Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection, by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch—A Review

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection 2020Season’s greetings, gentle readers! It is once again time to immerse ourselves in the traditional comforts of the holiday season. And how better to do so than by getting cozy and settling in to read a lovely book about this special time of year. Joy to the World is an inspirational Christian anthology comprised of three very different Christmas stories with a golden thread of joy, hope, and faith woven through and binding them together.

“Heaven and Nature Sing” by Carolyn Miller invites readers to an elegant house party where young people have gathered to make merry during the snowy days leading up to Christmas. In attendance—as guests of their shared godmother—are Edith and George, former sweethearts torn apart by circumstances and misunderstandings. The traditions of the season remind them “of grace and forgiveness and the second chances God gives.” (1275) As they navigate the uncomfortable tension between them, will their faith in God and their love for each other be enough to help them overcome foolish pride?

“Far as the Curse is Found” by Amanda Barratt transports readers to dreary London in winter, following Dwight Inglewood, the Earl of Amberly, as he trudges through the remnants of his once-promising life. He bears the unsightly scars of severe wounds sustained at Waterloo and internally suffers from the loss of all those he’s ever loved. “The world was harsh, and in it he felt fragile. Life and the people he’d trusted had pierced him deeply. Isolation seemed the only remedy.” (3095) A twist of fate, or perhaps divine intervention, crosses his lonely path with that of a desperate unwed mother and her young child. Jenny Grey “knew the wounds the gazes of others could inflict.” (2234) Can two kindred souls with disparate backgrounds provide solace for each other in an often cruel world? Continue reading

Mr. Darcy’s Christmas: A Darcy Novella, by Elizabeth Aston – A Review

Mr. Darcys Christmas A Dracy Novella by Elizabeth AstonThe holiday season is greatly anticipated in my home. I love decorating my tree with my collection of glass ornaments and baking my favorite treats such as my golden fruit cake.

To add to the festivities there are always new Christmas themed books available for those who love to escape into another holiday wonderland. If, that happens to be a Jane Austen-inspired Christmas, then so much the better.

In the past, we have been treated to a holiday escape at Pemberley with Mr. & Mrs. Darcy with: A Darcy Christmas; A Christmas at Pemberley; and recently Christmas with Mr. Darcy. Imagine my delight when I learned last week that the renowned Austenesque author Elizabeth Aston had released her own Pride and Prejudice-inspired novella, Mr. Darcy’s Christmas! It only took me 15 seconds to purchase and download it to my NOOK and I was reading it. And—what a treat it is…

As the newly engaged Georgiana Darcy travels home with her brother by carriage from London to Pemberley to celebrate the holiday with his family, she reflects upon her safe choice of a fiancé, Mr. Moresby, and the man that she passed by, the dashing but dangerous Captain Daunton. Safe is a place that she craves to be after her near-fatal elopement five years ago with George Wickham, the son of her deceased father’s steward. Wickham had later proved that he was indeed a scheming cad when he had eloped with Mr. Darcy’s wife Elizabeth’s younger sister Lydia. Mr. Moresby’s prudential views might be stifling, but he was a man of rank and high regard, enough of a catch to attract the attention of Caroline Bingley, who is bitter over his choice of bride. When she learns from her maid of Georgiana’s almost elopement from Ramsgate at age fifteen, she uses this scandalous information to drive a wedge between Mr. Moresby and his new fiancé. Continue reading