cover image The Last Chance Christmas Ball

The Last Chance Christmas Ball

Mary Jo Putney et al. Kensington, $15 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61773-923-1

Eight romance authors (collectively known as the Word Wenches) walk into a Regency-era ballroom and wreak fabulous, shimmering holiday mischief all over the place. The Dowager Countess of Holbourne is hosting an extravagant Christmas ball, and the guest list includes some of the loveliest, loneliest people in high society. The best of the stories woven around this premise are Joanna Bourne’s “My True Love Hath My Heart,” in which a little larceny spices a long-smoldering romance; Susan King’s “A Scottish Carol,” wherein snowbound lovers never quite make it to the ball; and a maiden’s romantic rescue from a young ladies’ seminary in Anne Gracie’s “Mistletoe Kisses.” The characters are smart and attractive—so much so that it can be hard to believe the ball is their only chance to find love—and their stories are delicious and appealing. (Oct.)