Reviewed for Wit and Sin
“A Christmas Abduction” by Madeline Hunter
Caroline Dunham’s family once owned a famous racehorse-breeding farm, but their luck has been spiraling downward for years. It’s the last straw when she learns that Adam Prescott, Baron Thornhill, has done something unforgivable to a member of her family. What’s a woman to do when she has no options? Abduct the lord in question, of course. Except this supposed villain is nothing like she expected…
“A Christmas Abduction” started out a lot of fun, mostly due to the chemistry between Caroline and Adam. Caroline has had enough and is determined Adam will do right by her family and Adam is anything but your typical hostage. I liked watching Adam start to care for Caroline and her friends, enjoyed seeing him work hard alongside Caroline. As for Caroline, I respected how hard she worked and her loyalty to others, her strength in holding her family afloat. That being said, the romance left me wanting a bit. Given what Caroline believed of Adam, her attraction to him and the way she gave into it made the love story feel a bit stilted and rushed. Added to that, the ending was tied up so neatly that it was not entirely believable. Still, “A Christmas Abduction” is an enjoyable story and Madeline Hunter’s writing keeps things moving along at a quick clip.
“A Perfect Match” (Duke Dynasty, Book 1.5) by Sabrina Jeffries
Colonel Lord Heywood Wolfe has come to a ball to warn his best friend’s sister, Kitty, that one of her suitors is a villainous fortune hunter with a dark past. One thing leads to another and Heywood ends up abducting Kitty and her cousin, Cass, and taking them to his family home for the holidays in order to protect them. Kitty is an heiress and Heywood needs funds to restore the estate he inherited, so she should be the one he’s courting. Except he can’t take his mind off of Cass, the intelligent beauty who is his perfect match in every way…
“A Perfect Match” was my favorite novella of this anthology and the reason I picked it up in the first place. Sabrina Jeffries brings Christmas cheer and charm with her story of a soldier in need of a fortune and a secret heiress who will only marry for love.
Heywood and Cass sparkle, their chemistry wonderful and their back-and-forths made me smile. Cass has sworn her family to secrecy about her being an heiress and she’s been burned in the past by fortune hunters. So even though she’s quickly falling for Heywood she doesn’t want to reveal she has money and risk not finding a man who wants her for herself. I adored Cass and Heywood and was rooting for their happily ever after. The only thing that detracted from the story was a turn in attitude from Heywood at the end, one that was out of character and seemed forced in to add drama. It’s a pity, because otherwise “A Perfect Match” is a fun, aptly-titled story with two protagonists I adored and a cast of supporting characters who made me smile.
“One Wicked Winter Night” (Rogues Redeemed, Book 3.5) by Mary Jo Putney
After exploring the world for years, Lady Diana Lawrence has decided to return home to England. The only thing she’s wary of is running into the man who was the reason she so quickly took to exploring all those years ago. On the night of her cousin’s masquerade ball she meets a dashing corsair who tempts her in a way she hasn’t been tempted in a long time. Of course, it’s none other than Anthony Raines, Duke of Castleton, the man she loved and lost. It’s clear the attraction between them has never died, but is that enough for them to take a risk at opening their hearts for a second chance at love?
I love a good second chance romance so I was eager to dive into this story of a duke who wants to marry for love and the intrepid explorer he never got over. I liked that Diana was older than Anthony, that she was worldly and well-traveled, had an adventurous spirit, and knew her own mind. I also really liked that Anthony accepted and loved Diana for who she was, unreservedly and without any alpha male posturing. The two of them had a lot of promise and their sense of humor charmed me. However, partway through “One Wicked Winter Night” the story took a turn and I was flabbergasted by both Anthony and Diana’s stunning lack of maturity. I won’t spoil the story, but Anthony’s way of securing Diana’s attention was childish and her response to it was reckless and irresponsible. It left a sour taste in my mouth and the two of them didn’t have enough chemistry to overcome it. And because it was so distracting, I must point out that Mary Jo Putney’s overuse of exclamation points did not help her characters seem more mature (truly, the sheer quantity was alarming!). Still, fans of the Rogues Redeemed series (which I have not read) might enjoy this story more than I did. Previous heroes and heroines play strong supporting roles and that will undoubtedly mean more to people invested in the characters.
Seduction on a Snowy Night has its ups and downs with a bit of unevenness in tone in each of the stories. Being snowed in plays a part in each story and close quarters helped with the accelerated falling in love timelines the novella length necessitates. If you’re a fan of any of these authors it’s worth picking up this anthology. I particularly enjoyed Sabrina Jeffries’s “A Perfect Match,” but there’s something for every historical romance lover in Seduction on a Snowy Night.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.