I’m a sucker for anthologies, particularly historical fiction, and A Texas Kind of Christmas did not disappoint! Take a closer look at this trio of stories from authors Jodi Thomas, Celia Bonaduce, and Rachel Miles – and check out our giveaway at the end!
I was provided a copy of the book for review purposes; all thoughts, opinions (and typos!) are my own.
A TEXAS KIND OF CHRISTMAS
JODI THOMAS, Celia Bonaduce, & Rachael Miles
Genre: Historical Fiction / Anthology / Holiday Romance
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Number of Pages: 336 pages
Scroll down for the giveaway for A Texas Kind of Christmas!
It’s Christmas Eve, 1859, and everyone who’s anyone is headed to the glorious St. Nicholas Hotel for the most talked about ball of the season. It’s the kind of Texas night where anything can happen—even love . . .
ONE NIGHT AT THE ST. NICHOLAS by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi
BIRDIE’S FLIGHT by Celia Bonaduce
Seamstress Birdie Flanagan gets the surprise of her life when she receives a beautiful gown—and a sudden invitation—for the ball of the season! Birdie creates a stir from the moment she arrives, capturing the eye of the dashing Captain Douglas Fairbanks. But will a secret from her past keep her from her long-awaited happily-ever-after?
SPIRIT OF TEXAS by Rachael Miles
When lovely spinster Eugenie Charpentier makes a trip across the Texas frontier with former Texas Ranger Asher Graham, she dreams of an adventure, and the rough-and-tumble cowboy is happy to oblige. But both Eugenie and the rugged lawman are keeping secrets. Can they find each other—and love—on the dance floor at the Christmas ball?
CLICK TO BUY A Texas Kind of Christmas
Set in the early days of Dallas at Christmastime, this trio of historical fiction romances share a common thread – the St. Nicholas Hotel. Each story in this anthology features a fiesta heroine and a swoon-worthy hero – and each has a distinctly different feel. All three stories quickly drew me in and kept me turning pages.
Jodi Thomas kicks things off with her story “One Night at the St. Nicholas.” I confess, I’m not ordinarily a huge fan of love at first sight tropes, but I also remember that relationships didn’t necessarily have the baggage or expectations we have today – and it’s a short story, so there’s no time for months of wooing – and I can move past it and into the story – which actually gives us two tales of happily ever after, with a bit of confusion involving a switched dress, one spirited girl determined to forge her own path, another spirited girl who dreamed of something more, and two unlikely heroes. Actually, for a novella-length story, there are a lot of characters that are fairly well fleshed out for the shorter length. This story has a lot of action that moves along quickly, more sneaky switching, and interesting characters.
The second tale in A Texas Kind of Christmas was my favorite: “Birdie’s Flight” by Celia Bonaduce. Birdie rolls into Dallas by way of Galveston with her last few dollars, a letter of introduction, hope for a new start – and a bit of a mystery. She’s a talented seamstress who finds that chance working for the St. Nicholas hotel. There’s a sassy wealthy young girl in town for the ball with more to her than meets the eye, and a stern fellow Irishwoman who proves to have a kinder heart than her stern exterior allows. This little story packs a lot into it: survival, betrayal, romance, friendship, and new beginnings. This story had excellent pacing, a good twist, and characters that did not disappoint. Birdie is a character I’d like to read more about. This was my first introduction to Celia Bonaduce, and I’ll be looking for more from her.
Rounding out the anthology is a story from Rachael Miles titled “Spirit of Texas”. This one appealed to the bookish geek in me: Eugenie is led by a spirit of adventures AND a book about Texas that has touched her heart and made her fall in love with the idea of it (and the author, who she hasn’t met), and along the way, they encounter all kinds of pretty incredible obstacles. She feels drawn to the Texas Ranger guiding her to Dallas – even though he seems to have his guard up. (I mean, he DOES have a crate full of books with him, so there’s that.) He has a few secrets that are slowly disclosed as he brings her safely to her mother, and the two of them both have to move beyond things in their own pasts. This story has a strong start – Eugenie has an interesting back story, and the action picks up quickly, but there wasn’t enough conflict (I’m not sure who the antagonist was once they reached Dallas) and the story wrapped up more quickly than I anticipated.
While all three books are set at Christmastime, they don’t revolve around Christmas itself – they could be set at any time of year, and I appreciate this kind of timelessness. This was a fun read and a lovely escape.
Jodi Thomas is a New York Times bestselling author and fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her award-winning stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A multi-RITA Award winner and member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, she’s written over 50 novels with millions of copies in print. Her most recent releases are The Little Tea Shop on Main and her historical anthology, A Texas Kind of Christmas (Nov. 2019). The first book in her new series with Kensington, Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, comes out May 2020.
Celia Bonaduce, also the author of The Venice Beach Romances and the Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas series, has always had a love affair with houses. Her credits as a television field producer include such house-heavy hits as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; HGTV’s House Hunters and Tiny House Hunters. She lives in Santa Monica, CA, with her husband and dreams of one day traveling with him in their own tiny house. She can be found online at www.CeliaBonaduce.com.
Rachael Miles is an acclaimed romance novelist and historian specializing in the 19th century, as well as a professor of literary history. A fifth-generation Texan and native of Dallas, she now lives and teaches in New York. Visit her online at www.RachaelMiles.com.
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November 6-16, 2019
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