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Thursday, January 7, 2010

An American Rose Christmas anthology

An American Rose Christmas by Lori Anne, Donna Dalton, Susan Macatee, Lauri Robinson, Carol A. Spralding, Beth Trissel
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (332 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. His one aim is to run back to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity–– until he meets Uncle Randolph’s ward, Dimity Scott.

Tory captain Dr. Nicholas Clayton discovers stolen military secrets on a severely injured female spy. When her wounds heal, Holly Masters must decide if she can kill the man who saved her life.

While pretending to be a male soldier, farm girl Sara Brewster falls for a handsome Union army surgeon. When her secret is revealed, will a lavish Christmas Eve ball work in her favor--or will her heart be broken?

Southern belle Marybeth Dawson discovers Santa Claus can’t cross the Mason Dixon line--but handsome Union soldier, Trevor Sutton can.

The miracles of Christmas come in all shapes and sizes, even in unusual disguises. The stories in An American Rose Christmas bring joy, laughter, and happy-ever-afters, albeit after an incredible number of obstacles are overcome. Varied and vibrant with life, each story is compelling in its own special way.

“A Warrior for Christmas” by Beth Trissel

Corwin (Black Hawk) Whitfield, at age fourteen, was taken by Indians after the death of his parents. At age 22, he returns to the white man’s world as the heir to his uncle’s estate, Whitfield Place. The primal call of the frontier pulls at him; he wonders if the warrior part of him can ever fit into the polite society of the white man’s world.

Dimity Scott, Corwin’s Uncle’s ward and a beauty, has been deaf since her bout with scarlet fever. To her Corwin exudes masculine energy and guards many secrets. Even though in love with him at first sight, she thinks, it would take a Christmas miracle to win his heart away from his life with the Indians.

The secondary characters play important roles in Corwin and Dimity’s decisions about their future.

“Redcoat and Sleigh Bells” by Carol A. Spralding

Holly Masters, estranged from her family because of her loyalty to the Patriots in 1775, repeatedly risks her life as a spy for the Colonials. When her luck runs out, she is shot and wakes up in the care of a Redcoat doctor. Her heart and body is oblivious to political convictions, putting Holly in conflict about duty and desire.

Dr. Nicolas Clayton is a doctor first and a Loyalist soldier second. His relationship with the community is unique. The young ladies and their mother’s compete for his attention. But none of them touches his heart like the little spy.

The descriptions, undercurrents, and foreshadowing in this story make it a page-turner, plus the humor sparkles.

“The Christmas Ball” by Susan Macatee

Sara (aka George) Brewster, a soldier in the Union army, grew up doing man’s work. When the opportunity came to make more money by being a soldier, she enlisted. Her family needed the money. When she is shot and Dr. Kirk Ellison learns she is female, her life changes forever. In the elite Washington, D.C. society, Sara recognizes her limitations and loves Dr. Ellison too much to be a hindrance to him in this elite society he takes for granted.

Dr. Kirk Ellison has an unrelenting need to protect and love Sara regardless of her background. As he and Sara interact with D.C. society at the Christmas Eve ball, events keep the reader in breathtaking wonder. Riches and social position take a back seat for love.

“A Soldier for Christmas” by Lauri Robinson

In December of 1863, the war seems distant to Marybeth Dawson. She longs for Edmond to return home. He planned to be gone only a few months and it has been almost two years. Being responsible for Granny, four-year-old Dane, and three-year-old Sally is a heavy load. With money non-existent, and with few things to barter or ways to earn money, Marybeth worries about how she can keep her family fed and safe through the winter. When a lone Union soldier appears on her private path, a whole new set of worries race through her mind, but a primal need deep inside responds to this gorgeous man with the twinkling eyes.

The best qualities of humanity come to light as Major Trevor Sutton encounters Marybeth. Some unexplainable force urges him to help her. His actions reinforce one’s faith in the goodness of humankind.

This beautifully written story makes one believe in miracles. I loved the humor, the surprises, and, most of all, the LOVE.

“Her Holiday Hero” by Lori Anne

Eighteen-year-old Marie Callen’s strong moral sense makes her sensitive to the many cruelties in the world that need to be stopped—in New York City in 1866, these cruelties abound. Educated, opinionated, and a touch rebellious, Marie hates parental machination and her mother’s quiet, calm, privacy is maddening to her at times. As Marie’s sexual awareness awakens, she finds Edward Forest, the stable man, to be her heart’s desire—not suitable as far as her father is concerned.

Oh, what a delightful story ensues as each major character works to achieve his or her own goals—from the master of the house to the maid, each has a decided agenda. “Her Holiday Hero” sparkles with fun and love that is nothing short of a miracle for Christmas.

“The Gift” by Donna Dalton

In Kentucky in 1870, widow Eva Baird strives to make a living and be respectable in spite of her past and her vindictive ex-in-laws. Lyle Haggard, captivated by Eva, is also trying to put his past behind him, but old running mates show up, setting both Eva’s and Lyle’s lives on a new and risky course.

This story touches the heart as the “best Christmas gift ever” come to three very deserving people—makes the reader want to give Eva and Lyle a high five for setting things right.

An American Rose Christmas is an anthology to keep and enjoy every Christmas.