December 26, 2012
The long and short of it.
What better way to spend the holiday season then zipping through a bouquet of short stories. As with all short stories, there are gems and then there are lumps of coal. One thing that all of these stories have in common are that they revolve around the holiday season. And, once again some of my favorite authors have given me the opportunity to relax and enjoy some holiday treats.
Let’s take a quick look at these little electronic tales. And, I have placed them in preference order.
Nook page count: 105. My favorite among the bunch was The Scandalous Dissolute No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare. And, you should be able to tell just by reading the title that this is a light-hearted read. I might even say a chuckle-filled read. Even though this is a short story, it has the feel of a much longer novel. I actually would have loved to see this couple in a full length book. I loved both the heroine, Eliza and the hero, J. Harrison Wright. They were a wonderful couple. Their bantering was fun and the sparks between the two of them just flew off the page.
The Scandalous Dissolute No-Good Mr. Wright is more than just an advertisement for the next book coming out. In case you are wondering, this story was published earlier in the e-book anthology Three Weddings and a Murder. The only quibble I had with this story was the odd separation toward the end. However, for the most part, this was a delightful story.
http://www.courtneymilan.com/Nook page count: 298. A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan was a little bit darker tale than Ms. Dare’s story. This romance is also connected to Ms. Milan’s Brothers Sinister series. And, if anyone has read The Governess War, you will recognize Lydia and Jonas from that story. This was a very satisfying read, and once again Ms. Milan has created a very charming hero. She seems to excel at creating romantic guys. Jonas is sooo very understanding, I was a little perturbed that it took Lydia so long to admit she had fallen in love with him. The recreation of medicine on the cusp of modern discoveries was also very fascinating. Thank goodness doctors wash their hands now.
London 1857…big skirt time.
http://www.victoriaalexander.com/books/Nook page count: 71 pages. Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements by Victoria Alexander aka buy the next book and learn what happens to our hero. Yes, fellow readers this short story is a teaser for The Importance of Being Wicked. So, there is no HEA. Instead there is a cliff hanger of sorts. Much to my surprise, I don’t mind that this is a teaser for the upcoming book about Lord Stillwell. I think that some marketing person should be patted on the back, because this was a great hook and did what it was supposed to do. I found Stillwell to be so interesting that I am definitely picking up his full length story! This time I will have already read his background story. Hopefully, I will still remember it when The Importance of Being Wicked comes out in January. By the way, Lord Stillwell was a secondary character in What Happens at Christmas.
England 1884…big bustle time
Nook page count 121 pages. Your Wicked Heart by Meredith Duran is a set up for her new Rules for the Reckless series. This is a tale of mistaken identity, mistrust and just a touch of an old fashioned bodice ripper. This is also a road/sea trip story. I liked both Spence and Olivia. I found their journey very enjoyable and was also intrigued by the glimpse into their backgrounds. I’m hoping Ms. Duran is taking us further into Spence’s family, because I found those little dropped hints very fascinating.
Europe 1885…still big bustle time.
Nook page count: 49. Good Earl Hunting was the shortest one in the bunch and when I was done I wasn’t sure what the point was. This is the story of Geoffrey and Theodora. There isn’t much to it – he sees her, she insults him, he follows her, she thinks he likes her sister, he climbs a wall, he kisses her, they discover they love each other, he proposes, she accepts – the end. Now, it is possible that these two might have been secondary characters in some other book, but if they were I don’t recall them. These two would have been better in a longer format.
Nook page count: 314. A Mackenzie Family Christmas comes in as the longest short story of the group. And, as much as I love the MacKenzie brothers, I have to say – what a bunch of high maintenance guys.
So, come on everyone…you are all invited to a holiday party! But, it will be alright, because there are soooo many people at this party no one will notice just one more. And, maybe, just maybe, those four tense Mackenzie’s will lighten up, but don’t count on it.
A Mackenzie Family Christmas is the type of short story filler I do not care for. It seemed to me that every single character from all of Ms. Ashley’s books put in an appearance. Toward the end of the story, I almost expected one of her vampires to show up. One of the problems with so many characters swarming all over the place was that I didn’t remember them or how they fit into past storylines. There was Hart, Cameron, Mac, Ian, Daniel and their wives. We also get a gratuitous sex scene for each of the brothers and their wives. To continue on with who drops in, there is David Fleming, Lloyd Fellow, Louisa Scranton, Earl Ramsey, Sinclair, Andrew, the McBride Brothers, Catroina, Bellamy, Larry, Curry, Moe and on and on and on. And, don’t forget all the servants. OMG, who are these people? I spent half of my time trying to remember who did what to who when. I was very confused. And, I haven’t even brought up some of the problems that only happens around a MacKenzie. I think I prefer my MacKenzie brothers in small doses.
1884 England…still bustle time.
And there you have it. The price was right on all of these stories and for the most part it was a great way to spend a bustling holiday.