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The Last Chance Christmas Ball

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,291 ratings  ·  260 reviews
Christmas 1815.

Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Abbey is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year…

A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering
Paperback, 392 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Kensington
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Mary - Buried Under Romance
Detailed review to come.

Looovely Christmas anthology by some of my favorite authors.

Joanna Bourne's My True Love Hath My Heart is an intrigued-filled tale of two people who've met, sparred, and danced with each other from Europe to the household of Lady Holly. 4.5 stars

Patricia Rice's Christmas Larks is a tale of a baron who came back from war, wounded (highwaymen, not war), and in need of the warmth of a house that is soon to be used for his childhood friend's orphanage. On his road to recove
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
The Last Chance Christmas Ball was just that. It was the opportunity for Lady Holly, the Dowager Countess of Holbourne, to act as a matchmaker and bring couples together. There is a prologue; be sure and not skip it.

The romances were pleasant, some better than others. It gave me the opportunity to discover a few new-to-me authors. I have read so many positive comments about Joanna Bourne's Spymaster series and found myself enjoying her style of writing with My True Love Hath My Heart. I liked P
An ok read- nothing special. Maybe I am expecting too much from several very short novellas. And I am not a HUGE fan of second-chance romances, tbh.
Joanna Bourne: had to be about "spies" and very international, of course! I liked this one- interested in the heroine's character (she was a jeweller based in Switzerland) and the hero was very likeable.
Susan King: Did not like this one so much. The hero too easily forgot about the heroine (he did not fight for her) and she still loved him after so
Dec 25, 2018 rated it liked it
A series of Christmas stories by different authors linked together by a Christmas ball. Most of the stories are lovely a inject lots of Christmas spirit.
The Last Chance Christmas Ball is a 2015 Kensington Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Every year, countless new Christmas and holiday themed romance novels are released, and a good portion of them are anthologies. I always enjoy these short, heartwarming tales, and the sampling of stories from various authors. But, it has been a very long time since I've seen an anthology packed with stories written by so many talente
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Lady Holly's 50th "Last Chance" Christmas Ball is upon us! She invites anyone with 2 legs and a willingness for drama, and frequently mentions that for many, this ball is the "last chance" they'll get for happy ever after. ...except, not really, since only 2 of these stories have anything to do with 'spinster-esque' women. Everyone else is reuniting with former paramours, or already married. THIS IS DISAPPOINTING FOR ME.

Another thing that bothered me in retrospect is that Bourne's My True Love
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
About this time every year since 2005, I have mourned the fact that no new Signet Regency Christmas anthology would be added to my collection to read and reread. This year that mourning was lightened by The Last Chance Christmas Ball, a collection of connected Christmas novellas that includes stories from some of the authors who wrote for those anthologies-- Jo Beverley, Andrea Pickens (aka Cara Elliott), Mary Jo Putney, and Patricia Rice—and their Word Wench sisters—Joanna Bourne, Nicola Cornic ...more
This is a unique anthology for me in that the stories are all written by different authors, but they are all connected by time and place, a Christmas Ball in the Regency Period. Most of the stories parallel each other and some even weave in connected story lines. I look forward to these which are mostly new to me writers and look to offer delicious holiday historical romance. I'll do a mini-review on each story separately.

Prologue by Jo Beverley
A nice little intro to Lady Holly and her companio
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it

My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne - This is a second chance romance involving a jewelry maker and a nobleman. She doesn't think she is worthy but when he aids her in seeking revenge he may just get a second chance. A sweet story that offered interesting side stories as well.
A Scottish Carol by Susan King-offered a  second chance romance between a widowed woman and a wounded college professor.  Henry was a student to Clary's father the doctor. When he asked permission for her hand
Loved this so much. Such a sweet, fun series of Christmas stories. I really enjoyed how all the individual stories worked together and built upon one another. So much fun.
Este libro es una selección de 8 novelas todas con el denominador común del baile navideño de la “Última Oportunidad”.
Soy fan de las historias cortas o novelas, me encantan porque tienen todo lo bueno de las novelas pero van al grano y me ahorran la angustia y todos los rodeos que hacen dar a los protagonistas antes de acabar juntos. Pero en este caso no ha sido así.
He encontrado, en general, todas las historias demasiado apresuradas. Se pierde tiempo (que no tienen) en detalles banales en vez d
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Christmas anthology with stories loosely linked together into a single narrative. Although not all of the same quality, the overall effect is quite charming.

It is almost Christmas of 1815 and Holbourne Abbey’s hostess in keeping up with 50 year old tradition is busy organizing a Christmas ball. The ball is to provide a last chance to find true love before the New Year…

Prolog written by Joe Beverly gives us an opportunity to meet the hostess of the upcoming event and her companion. The ladies ar
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
After reading and really enjoying Christmas Roses, which was a shorter anthology with Mary Jo Putney, Patricia Rice, and Susan King, I was ecstatic when the details for this was released. Sadly, this was disappointing.

The Last Chance Christmas Ball suffered from too much of a good thing. There were so many authors included that the page count allotted for each was too small to allow any of the authors to develop a compelling story. In most cases (6 of the 8), the authors recognized they had limi
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Overall, I would have to say that this had too many stories in it. Because there were so many, 7, they were in fact too short. Yes, I know they were supposed to be "short stories", but the authors didn't have a chance to really develop the characters.

In the first 5 of them, the leads already knew and had loved each other, so it was just a case of - "I've always loved you, now I'm back, let's get married" - no romance. The last two were my favorite because I at least got to see/feel th
My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne

A longtime love is rekindled, with a chance to strike at injustice, a future to determine and jewelry theft thrown in for good measure.

Claire, daughter of a Swiss jeweler and talented jeweler in her own right, is masquerading as a maid at a Christmas house party. She is determined to get revenge on a man who cheated her and damaged her reputation as an artisan. Nick is an English nobleman who spends his time traveling throughout Europe, doing work for t
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Fiona Marsden
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had this as my phone read. Something to pick up when I'm waiting in doctors and orthodontists waiting rooms or picking up kids. It worked well because of the short format of each of the stories but it took several weeks so I have to think hard about the earlier ones.

The stories are:
(Prologue by Jo Beverley)
This was a nice setup for the stories and an introduction to the Dowager Countess of Holbourne who has been holding this Christmas Ball for fifty years. We also meet Clio Finch who appears i
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
3.5 stars. When they work well, I love shared anthologies where each author writes about the same event or time period from a different perspective. Unfortunately, The Last Chance Christmas Ball struggles with internal consistency, enough so that I found myself rolling my eyes on more than one occasion.

Individually, many of the stories are charming. Several of them are very good indeed, which is why I added the half-star. A few contain historical inaccuracies (a pet peeve of mine), but my bigge
Nov 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I can usually power through an anthology, but stopped reading this at 25 percent. The first story was boring beyond belief and then I skipped around and realized that none of the other stories looked interesting either. It didn't help that I had to keep going back to the intro in the book to look up people that were appearing in the other stories. I tried really hard to get into them, but just said forget it, and moved on at 25 percent.

The only thing I thought was a smart idea is that all of th
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
3.5 stars. So, I really quite liked a lot of these. I mean, it's not spectacular, but I admit, I really like the conceit of this - multiple people falling in love at/on the way to the same ball, one organized by the matchmaking Lady Holly. I kind of wonder if the people who wrote ones where they make it to the ball had some sort of storyboard of events and details, because I was impressed by how many details were consistent (e.g. the decoration in Lady Holly's rooms). Surprisingly, the short sto ...more
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
These short stories were pretty boring. I was surprised at how long they felt even though the stories were "short". It lacked energy, drama and intensity. It was a long 13 hrs on audio.
1.75 stars average rating. This anthology surprised me. Not only were there no intimate scenes (any were fade to black), which I️ really appreciated since shorts don’t have space to waste on those, but many of the stories themselves were interesting and well developed. I’ve discovered some new to me HR authors and am eager to dig into the back logs.

My True Love Hath My Heart (Joanna Bourne)- 2.5 stars. This was surprisingly interesting for a short. Decent background story equals no eye roll ind
Stephanie (Jump)
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this set, but after reading them I have a lukewarm feeling at best for most of the stories. The Last Chance Christmas Ball stories are about characters who are invited to this ball for supposedly a last chance at love, or perhaps a chance of redemption of love, set over Christmas period. Not a bad premise for a theme, but when the first 6 of 8 stories are all set with main characters who already know each other from the past, and have already fallen in love before with each othe ...more
Marythios (AkaSusanne )
This has many short novella's stuffed into on volume. It is a good way to learn about some authors that I have not read before. This had some really good Christmas stories in it. The down side it that many of the stories did not develop as well as they could have because so many authors participated and so much space is alloted for them to spin a tale.

It is almost Christmas of 1815 and Holbourne Abbey’s hostess in keeping up with 50 year old tradition is busy organizing a Christmas ball. The bal
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hf-england
It's a wonder how so many accomplished authors could end up making so underwhelming a book. That's precisely the problem it suffers from- too many stars, too limited a space and therefore, a revert to formulaic ways. None of the authors were given enough breadth to bring any of the stories to life. There's no romance, no magic in these Christmas-time tales, just a picking-up-where-they-left-off scenario that wearies the reader.
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first three and the last story I liked the most!
The Last Chance Christmas Ball is different than any other anthology I’ve read before in that all of the stories take place centered around the same Christmas Ball. I really enjoyed how all the stories connected, even if I didn’t enjoy all of the stories themselves. If I were to recommend this anthology, I would say skip the first three stories, but as a whole it’s a good anthology.

Overall Average: 3.25 Stars

My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne - 2 Stars

The premise of this story was a goo
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Started reading and it got to be a little boring for me. DNF but what I read I gave it 2-stars. I will try to re-read it again probably in the new year.
Sandi aka Maudley
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hist-rom
Wonderfully charming series of romances written by some of my favorite authors.
There was one good story in this book, a couple of okay ones, and a few stinkers. I am glad I didn't have to pay for it.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 23, 2015 05:41PM  

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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born on 1946 in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very com

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