals how Mr. Allenby would be ruined should he marry the likes of Kitty, she realizes she has been fooling herself all along. Kitty’s world crumbles around her as she recognizes she will forever be alone with no prospects at all.

I thought this was a sweet story that took place in the late 1700s. Kitty is an orphan and has every reason to be bitter about life, yet she isn't. She is so sweet and tries to ease the lives of those around her to make up for their generosity towards her. She would love for nothing more than to win Tom's affections, yet wouldn't dream of ruining his reputation and career, which goes to show how selfless she is. Tom is such a shy and bashful man, yet he is very kind. I loved the foreign prince--he was a fun character to have around. Clean!

*Sarah M. Eden’s charming romance novella A CHRISTMAS PROMISE, Sean Kirkpatrick is trying to get to his new place of employment, Kilkenny Castle, in order to start as the new stablehand. His only requirement is to drive a team of high-spirited nags from Dublin to Kilkenny in a certain amount of time. Unfortunately he winds up in a muddy field, stuck, lost, and running out of time. He’s about to lose the job before he can prove himself capable of finishing his first assignment. When Maeve Butler arrives on the scene, Sean isn’t sure if she’s intent on rescuing him or bent on torturing him with her fiery wit and lovely dark eyes.

Maeve is such a fiery girl and before he knows it, Sean is whooped! Sean needs this new job, but gets stuck and lost and has to rely on Maeve to help him out. I loved that banter that ensues. Fun characters with a spin on a story that isn't your typical holiday romance. Clean!

*In Heather B. Moore’s enchanting novella, TWELVE MONTHS, Lucien Baxter’s best and most incorrigible friend, Will, dies unexpectedly, leaving behind his new bride and unborn child the week before Christmas. Will’s last request is that Lucien watches over Cora, not just as a benefactor, but as a husband. When Lucien does his duty and proposes to Cora, he’s turned down flat. But over the course of the next few days, Lucien discovers that marrying Cora wouldn’t be any sort of duty after all, but a matter of following his heart. 

Don't we all have a friend who is the more dramatic and dominate of the friendship? That's exactly the case in Lucien and Will's unlikely friendship. They are so opposite and for some reason, Lucien feels a strong pull of loyalty toward covering for Will's casual mistakes. When Will dies suddenly, Lucien promises to care for his new wife and unborn baby. Cora has been devastated by death not once, but twice, and doesn't want to marry again, yet Lucien has a way of worming his way into her heart. Lucien is such a kind and patient man and Cora is as sweet as can be. I love the piano battles. Clean!

*In Lu Ann Staheli’s sweet romance novella, A FEZZIWIG CHRISTMAS, Dick Wilkins and his best friend Ebenezer Scrooge have been looking forward to the annual Fezziwig Christmas dance for weeks. Ebenezer is practically engaged to Annabelle Fezziwig, and Dick hopes to start courting her younger sister, Pricilla. Once the dance starts, and Pricilla arrives, as pretty and charming as ever, Dick discovers that he’s not the only man vying for her attention. His best friend advises Dick that he has to win Pricilla’s heart, as well as her mother’s favor. Losing his heart has suddenly become very complicated.

I don't believe I've ever read a story about the life of Ebenezer Scrooge before he became...scroogy. This was a fun story with his friend, Dick, in the forefront, trying to win the attention of the lovely sister of Ebenezer's girl. It's not as easy as he thinks, since Pricilla is being pursued by many and he's not as outgoing as he'd like to be. I love how meek and down-to-earth Dick is. Clean!

*A TASTE OF HOME, a captivating romance by Annette Lyon, we meet Claire Jennings, who’s on her way to spend Christmas with her family. As she rides the train with William Rhodes, who grew up across the street, memories of Christmases past flood her mind. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire discovers that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She's stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. William stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.

I love a romance about two people who grew up together, but never have a mutual attraction until later. Maybe that's because my husband and I grew up together, yet didn't have a relationship until college. :) William was the kind of boy who tormented Claire, but how else is he supposed to capture her attention? Now that they both work in CA, William is escorting Claire home for the holidays. And he's nothing like the boy she once knew. I love how sweet and thoughtful William is. He truly has Claire in mind, as he strives to make this a Christmas to remember. Claire is as sweet and pretty as ever and isn't one to hold a grudge. Very sweet story! Clean!

*Becca Wilhite’s entrancing novella, MY MODERN GIRL, follows Margie, who lands her dream job as a clerk at Macy’s department store in New York City. Margie might be new in town, but she’s determined to succeed and prove to Henry that moving to the city was the right decision. As the Christmas season approaches, Margie realizes that being a “modern girl” might not be all she had dreamed of and Henry might have more to offer than she ever imagined.

I haven't read many stories that take place in the 1920s, but this one did and was a lot of fun! It was fun to picture what life was like in NYC during this time. I loved the imagery, descriptions, and storyline. I also loved the way Margie set out to become modern, but learned some important lessons along the way. Henry is a rock-solid man who works hard and doesn't care for what society thinks, yet he doesn't take Margie's feelings lightly. He's very supportive. This one was a great story to end the book. Clean!

Each story was tender and really helped the spirit of the holidays come to life. This whole collection moved a little slower than some of the others, but the pace was perfect for a nice, holiday read. Read it all in one sitting or savor a story a day. Either way, it'll be a fun adventure. 

To learn more about these anthologies, go here