Star of Light: A Historical Romance Collection #2

Paula Quinn, Mary Lancaster, Hildie McQueen, Maggi Andersen, Maeve Greyson, Emily Royal, Sandra Sookoo, Charlotte Wren,
Mia Pride, Lynne Connolly, Melanie Rose Clarke, Rachel Ann Smith, Elizabeth Johns

ANTHOLOGY: This anthology contains 13 novellas, each written by a different author. Each story is based upon a well-known Christmas carol, and each storyline adds an unexpected layer of meaning to that particular carol. The authors bring the music to life in a variety of ways, and with varying degrees of success. The ratings for individual stories range from a 3 to a 5, with most falling somewhere in between those two numbers, and the steam rating varies from 1 to 5. “Love’s Charity” is an absolutely beautiful story—both in the way it is written and in the underlying message that remains after the story is over. On the other hand, “Echo of a Forbidden Kiss” contains significant misspellings and is somewhat less believable: for example, the hero travels forward in time from 1724 to 2019, yet recognizes the Eiffel Tower, which was built in 1887, all after being invited to room in an apartment in NYC with two single girls he just met…

Each story is short, yet the authors convey the message without excess verbiage. There are some insta-love stories included, as well as stories of long-suffering, unrequited love that eventually find resolution. There are some delightfully original takes on several of the carols, with an especially noteworthy one at the very end of the book chronicling “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. This author obviously did background research on this song  and weaves it masterfully into this heartwarming story of fresh starts. Mostly innocent deception is at the heart of “Winter in a Regency Wonderland,” which is another bright spot in this anthology. The theme of redemption is strong in “How to Save a Knight,” featuring a heartbroken hero and a misunderstood heroine who finally find peace with each other. Another beautifully rendered, heartwarming story is “All I Want for Christmas is My Hart”, which features a scarred hero who is pulling away from his beautiful wife because he doesn’t feel lovable.

Carey Sullivan