The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Nicola Cornick, Anne Gracie, Patricia Rice, Cara Elliott and Susan King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Heartwarming and charming compilation of eight short stories by some wonderful regency romance authors! The stories can each be read separately, but there is lots of overlap between them, and all revolve around the Dowager Countess of Holbourne, or Lady Holly, as she prefers to be called, and her 50th anniversary ball in 1815. In those 50 years, she has acquired the reputation as somewhat of a matchmaker and the ball has become known as the Last Chance Ball, where women who are too plain, too timid or just too long on the shelf have one last chance to meet or reconnect with their true love. Many of the novellas revolve around men who’ve returned from the war as wonderfully dark or damaged heroes.
My personal preference would be to begin with A Season for Marriage, Nicola Cornicks’ charming and witty story of Lady Caroline Camden and her handsome husband, Piers, whose short marriage is unravelling due to a series of misunderstandings and how they find their way back to each other.
Ultimately, each novella is different and worth reading on its own and I’m sure you’ll find your own favorite. I love quick little bites of romance all bundled together in one book!