Summary (in italics) and Review:
Entangled Publishing presents... A Very Scandalous Holiday Anthology. Four very spirited vignettes of holidays past.
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?
Oh, jazz age - more stories should be set in this time period. I liked this story a lot...up until that last chapter when it was wrapped up too easily and in a hurry. But a raid on a speakeasy and the resulting arrest is the cute meet that makes this historian happy. 3.5 stars.
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.
There were good parts to this book - class distinction was the main obstacle and Rebecca's work as a country doctor was a nice change. However, Andrew was too perfect - he said all the right things, got mad (and then even) with the villain (vanilla villain) and did countless random acts of kindness. He felt artificial to me. Rebecca was a good character, the kids were alright. This book was aptly titled....I felt it went on a little too long for a short story. 3.5 stars.
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.
This was a decent, if underwhelming story that started the book. I liked the story and characters, but it was predictable. I even liked the sex scenes in her and his respective bedchambers - they were emotional and hot, but I found the oral sex scene in the sleigh on their ride in the country a little much for a Regency romance (I could see the oral sex in the jazz age story or the WWII story, not Regency England and not in public place). 3.0 stars
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.
This story is why I picked up the anthology in the first book. A Hanukkah romance story - and a damn fine one at that. Freaking loved this story, and I hate 99.9% of military romances. Ruth is a kick-ass heroine and Joe is no slouch either. The secondary characters are a little under-developed, as the story is so focused on the couple in their private moments celebrating their holiday. And the sex scene was really well done. Seriously, I hope this author/publisher sells the story a part from the anthology so that everyone has the opportunity to read it. Yeah, that is my squeeing over here, don't mind me. 5 stars.
Overall: 3.75 stars (rounded up to 4 stars).
I would recommend on the strength of jazz age and WWII stories; the Regency stories aren't bad, but they don't wow either.