Enjoyed all of the stories.
Because I'd read something by most of these authors, I knew this would be a delightful book.
Old Acquaintances (Gayle Buck)
Because of the Christmas season and severe weather, Miss Judith Grantham found herself as hostess to an assortment of travelers. One was a young woman running away from her guardian. The next day, said guardian, in the person of Sir Peregrine Ashford arrives at Judith's home. Ashford just happens to be Judith's one-time fiancee (they were engaged 5 years before this story begins). This is a very interesting tale about second chances.
The Duke's Progress (Edith Layton)
This is an unusual tale; almost all of the story is the character development of Cyril Hampton, Duke of Austell. We only hear of the heroine, Molly Garland, in the later pages, through the eyes of a small boy. Then the story jumps to the conclusion. This is definitely a well-written character study and an interesting plot, but I felt cheated that I did not see more of the couple's interaction.
The Kissing Bough (Patricia Rice)
Because of an accident, Diana Carrington did not receive the goodbye message from Jonathan Drummond, who was on his way to fight against Napoleon. Now, 4 years later, they feel estranged and do not know how to bridge the chasm. It took too long to get to the crux of their problem; otherwise, I enjoyed the banter between the couple.
A Gift of Fortune (Anita Mills)
Christmas finds a group of travelers stranded at an inn that has seen better days. Susannah Byrnes, a destitute widow, her daughter and aunt meet the infamous Earl of Lydesdale there. Together with other members of the stranded, they decide to make a special holiday for Susannah's five year-old daughter.
The Star of Bethlehem (Mary Balogh)
The Earl of Lisle and his wife, Estelle, seem to be fighting more and more often. During one lively row, a valuable ring is tossed without thought. When Estelle meets Nicky, the emaciated chimney-sweep, she asks her husband to help save the child from this dangerous job. When the earl and his wife work together, beautiful things happen.