Mischief and Mistletoe

. October 2012. 320p. 978-1-42012-486-6. 15.
Overflowing with all the trappings of a Regency Christmas, this lively octet of “wench-rich” short stories from the Word Wenches (of the popular blog) is sure to put historical fans in a holiday mood. A vicar’s daughter sets out to break through a returning soldier’s reserve by disguising herself as a tavern wench in Putney’s “She Stoops to Wenchdom”; an unconventional miss is determined to keep the fun-loving man she adores from falling victim to a way-too-proper young lady in Jo Beverley’s “Miss Brockhurst’s Christmas Campaign”; a snowstorm strands a spy and the reluctant lady he’s been pursuing in Joanna Bourne’s “Intrigue and Mistletoe”; a case of mistaken identity has romantic results in Patricia Rice’s “Wench in Wonderland”; a carriage “accident” one snowy night in Wales reconnects a young lord with the woman who refused him four years earlier in Nicola Cornick’s “On a Wicked Winter’s Night”; a spirited American seafaring miss and a stiff British diplomat battle storms and danger along the Cornish coast in Cara Elliott’s “Weathering the Storm”; a destitute young woman is mistaken for a gentleman’s intended bride in Anne Gracie’s “The Mistletoe Bride”; and a Highland lass from a whisky-running family attracts the interest of the new laird and sheriff in Susan King’s “A Wilder Wench.”
VERDICT Touching, gently funny, satisfying, and short enough to be read in one sitting, each story in this delectable anthology is a holiday treat.

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