Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When the Snow Lay Round About by Kirsti Ahlers, Veronica Towers, Linda Mooney, and J.L. Foster

Whew! What a fantastic read! I read When the Snow Lay Round About all in one sitting! Well, I should really say, in one day. :-) I picked the perfect time, too. It's been snowing here in Indiana, all day. :-) Enjoy the review!

When the Snow Lay Round About
Kristi Ahlers, Veronica Towers, Linda Mooney, and J.L. Foster

Dark Castle Lords
ISBN 978 1 921347 31 3
278 pages

The Night Before Christmas
Kristi Ahlers
Rourke is home from battle and just in time for Yule. He is greeted by his sister, Sophia and her best friend Jacqueline. However, while Rourke was gone, Sophia and Jacqueline devised a plan, a plan that will make Rourke finally admit to his love for Jacqueline.
However, the plan is off to a rocky start, in part, due to the fact that Rourke finds Jacqueline irresistible. Thus, he becomes tongue-tied in her presence, and says the wrong things at the wrong time. There’s a downside though, Jacqueline has only two days to convince Rourke that they should be together forever, because once she goes home, she’ll married to another. Will Jacqueline’s plan work, and will she get the man of her dreams?

The Night Before Christmas takes place back in 1070. It’s a fantastic historical romance. Yet, the characters, no matter how long ago they lived, are dramatically realistic and genuine. Kristi Ahlers has managed to capture history, young love, and true love, all at once. Her writing is fluid, and The Night Before Christmas, as a novella, is a great way to get a taste of just what she is capable of.

Dreams to Keep
Veronica Towers
Lady Amanda Grace Ellington has her work cut out for her. See, her sister, Alyce, was to marry Sir William. However, she found her true love. Now, their father doesn’t want to risk losing Sir William’s money, and sends Amanda in Alyce’s place.
Before Amanda arrives at Sir William’s though, with the snow coming down hard, her coach loses a wheel, and she must now venture in the freezing cold by foot. Just as she is making her way up the front steps at Sir William’s though, she slips, and lands right in a snow drift, where Sir William finds her.
At first, Sir William feels tricked, finding that he is now married Amanda, not the young and spunky Alyce, but that, too, changes…

Sir William and Lady Amanda are quite fiery as far as characters go! Their relationship is as intense as their personalities, and they work just delightful together. Veronica Towers keeps the pace with When the Snow Lay Round About, as a whole. Her infusion of history and romance is perfect for this anthology. The way she has written Dreams to Keep is just marvelous, and you’ll find yourself falling in love with these two main characters.

Linda Mooney
Terrie has had it rough the past few years with her mother’s death, battling leukemia herself, and Phillip walking out. But now, she’s moved back to her hometown in Texas, and things are really looking up for her. She’s healthier, and dealing with everything that has happened to her fairly well. Now she’s ready to grab a hold of everything that’s thrown at her, and take it on in full-force, including Paul Leeds and his family. But he’s married…isn’t he?...

Sandcastle is the only story in the anthology set in present-day. Where it is different, I think it gives us a little break in the pace, in a lovely way. Linda Mooney has crafted very strong and independent characters all across the board in Sandcastle. They have all had their struggles, and living off of the Gulf is a place where they all find themselves recovering and starting life anew. It’s a fantastic story that helps to pull this anthology together!

Elisabeth’s Holiday Wish
JL Foster
Step back again in time with Sir Harrison and Elisabeth. Sir Harrison must find a wife, or he will lose his newly acquire land, since his father’s passing. Elisabeth’s mind is on caring for her family, since her father too, has passed. However, late one night, while Elisabeth is visiting family and friend’s graves in the cemetery, Sir Harrison sneaks up on and startles her. Elisabeth, being a lady, leaves promptly before anything happens. However, as soon as they exit the cemetery, Elisabeth gives Sir Harrison a verbal lashing, and then kisses him with as much force as her words…
Now, Sir Harrison and Elisabeth are married, and Elisabeth finds herself feeling awfully lonely on Christmas Eve. She remembers back to the caroling and happy times when she was just a peasant. But, she finds herself living with Sir Harrison in a ghost town. It was a town ravaged by war, where they are now the town’s only residents. Elisabeth misses the community she had grown up in and loved so much. So, will Sir Harrison be able to grant Elisabeth her that one Christmas wish?

From the beginning of Elisabeth’s Holiday Wish, we know that Sir Harrison and Elisabeth are wed. However, the way the story unfolds, some of which is told from Elisabeth’s point of view, is what makes Elisabeth’s Holiday Wish so captivating. JL Foster has created characters that are both fully developed and captivating, with an exceptionally fluid storyline to match.

When the Snow Lay Round About
These four fabulous stories all tie nicely together, as do each author’s individual talent. They each bring their own blend of writing to intrigue any reader to envelop themselves in all four stories. While it’s past Christmas, you’ll still find that the love and romance brought to the table by all four authors keeps you reading way past the holiday season. You’ll also find little “extras” at the end of each story, including various recipes and the author’s special Christmas traditions! When the Snow Lay Round About is definitely one for your keeper shelf!

--Denise Kivett
Rogues and Romance

Heat Rating: *2- Cupid's Passion Arrow
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Violence Rating: *0- No Violence



Happy Reading!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the Lovely Review! All of us at the Dark Castle Lords Publishing had a very good time in the formation of this anthology. We could not have pulled it together without everyone's special contribution. Bill Freda was very accessable when information was needed. And if you all have not guessed Sir William in my story was patterned after Bill. Trust me ladies he gives great inspiration and hugs! Veronica Towers

Chyne said...

These books sound very interesting. Sounds like they have alot of exciting twists in them as well :-) You definately make me want to read them!!!