Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Carols and Chaos” as Want to Read:
Carols and Chaos
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Carols and Chaos

(Suitors and Sabotage)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  947 ratings  ·  232 reviews
A lady's maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady's maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money
Paperback, 328 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Swoon Reads
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Carols and Chaos, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Bethany (CozyLittleBookNook) I read this and had no idea it had anything to do with another book. And I didn't fill like I was missing anything. so Yes I would say that you can re…moreI read this and had no idea it had anything to do with another book. And I didn't fill like I was missing anything. so Yes I would say that you can read it by it's self.
Bethany (CozyLittleBookNook) PG 13, there is no sex and very little violence, no more then a PG 13 movie.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  947 ratings  ·  232 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Carols and Chaos
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, 2018
DNF at 50%

Honestly, I just couldn't care less for these characters and I was super bored (even through listening to the audiobook), so byeeeeeeee!
I have read Love, Lies, and Spies. I know it was a completely different book, but that was such a hooking story and narration. The amount of love going there was something that gets me to this day. That was why I was hoping for huge improvements over Carols and Chaos.

Carols and Chaos tells the story of a lady’s maid and a valet getting tangled to a coin counterfeiting. It sounds seriously engaging. And swoon worthy!


I can’t help but cringe a lot and feel mortified for the events that jus
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve been a fan of all of Cindy’s books, so I was eager to get to this one.

I liked Kate and Matt. They’re both good and loyal people. I loved the pride in their jobs and ambition for more. There are a lot a lot a lot of other characters in this story and it took me a minute to realize it was a sort of continuation of the previous book.

Plot wise, it was sort of a mess. For me there were too many moving parts, too many repetitive scenes, and not nearly enough dialogue. When Kate are Matt are tog
Amanda Hupe
Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey is a YA holiday audiobook narrated by Fiona Hardingham. I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book– holiday festivities and a counterfeit scheme? Sounds like fun! It is 1817, A lady’s maid, Kate, and valet, Matt are devoted servants working hard during the holiday preparations at Shackleford Park estate. They are both so busy but romance doesn’t care about busy. However, when a footman goes missing, they are both drawn into a dangerous counterfeiting scheme!

Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:

Minor spoilers!


Trigger Warning: None till the point I read.

I have read the author's debut and enjoyed it! I was excited to dive into another book by this author. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it.

The beginning really confused me. For some reason I thought she ran into an employee and not an actual bull. The humor wasn't funny either. I simply lost interest.

I do recommend. This was a personal thing and I have a feeling other's will enjoy it more.
Kay Weston
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Reading this book immediately took me back to all of those hours binge-watching Downton Abbey (gah, I loved that show), I love the upstairs/downstairs drama. At the same time, it reminded me of Pride and Prejudice, specifically the Austen-era, which I also love and so I quickly became engrossed in this sweet story.

The characters are varied and fantastic. Kate is strong-willed, determined and unperturbed by most of the things thrown her way and Matt is the epitome of a true English gentleman.

Kate Darby is looking forward to Christmas of 1817. Shackleford Park is hosting visitors both upstairs and down and they are also hosting a dinner for the staff and their families. Kate has much to do and falling in love is not on the agenda but Mr. Ernest and Ben Steeple bring along their footman, Johnny and handsome valet, Matt Harlow. Matt really liked Kate when they met before and is eager to renew their acquaintance. A romance is frowned upon in Shackleford Park and Matt also has plans for ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For my fellow Downton Abbey and Jane Austen enthusiasts, I could not think of a more perfect book to get you into the holiday spirit. CAROLS AND CHAOS is an absolutely charming story with characters you’ll fall madly in love with and a delicious sprinkling of mystery and adventure.
When I was looking for a holiday listen, I was tickled to see this offered and jumped at the chance for a suspenseful dip into the Regency world below stairs during Yuletide. The gentry are about their revels and so are the servants until a footman goes missing and a fake coin turns up in the nearby market town.

Carols and Chaos turned out to be a follow-up companion novel to Suitors and Sabotage though now the story heads below stairs for a valet and lady's maid to get their own romantic adventu
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
I've pretty much adored all of Cindy Anstey's previous works, and this book was no exception. I wish I'd realized that this was a companion to Suitors and Sabotage, though, so I could have re-read that book first and refamiliarized myself with the lords and ladies above stairs before setting out to solve this caper with characters from below stairs. This was a sweet romance full of Yuletide cheer, while also maintaining and air of mystery, and while it wasn't the most compelling of Anstey's book ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Cindy Anstey wrote a delightful regency romance/mystery. As usual, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted a cozy yule filled read in the lodge and this did the trick!

This could easily be read as a stand alone but is an accompaniment novel to Suitors and Sabotage where we follow the story of two minor characters from the first book. The leads were both likable and unproblematic as was their story which is sometimes hard to find in this type of book. The plot was original and well paced.

Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating 4 Stars

I expected this book to be a cutesy light read with all the mushy, sappy feels but I did not expect it to have less mush and more thrills and dramatics.

Will review more just need to catch up on some other reviews before returning to this one...
Erin Arkin
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Review to come.
andrea ✨
“And then, the Fates produced a miracle. Coming toward him, looking hale, hearty, and lithe, was none other than the love of his life.”

I almost feel like this rating is too generous but I don’t feel like rating it any lower and I don’t know why but????? I guess we can call it the Christmas spirit 😂🙌🏻

This book just wasn’t really anything special to me. The beginning, to start with, seemed really slow to me and for some reason was actually difficult for me to read. I’m not sure if it was just
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs:**Carols and Chaos is a standalone young adult historical fiction by Cindy Anstey. Even though Carols and Chaos can be read as a standalone, it is set in the same time period and world as Cindy's previous novel, Suitors and Sabotage. This is the fourth book I have read by Ms. Anstey and I just adore them all! I know they are all going to be fabulous written and pure fun from start to finish. And Carols and Chaos was no ...more
Book Concierge
Adapted from the book jacket: England, 1817. The chaos of the Yuletide season is in full force at the country estate of Shackleford Park, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her demanding mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are full. Matt Harlow is also busy. He’s performing double duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, who are holiday guests at the estate. Falling in love would be a disast ...more
Kayla Sheppard
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This was EVERYTHING I loved how the two main characters were so equal and nobody felt like the “dominant” or whatever in the relationship. Don’t get me wrong I love a good bad boy romance but this cutesy kind was refreshing
Mortisha Cassavetes
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
I read this book for the TisTheSeasonAThon and it was a interesting read. The book follows a maid named Kate and a valet, Matt and all that is going on in the house that they are employed in. You can feel that they are falling for each other but it is not permitted so lots of secrets. Pile that up with a counterfeiting scheme and a missing footman and you have lots of craziness going on in the house. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it especially during the holiday season.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
It was boring as hell and entirely unoriginal. The plot was guessable and the characters were bland. Not a single character has any sort of growth or development throughout the entire story. I'm honestly upset that I wasted those few hours reading this book.

And the romance . Oh my god, I don't think I've ever read a romance that I was less invested in. The characters had zero chemistry besides the fact that their legs brushed up against each other's once or twice while they were sitting,
Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Well, I'll admit I'm not one who rushes for holiday reads but I decided this year to make a stab at finding some yuletide reads to get me in the spirit. In Carols and Chaos I was expecting a light, frivolous Christmas romp but what I got was much more intrigue than I expected. Think of one those Downton Abbey episodes with a scandalous mystery at it's heart.

Matt and Kate make no bones about it that they like each other, a real smack in the face to the normal romcom tropes that abound these days.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had little to no expectations for this one, I just picked it up because I had bought it to read during Christmas time and after finishing little women was still in the mood for something cosy ☺️.

It was a quick read, I thought the characters were cute. It was just fun. Nothing overly special about the story, and it was definitely a but cheesy, but I don't even care. I had a good time and it was a sweet little story.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
While not actually JAFF, the first 2/3 was basically downstairs JAFF. Or maybe regency Downton Abbey.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
***Review to come***

Morgan Chodzicki
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I was expecting so much more from this book. I feel let down. Both the romance and the action was boring. I was just bored. That's all. ...more
The most fascinating thing about this book is that it was told entirely from the POV of two employees/servants of the upper class.

In a romance novel that shouldn't be the thing I enjoyed the most.

The plot was all over the place, dialogue was choppy, and both the action scenes and the romantic relationship were not really believable.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Do you love lighter, romance stories? Well look no further because this one will be great for your Holiday TBR!

This book completely reminded me of those Hallmark movies with the love/hate relationships that slowly turn into a swooning moment. You could tell that something was going to happen, but you’ll definitely wait for the big build up.

The characters were a little typical for the plot line, but you couldn’t help but indulge in this forbidden attraction. The scandalous moments coupled with my
Emmi Rose  (emmirosereads)
Nov 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: one-stars
Yeah, I did not like this one at all. 😬 I would have DNFd if I hadn't been buddy reading this with someone.

For the most part it was just extremely boring to me. Like that's my first and biggest complaint. When things did happen I just found I could care less. It felt way too over dramatic for the circumstances and just put there last minute. The whole book really just felt like it wasn't thought out very well. Like those Wattpad stories or fanfictions where they know the general idea but are wri
Samantha Hastings
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly a holiday treat! I loved it from the first chapter with the bull.

What I loved🎩❤️🎩:
1. The main character’s were servants and they were complex and interesting people, not simply place holders for their employers.
2. The mystery, counterfeit coins and a missing footman...I had an inkling but I guessed only one thing right and that’s rare for me. I’m usually a much better guesser 😉
3. Kate is a pretty, smart, and determined young lady who is working hard to make her dreams come tru
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
When it comes to seasonal fiction, the right book can be the best kind of fun to read. Then there are those books that sit on ones shelf for way too long before finally you pick them up and hope they’re stellar reads. As I began to read Carols and Chaos, I didn’t know if I’d write about it, but the more I read, the more I realized this underrated (??) little novel deserves a fangirl moment.

This is why today I share a few reasons you too might enjoy this novel from author, Cindy Antsey.

Enjoy ‘C
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Carols and Chaos / Cindy Anstey - 3*** 1 8 May 11, 2019 07:29PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance
  • The Afterlife of Holly Chase
  • These Vengeful Souls (These Vicious Masks, #3)
  • A Holiday by Gaslight
  • All Is Fair
  • All I Want for Christmas
  • Together at Midnight
  • The Princess Game (Faraway Collection)
  • Mr. Malcolm's List
  • To Have and to Hoax
  • Her Silent Knight  (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair #1)
  • #AllIWantForChristmas (#BestFriendsForever, #4.5)
  • We Met in December
  • Court of Swans (The Dericott Tales, #1)
  • A Pho Love Story
  • Holly's Christmas Countdown
  • These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks, #2)
  • Harbor for the Nightingale (Stranje House, #4)
See similar books…
Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, painting, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found--actually, not found--adventuring around the province with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals and enjoyed the jazz of Beale St.

Cindy loves history, mystery and... a chocolate Labrador called Chester. The H

Other books in the series

Suitors and Sabotage (2 books)
  • Suitors and Sabotage

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
58 likes · 30 comments
“Prudent and practical, rational and restrained - all excellent sentiments. Though discreet and careful could be another approach.” 1 likes
“... her gaze was focused on Mrs. Lundy, who stood nearby with a tray of oil, salt and wine. They would be used to anoint the chosen log before it was unhitched and the farmhands carried it into the manor. While coal was used to heat the rest of the Park, the large hearth in the grand hall entrance had been built for this express purpose. Mrs. Beeswanger said that sentiment and prudence insisted on a place suitable for the luck-bearing Yule log. An instrument that consumed mistakes and bad choices could not be overlooked.” 0 likes
More quotes…