The first two novellas, brimming with the magic of holiday romance, are worth the price of the book.


Four Christmas-themed novellas by leading historical romance writers that pay homage to beloved holiday films.

In the opening novella, Meet Me in Mayfair by Dare (The Wallflower Wager, 2019, etc.), James, the new Duke of Thorndale, demands payment of Louisa Ward’s father’s debt, which will render the family homeless. Louisa attends a holiday ball hoping to entice a wealthy suitor but attracts the attention of the duke himself, who finds her indifference to him appealing. They have a series of wintry adventures all over London, in the course of which she teaches him the importance of home. An homage to Meet Me in St. Louis, Dare’s irreverent story brings all of the optimism, romance, and wit of that beloved film to a Regency setting. MacLean’s (Brazen and the Beast, 2019, etc.) The Duke of Christmas Present is a second-chance romance wrapped in a Scrooge story. Eben (get it?), Duke of Allryd, is all work and no play. On Christmas Eve, having sent the servants away, he engages in his ritual of getting drunk and trying to forget the night 12 years ago when the love of his life, Lady Jaqueline “Jack” Mosby, left him. Having inherited a nearly bankrupt ducal estate, Eben kept Jack waiting too long for marriage while he rebuilt the family’s wealth. When Jack returns from a decade of world traveling, their intense longing draws them together while past hurts linger. An angst-y winner. In Jordan’s (The Duke’s Stolen Bride, 2019, etc.) Heiress Alone, Annis Ballister is stranded in the Scottish Highlands when her big, boisterous family returns to London without her. The surly, hermitlike Duke of Calder shelters Annis in his castle against brigands during a snowstorm. Soon, the duke is reconsidering his confirmed bachelorhood while Annis' ambition to become a nun melts in the heat of Calder’s rough embrace. Sexy, with a classic gruff Scottish hero who is a bit too pushy. Shupe's (The Rogue of Fifth Avenue, 2019, etc.) Christmas in Central Park finds popular columnist Rose Walker in a bind when her newspaper’s owner, Duke Havermeyer III, asks her to prepare a holiday dinner for the board of directors. Although she poses in print as a Gilded Age Martha Stewart, Rose is single, of modest means, and domestically uninclined. The romance is rushed, but the story is amusing and sweet.

The first two novellas, brimming with the magic of holiday romance, are worth the price of the book.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-296241-6

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...


Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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