!!> Read ➵ Gift-Wrapped Governess: Christmas at Blackhaven Castle / Governess to Christmas Bride / Duchess by Christmas ➹ Author Sophia James – Snackgo.co.uk

Gift-Wrapped Governess: Christmas at Blackhaven Castle / Governess to Christmas Bride / Duchess by Christmas Christmas At Blackhaven Castle By Sophia JamesIn Disguise, Penniless Lady Seraphina Moreton Seeks Sanctuary At The Duke Of Blackhaven S Castle Just Days Before Christmas Trey Swore Never Again To Be Beguiled By A Beautiful Face, But As Governess Seraphina Gets Close To His Unruly, Motherless Children, He Wants The Festive Joy She Brings To Stay Well Beyond Christmas Day Governess To Christmas Bride By Annie BurrowsLord Chepstow Hasn T Seen Honeysuckle Miller Since She Was A Plain, Awkward Schoolgirl Now She S Not So Plain And Is Looking After The Host S Children At A Lavish Christmas House Party And The Last Thing Lord Chepstow Expected To Want On His Christmas List Is The Prim Governess Duchess By Christmas By Marguerite KayeMasquerading As A Governess To Help The Brooding Duke Of Blair Find A Wife Is Not How Regan Stuart Expected To Spend Christmas Then He Steals An Unexpected Kiss, Endangering Regan S Heartunless Gabriel Can See Beyond Her Dowdy Costume And Realize She S His Perfect Christmas Bride This was an average collection of short stories about governesses falling in love during Christmas I found this to a large uninspiring collection, and all of the stories had some pretty flaws in them.Christmas at Blackhaven Castle by Sophia James 2 starsLady Seraphina Moreton is on the run and disguises herself as a governess Right before Christmas, she is hired by the Duke of Blackhaven to act as governess for his three sons Blackhaven is a widower of some years, and his wife cheated on hi This was an average collection of short stories about governesses falling in love during Christmas I found this to a large uninspiring collection, and all of the stories had some pretty flaws in them.Christmas at Blackhaven Castle by Sophia James 2 starsLady Seraphina Moreton is on the run and disguises herself as a governess Right before Christmas, she is hired by the Duke of Blackhaven to act as governess for his three sons Blackhaven is a widower of some years, and his wife cheated on him repeatedly His sons, particularly his middle child, have some issues relating to their mother s death, and have scared away all their previous governesses Blackhaven isn t sure Seraphina is up to the job but has no other choice However, he quickly realizes that his governess isn t all that she seems, and over the course of Christmas, Seraphina helps the duke s heal and falls in love with the man.So this was an ok story, but I had a couple of big issues with it One of my big issues is with Blackhaven s wife view spoiler She repeatedly cheated on him and died after getting sick coming back from a tryst I don t really like what the hero s first wife cheats all over the place, and all he does is act sad I guess I just have difficulty respecting him when that happens Also, his youngest son isn t actually his, and I also don t care for it when the hero is raising a kid that isn t his because of cheating I just don t care for it Others may be fine with it, but it s not my cup of tea Also, I had an issue with the fact that the first wife is vilified for her cheating, but Seraphina s mom had an affair with Blackhaven s cousin, and that was ok because they were in love Seraphina s parents weren t in love It just seemed like a massive double standard hide spoiler Seraphina s problems are all resolved off screen with just a quick mention in the epilogue, so I wish there had beenresolution on that front I also felt that Terence s problems were solved too quickly He hasn t spoken in years, and then Seraphina shows up, and he s speaking again immediately I know it was a novella, so there s not a lot of page space, but I think James just had too much going on in this story The actual relationship between Seraphina and Blackhaven was sweet, but I had so many other issues that I can t rate this higher.Governess to Christmas Bride by Annie Burrows 3 starsLord Chepstow is on the run from marriage His friend, Lord Havelock, has recently decided he needs to get married, and Chepstow wants none of that, so he leaves town to partake in a Christmas house party The governess of his host s children happens to be his sister s old friend, Honeysuckle Miller Despite not actually liking her, Chepstow decides to check in on her, and over the course of the party, the two of them realize thatthan simple hatred lies between them.This story was actually the reason why I picked up this anthology because I liked Havelock s story I liked this one better than the first story in this anthology Enemies to lovers is always a fun trope, and this was a well written example of it, and I liked the sexual tension between the two of them However, Chepstow wasn t redeemed enough for me His big flaw, as pointed out to him repeatedly by Honeysuckle, is that he doesn t stop and think about other people He just does things without worrying how they impact other people, and I don t think that that flaw was ever really fixed Yes, he was there for Honeysuckle, but I m not sure his bigger problem of thinking only about himself was ever really fixed, nor can be He s a bit too dickish for me view spoiler I also questioned the event that led to Honeysuckle getting fired A woman who wants to get with Chepstow goes up to the empty schoolroom in the middle of the night and catches Chepstow and Honeysuckle kissing I just don t understand why she went up there, and it felt like a plothole to me.Duchess by Christmas by Marguerite Kaye 3 starsRegan Stuart and Gabriel, Duke of Blair were childhood best friends However, when her father, Gabriel s father s steward, dies, she has to leave Blair Hall Her mother eventually remarries, but after her mother and stepfather die, Regan is left to raise her younger half siblings When Gabriel reaches out to her for the first time in years and invites her to Christmas, Regan wonders if her life might be turning itself around However, once she gets to Blair, she discovers that Gabriel just wants her siblings to pose as his new wards and for her to act as their governess, so he can see how his potential wives react to children Regan is upset but agrees However, over the course of Christmas, Gabriel finds himself focusingon his former friend than his potentials and questions what he really wants.This was a good story dragged down by another jerk hero Gabriel and Regan were supposed to be friends, but he never even reached out to her and offered his condolences to her when her father died She just leaves, and the next time he contacts her, it s when he needs something from her He just seemed like a flake to me, and it was also rude of him to invite Regan to his home and then spring on her that actually, he needs her to pretend to be a governess and help him choose a wife I liked the actual progression of the romance, but I hated Gabriel, so I just couldn t really get into it.I don t think I can really recommend this collection None of the stories are really good, and only one of them is really a governess story Two of them are just about women pretending to be governesses If you have nothing else to read, this isn t bad, but there s better out there hide spoiler Three stories in one book I wasn t really crazy about the three of them Christmas at Blackhaven Castle 3 stars probably the best of the three But it was just okay Nothing for me to get excited about, but it wasn t completely lacking, either Governess to Christmas Bride 1 star Honeysuckle Miller is basically a school teacher and Lord Chestow arrives to insult her and lecture her on how to discipline children As a former school teacher, myself, I was appalled by this male character tel Three stories in one book I wasn t really crazy about the three of them Christmas at Blackhaven Castle 3 stars probably the best of the three But it was just okay Nothing for me to get excited about, but it wasn t completely lacking, either Governess to Christmas Bride 1 star Honeysuckle Miller is basically a school teacher and Lord Chestow arrives to insult her and lecture her on how to discipline children As a former school teacher, myself, I was appalled by this male character telling a school teacher on how to discipline boys by using corporal punishment, and then she had the nerve to feel chastised by this man who had no experience in the classroom himself Kind of like legislators who have no teaching experience but make laws regarding teacher rather irks me Then this Lord Chestow starts quoting Bible verses as the authority in corporal punishment I was appalled by this author s ideas And then Miss Miller is suddenly attracted to him soon after he mocks and lectures her I would have been livid by his disrespect Not only this, but soon after he has the gall to disrespect her in this manner, he reduces her character even further by viewing her as a mere sex object The author writes, If he stood here staring at her bottom for very much longer, he would be saluting her with somethingtangible than an imaginary sword, soon after he lectured her about corporal punishment being the correct way to handle boys Throughout the rest of the story, Lord Chestow continues to act like an arrogant, immature jerk and only out for himself He continues to tease and mock Miss Miller He is not the type of man I would personally ever want as a suitor Duchess by Christmas 2 stars The male character in this story is just as bad as the one in Governess to Christmas Bride Regan arrives at the home of childhood friend Duke of Blair with her 3 half siblings for the Christmas holiday But he has decided that, in order to impress 3 potential bride choices for himself, he wants Regan to act in the role of governess to her 3 siblings His mother, who always has had a horrible attitude towards Regan, also treats Regan with disdain and disrespect Gabriel the Duke of Blair never takes Regan s feelings into account He is another arrogant jerk who is only concerned with himself and his future prospects, never about what Regan wants Good stories In the first, I liked the way that Trey immediately saw that Seraphina was in need of his help It didn t take him long to fall for her In the second, I wasn t very impressed with Lord Chepstow He was too heedless of how his actions affected others, though he was getting better by the end of the story In the third, the Duke was pretty cold blooded in the way he was searching for a bride I did like the way that he treated the children, and that he soon saw that he wouldn t be ha Good stories In the first, I liked the way that Trey immediately saw that Seraphina was in need of his help It didn t take him long to fall for her In the second, I wasn t very impressed with Lord Chepstow He was too heedless of how his actions affected others, though he was getting better by the end of the story In the third, the Duke was pretty cold blooded in the way he was searching for a bride I did like the way that he treated the children, and that he soon saw that he wouldn t be happy with anyone except Regan I found this set of novellas while I was looking for 2 in a series of books by Annie Burrows The novella Governess to Christmas bride tells the story of Lord Chepstow who played a role in the beginning of the first book in the series Lord Harclock s list The thought of a helping his friend find a wife sends him fleeing to the country and of course he finds his own love Well written and a cute story Really want the protagonist to get her come uppance though That probably would have been a I found this set of novellas while I was looking for 2 in a series of books by Annie Burrows The novella Governess to Christmas bride tells the story of Lord Chepstow who played a role in the beginning of the first book in the series Lord Harclock s list The thought of a helping his friend find a wife sends him fleeing to the country and of course he finds his own love Well written and a cute story Really want the protagonist to get her come uppance though That probably would have been a longer book.The Annie Burrows series I mentioned is 1 Lord Harclock s list 2 Governess to Christmas bride 3 The debutantes daring proposal.Pleasantly surprised with the Duchess by Christmas Good character depth and felt really drawn to both the hero and heroine Christmas at Blackhaven was very sweet Very feel good both heroine and hero had gone through struggles Christmas at Blackhaven Castle Sophia James Lawd, but this story was terrible Not only was it shallow and silly, but what, exactly, was the point of setting it in the 1810s If you re not going to play within the societal bounds of your chosen time period, then why choose it at all That was bad enough, but this story contained a lot of my squicks, including a major power imbalance and a creepy age difference The heroine spends half the story thinking that the hero was once her mother s lo Christmas at Blackhaven Castle Sophia James Lawd, but this story was terrible Not only was it shallow and silly, but what, exactly, was the point of setting it in the 1810s If you re not going to play within the societal bounds of your chosen time period, then why choose it at all That was bad enough, but this story contained a lot of my squicks, including a major power imbalance and a creepy age difference The heroine spends half the story thinking that the hero was once her mother s lover, and the other half wanting him to be her lover Ugh, gross That, plus the employer employee power differential, was too much Do not want Governess to Christmas Bride Annie Burrows Ms Burrows is one of my auto read authors, and for the most part, I really enjoyed this story The hero and heroine had known each other since they were children the heroine is the hero s sister s BFF , though they hadn t always gotten along The heroine is very prickly for good reason, mind , and for some reason, this time, the hero is turned on by it instead of off He takes advantage of her position as the household governess and with his kisses his compromises her reputation, managing to get her thrown out into a storm before Christmas He runs off gallantly after her, but he doesn t really take no or any of her protestations seriously, which was my major problem with this story I don t like a hero who takes no to mean yes , even when he has the best of intentions towards his heroine She is her own person, after all, and deserves to have a say in her future I think the truncated nature of the novella hurts this story, because everything happens so fast that it s hard to feel the love that both main characters proclaim.Duchess by Christmas Marguerite Kaye The best of the bunch by a far margin, though not without some niggles The heroine and the hero are childhood friends who grew up together heroine as the steward s daughter, hero as the heir to a ducal estate When her father died, her family moved away, and the pair lost touch 12 years later, the hero contacts the heroine and asks for her help to select an appropriate bride, one who will be a good mother to his future children His own childhood was abject misery and he s determined that his children when havethan he did The heroine, with her 3 half siblings, present the perfect ready made family of distant cousins on which to try out the potential brides Meanwhile, the hero and the heroine are reconnecting and remembering their childhood friendship, along with a very adult attraction that has now sprung up between them, and each agonize over their attraction, given that he is supposed to be choosing a different bride.This story definitely had the most developed characters both main and supporting cast , and it was the most entertaining to read The children were adorable the potential brides each had distinct personalities and weren t all horrible harpies to the children or the heroine, who was posing as her siblings governess I like it when characters have some depth and shades of gray to them.The ending is predictable, but sweet I thought the sex scene was extraneous and actually spoiled the romance with lust, and made it seem like they had to marry, even though that s not how it played out in the end I m glad there was not Grand Romantic Gesture, though the dialogue during the marriage proposal scene was a bit OTT.Either way, it was a very pleasant way to spend Christmas afternoon, and I m always happy to add another story by Ms Kaye to my read pile Enjoyable fluff to get romance readers in the mood for Christmas I don t have much else to say besides I enjoyed it some of the thoughts themes were interesting, but when 3 stories share the space one novel would normally take up there s not all that much room for surprises That s part of the charm though simple plots that would be stretched thin in a longer book, but that were enjoyable in shorter stories. Governess to Christmas Bride Forgettable, although it is hard to set up HEA in a short story I liked how the characters of both hero and heroine are improved by the other Was a bit surprised by use of the L word, as I had actually quite enjoyed that they were acting on the potential for love. Gift Wrapped Governesses contains three long short stories all with a Christmas and Regency romantic theme.These are easy reads and would make an ideal seasonal gift for fans of the genre. Ridiculous instant love short stories but great fun.


About the Author: Sophia James

Georgette Heyer novels formed Sophia James s reading tastes as a teenager lying in the sun on her grandmother s porch overlooking a wild west coast beach.Her writing life, however, started in Bilbao, Spain After having three wisdom teeth extracted she was given a pile of Mills and Boons filled with strong painkillers she imagined that she could pen one, too.Many drafts later she thinks she has the perfect job writing for Harlequin Historical as well as taking art tours to Europe with her husband who is a painter.Three almost grown up children, lots of pets and house renovations that are never quite finished complete the equation.


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