Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: A Very Scandalous Holiday

Title: A Very Scandalous Holiday
Authors: Nancy Fraser, Sophia Garrett, Amber Lin, Crista McHugh
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Release Date: October 14, 2013
Pages: 248
Buy LinkAmazon


Letters at Christmas by Amber Lin
England, late Regency

After three years at sea, Captain Hale Prescott has the means to marry the love of his life and his best friend's sister. Sidony Harbeck, however, might never speak to him again. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter... at least none he ever sent.

Eight Tiny Flames by Crista McHugh
1944 Ardennes, WWII

Lt. Ruth Mencher has always secretly admired Capt. Joseph Klein, but it takes the lighting of a Hanukkah candle to uncover the spark of mutual attraction. Each night awakens a new facet of their relationship, but as the Battle of the Bulge begins, the approaching Nazi forces threaten to tear them apart.

Erin's Gift by Nancy Fraser
Chicago 1920

Widower, Seth Harrison, has no intention of falling in love again but will he be able to resist the sweetness of his son's nanny, Erin O'Mara - his sister's best friend?

An Eternity of You by Sophia Garrett
England 1833

The Duke of Sharrington left Rebecca with more than a broken heart six years ago - he left her with a son. He's rekindled their passion with his return, but it will take a Christmas miracle to earn her heart.


Letters at Christmas
This story didn't really leave an impression on me. For some reason, the story felt so much like young love, even though the characters were all grown up. There wasn't much intensity in the story that led to a good climax. I feel bad that this is the only story I didn't fully enjoy. I did appreciate the fact that Hale sacrificed his life so that he could become worthy of Sidony. That's always an admirable quality for a man. I also liked the risks that they took together ;)

Eight Tiny Flames
Yet another reminder why I love Crista McHugh! This was a story about Hanukkah. Joe was the captain who didn't want anyone to know about his religion because he was afraid it would affect the way people saw him. Ruth, on the other hand, was very into her religion, despite the fact that the Nazis were very close to their location. While I was reading this book, I was tweeting the author about something intense that it made me feel. The word "clutching" somehow touched me when it was referring to a plate of latke that Ruth made for him.

This book had a really good climax! Wow, I was almost crying along with Joe! That's right, Joe was crying, not Ruth ;) I also liked the banter between them. It was admirable how they were able to make light of things despite being in the middle of a war.

R: "You sure this isn't a weight dreidel?" She pretended to inspect it, a playful grin on her face. Satisfied it was a normal wooden toy, she spun it again and asked, "So, what are we playing for?"
J: "You mean besides the vast treasure of pennies?"

J: "How old are you Ruth?"
R: "You know my real name?"
J: "Of course I do."
R: "I don't know--until just now, I was under the impression you thought it was Lieutenant, sir."

Ruth's dedication to her patients was absolutely inspiring. Even when she was injured, she put her patients first before herself. Poor Joe; she's quite a handful when she's determined to help people!

Erin's Gift
I really enjoyed this story! Erin was such an independent woman. She didn't want any handouts; she wanted to work for everything that was given to her. She was also an innocent woman. The first time she got arrested, it was like a domino effect to her job and her living situation. Thankfully, she had a great friend. That same friend happened to have a sexy widowed brother. Oh my!

Seth was a successful lawyer who had a cute son. He was such a responsible and loving father. The attraction was instantaneous between him and Erin. I really enjoyed the inner turmoil they both had when they were around each other.

"He took to fatherhood immediately. There wasn't a day went by that he didn't spend time with Ben. He learned how to change diapers, how to prepare his bottle, and would often read him bedtime stories even when he was too young to understand."

When Erin met Seth's son, Ben, I just fell in love. It was meant to be. They bonded automatically. I also enjoyed the fact that Ben was such a smart and mature kid. I really admire the parents who raise their children by treating them like an adult. There's no excuse for temper tantrums or anything. Anyway, that's another topic for another day ;)

E: "You're spoiling him you know."
S: "Me? Who was the one who insisted he needed even more art supplies when he has an entire box of paper and crayons upstairs?"
E: "They've introduced new colors. The box with the cowboy and horse has thirty-two crayons, eight more than his last set."
S: "Heaven forbid I should stunt my son's artistic growth by denying him an additional eight colors!"

One thing I didn't like about Erin, despite her independence, was the fact that her knees seemed to always go weak around Seth. It made her sound such a sissy. It was quite the oxymoron when you look at the big picture.

An Eternity of You
This story was the start of a new way of looking at status vs. love. First thing I enjoyed was how brave Andrew's daughter, Alice, was. She fell from a tree and she refused to cry. She had so much courage and she was such a fighter. She survived cholera, and I expect she would survive most anything else as well.

Andrew was the new Duke of Sharrington. I loved that he was so devoted to his daughter, but he also had quite a temper when pushed to his limits. I really enjoyed the way he asserted his authority over people, but he did it in a reasonable way, instead of an overbearing, power-hungry way.

Rebecca was the woman who Andrew left when he went to Sussex to tend to his earldom duties. Before then, he had typhus, and Rebecca was the one who nursed him to health. Rebecca had a son, Thomas. Interestingly enough, Thomas knew who his real father was. When he and Alice met, he shared the secret with her. I loved how they just bonded instantly; their young hearts recognizing the kinship that they had.

Alice was not only courageous, but was also wise beyond her years. She was the one who presented a simple solution to her father about the "situation" with Rebecca. It was Christmastime and family should be together. Absolute genius!

Al: "It's Christmas Eve, Daddy. Families belong together."
An: "Miss Rebecca is not family, angel. That is the problem."
Al: "Then make it so."

Overall, I'd say I enjoyed this book. It's worth the read. Make sure to check the authors individually! 


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