The Heart of Christmas
Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick and Courtney Milan
Harlequin HQN, Oct 2009, $7.99
“A Handful of Gold” by Mary Balogh. The handsome and wealthy heir to an earldom, Lord Julian Dare, seems to have everything so what do you get the man you love for Christmas who seems to need nothing Verity Ewing asks herself. You give your heart to him though the risk is that he will return it broken.
“The Season for Suitors” by Nicola Cornick. Because she is a pretty heiress, rakes and wastrels try to compromise Clara Davenport into marriage. She has been fortunate so far, but knows her luck will not hold out so she decides she needs a teacher to train her, an innocent, on how to fend off rakes. She turns to the poster boy of rakes Sebastian Fleet for mentoring and advice. However, the lessons between the teacher and the student turn into one of love.
“This Wicked Gift” by Courtney Milan. In 1822 Lavinia Spencer has saved money in order for her family to celebrate the holidays with a Christmas dinner. Four days before the gala, her brother James loses everything, leaving them in a debt greater than they can pay back. William Q. White, who she has adored from a distance, offers to make the payment in exchange for her innocence.
These three Regency romantic novellas are fun tales due to the assertive females who know what they want and take charge of achieving their respective heart’s desires. Although the Balogh and Cornick entries are reprints from the anthology Christmas Keepsakes, this anthology is worth reading because of the strong women.