Estara's Reviews > Carla Kelly's Christmas Collection

Carla Kelly's Christmas Collection by Carla Kelly
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's review
Nov 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ebook, read-in-2011
Recommended for: fans of the author and Christmas shorts
Read from November 26 to 27, 2011 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** If you like Carla Kelly's usual regencies, you'll like these fifty page novelettes taken from various Christmas anthologies and republished here as well.

She always has the gift of interesting characters and situations and you can see this here as well. I also totally love the design for the cover - Kelly really got a gifted designer for her re-releases - vis Marian's Christmas Wish, a standalone novel re-release for Kindle.

“The Christmas Ornament" - we have a truly bright woman who - most realistically for the times - has no chance of finding a suitor who will accept her opinions and brightness (except if he can mold her like Pygmalion) and a very shy, very bookish young aristocrat at Oxford who has never dared think about a family but would like to please his father and an old family friend. The question is - will he be able to seriously please the girl and manage to overcome his own preconceptions?

“Make a Joyful Noise” - this was just lovely and warm. There's a marquis returned from war, always earnest he has been working side by side with his tenants, taking care of the crops and his two children. His mother would like this year's choir competition to be decided in favour of their parish, but there are no good singers in the local flock.
When an urgent call to her daughter's family leaves the choir competition in the hands of her son, he uses his systematic approach to heavily salt the local parish with great singers, acquiring further helpers for his lands (how fortunate the Welsh fusiliers are mostly unemployed now the war is over) - and save a lovely and incredibly pregnant young widow from utter negligence by her dead husband's uppity family. The hero is humble. It totally works.

An Object of Charity is probably the darkest story in the anthology, both hero and heroine are at the emotional end of their ropes, and the way the hero got there makes him deeply suspicious of his family at Christmas time, too.
There is a happy end for both, of course, but not an unqualified one. They - and the heroine's younger brother - will move to the USA, maybe taking one other of the family along...

“The Three Kings” is more of an escape caper across enemy lines in the Napoleonic Wars than anything else, clearly showing the desperation of the times and the problem of negligence and prejudice among the soldiers. A nice twist is that the Spanish are the heroes in this book, and with the trial by fire heroine and hero go through it is believable that the two find a deep understanding and respect and tenderness for one another, with the possibility to develop into more - the heroine certainly takes the gamble of returning to the hero in the midst of the war again after having reached safety herself.
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12/22/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Li (new) - rated it 4 stars

Li I haven't seen this before - am definitely getting it!

Estara I think this and Marian's Christmas Wish were only re-released on Kindle in November? Or at the end of October? Something like that.

I can definitely recommend these 200 pages - the stories work even at their short lengths.

message 3: by Katharine (new) - added it

Katharine Kimbriel Looks like fun! I haven't sprung for any Kindle books yet, being sparse of purse and having no Kindle, but I might just pick this one up. Thanks for reviewing it.

Estara Technically you could read them on your monitor, because there is a Kindle for PC software, but actually... I strip the drm from the books with the help of Calibre and a suitable plugin and then convert them to .epub to read on my Sony (.prc is only a wrapper for .mobi).

And some writers only upload their independently released books on, so it's not as if I could get them somewhere else.

message 5: by Katharine (new) - added it

Katharine Kimbriel I'm trying to avoid staring at the same monitor in the same place, but I do have Calibre. Planning to buy a new laptop this season, so I can do my reading in my reading chair!

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