cover image A Hopeful Christmas

A Hopeful Christmas

Sian Ann Bessey, et al. Covenant Communications, $17.99 trade paper (372p) ISBN 978-1-5244-1346-0

Secret benefactors, family feuds, and misunderstandings animate this heartwarming anthology of four Christmas-themed romance novellas set in Regency England. The touching “Lord Blakely’s Gift” by Anneka R. Walker follows the determined Miss Ivy Hunt as her mission to return a lost purse to its rightful owner helps her family mend fences with their neighbors and leads to love in the most surprising place. “A Season of Hope” by Sian Ann Bessey is the uplifting story of 19-year-old Amelia Nesbitt, who lives on the brink of poverty with her mother and younger brother until a handsome stranger brings an unexpected windfall just in time for the holidays. A benevolent stranger also comes to the aid of a Navy surgeon and his new wife in the stirring “Christmas by the Sea” by Carla Kelly. And “Expectations at Canterwood” by Krista Lynne Jensen offers a charming account of how a series of misunderstandings almost derail Lt. Richard Stanhope’s attempts to woo mistrusting spinster Marina Rowley. Tied together by themes of family, fortune, hope, and joy, these delightful yuletide stories touch lightly on religion, but don’t overdo it. Bold heroines who defy Regency era social expectations add weight to these well-plotted seasonal stories. Readers will adore this. (Oct.)