This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Dragonblade
Released on October 27, 2020
In the wake of the devastating Battle of Culloden, Christmas cheer is hard to come by. However, with a momentous stay at the Balthazar in the village of Calvine situated in the Scottish Highlands not far from the battlefield a bit of Christmas, magic can achieve much. A Very Highland Christmas features six novellas from some sensational historical romance writers. I’ve read books by half and have the other half on my wish list so it took less time than the twinkle of the Christmas lights to have me delighted to read this holiday historical anthology.
The anthology ties together with each story set at the inn and connected to the nearby battlefield. I could tell that some are connected to series by the authors like Ashley’s story was from her MacKenzie world and Crosby’s was a prequel, but not sure if all were. I had no trouble treating them as standalones.
As with many an anthology, I loved a couple, really liked most of the others and found one moderately likeable. To be fair, I think the okay one was due to writing style for me rather than anything really lacking. I liked the variety in the writing and where they all took their stories.
For novellas, they had good development of characters and situations though a couple presumed romance rather than showing it building like LeVeque’s that focused on the brothers more than the romance. Byrne’s had me teary-eyed with the tragic and I found Knight’s was relaxing as a low angst opposite. There was paranormal in a couple with Burke’s being the strongest about a legendary sword.
In summary, I thought spending Christmas in the historical, magical highlands was fabulous and would gladly pick up more from every one of these authors particularly in novel-length to see them all delve deeper into their characters, plot, and setting. I wanted a variety of historicals and romantic situations and this anthology delivers so I can definitely recommend it.
I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #197
COYER Quarantine #185
Historical Fiction #119
Reading Assignment #15 Prof Ann Thology
About the Book
Ashley… Crosby… Le Veque… Knight… Burke… Byrne…It’s an enchanting holiday season in the Highlands with some of your favorite Historical Romance authors!It’s the holiday season of 1746 and the Highlands are snowy. In the village of Calvine, north of Tay Forest along a road that leads straight into Inverness, the only tavern in town is packed to the rafters with travelers. Eight months after the disastrous defeat at Culloden, the people haven’t recovered, nor has the land, and it’s a bad winter. But inside the tavern known as Balthazar’s Inn, the magic that is the holiday season is about to happen. A blustery innkeeper, his sensitive daughter, and a cast of unique characters passing through the careworn tavern will bring you six captivating stories of reflection, joy, and enthrallment that is the very spirit of the holidays.Welcome to an enchanting limited-edition collection you won’t soon forget!The Earl in Winter by Kathryn Le Veque – When James de Lohr heads into the wilds of Scotland to discover what happened to his brother at the Battle of Culloden, his stay at Bathazar’s Tavern has an unexpected twist. On a night when angels walk the earth, James comes face to face with his very own guardian angel.Fiona and the Three Wise Highlanders by Jennifer Ashley – Fiona MacDonald is overjoyed to see Stuart Cameron alive and well after his imprisonment by the English, but her worries are not over. Stuart Cameron owes his safety to a pair of smugglers who have come to collect on their debt, and Stuart will need her help to win himself free.One Knight’s Stand by Tanya Anne Crosby – Bound for a marriage she hopes will save her cousin from the gibbet, Lady Elizabeth Louise Wolfe finds herself en route to Scotland to marry the younger son of a known traitor to the Crown. Fate intervenes when, on the way, she checks into an inn and registers as the “MacKinnon’s bride.” Presumed dead at Culloden, Callum MacKinnon, stops by the inn as well, intending to clean up before his return as the prodigal son. Imagine his surprise to discover his “bride to be” has already procured a room. And more—the feisty sassenach everything he never realized he desired.The Earl of Christmas Past by Kerrigan Bryne – A solstice blizzard drives Victorian photographer, Vanessa Latimer, to a crowded Highland Inn where the only available room is haunted by the ghost of a fallen warrior unwilling to give up his side of the bed.The Legend of a Rogue by Darcy Burke – When Tavish Crawford learns treasure hunter Elspeth Marshall is on the trail of his family’s missing legacy, he swears to prevent her at any cost. As nefarious forces threaten them both, he realizes he must not only protect the mystical sword, but the woman who has stolen his heart.The Highlander Who Stole Christmas by Eliza Knight – For eight months, Thane Shaw has patiently waited to enact his revenge against the Campbells, and finally he can’t resist the opportunity that’s presented itself: stealing their most precious treasure for his own—Lady Sarah. From our families to yours, we wish you the very best of the holiday season!
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