This is a really good book. It celebrates the joys of Christmas in Regency England, with five new stories by some of the most beloved Regency authors. Ringing in the season with fireside warmth, holiday wishes, and romance, these stories capture the essence of Christmas.
A noisy magpie, the memory of a kiss, a confirmed batchelor, a pair of newlyweds and a down at the heels benefactor make this book worth reading.
This is a mixed bag of Christmas stories.
The Lucky Coin -- Barbara Metzger
Bad luck and Adam Standish were becoming life-long friends. One day, an elderly man gives Adam a special coin and things begin to happen. This story left me cold; it did not speak to me at all.
Following Yonder Star -- Emma Jensen
Gareth left Alice Ashe years ago but decides to go home for Christmas. Alice is surprised by his sudden appearance. Both begin to realize that feelings are still there. This one was a sleeper the author spoke so well about emotions that it developed into a more powerful novella.
Merry Magpie -- by Sandra Heath
Charlie Neville's marriage collapsed because of a bird specifically, his wife's aunt's feathered friend. It is several years later and Charlie comes back to try to renew his relationship with his wife, Juliet. This story is about second chances. I felt this one was for the birds.
Best Wishes -- Edith Layton
Newlyweds Pamela and Jonathan find themselves at conflict about their Christmas plans. Each is doomed to misery during Christmas with their spouse's relatives. During the season, each partner learns something about their in-laws and themselves. Meh.
Let Nothing You Dismay Carla Kelly
Cecilia Ambrose accompanies one of her students (Lucinda) home. Although she is expecting to leave, Lucinda's Uncle Trevor begs her to stay. Lucinda's parents have been called away for an emergency and Uncle Trevor is in charge of the children.
Trevor, a loving and intelligent barrister, has a secret that brings him to a low point each Christmas. Cecelia eventually learns his secret and helps him accept what he cannot change. She also helps Trevor look at the wonderful work he does as a child's advocate with new eyes. This is the most powerful story of the book; I expect to reread it many times.