Reviewing: How The Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah Maclean, Sophie Jordan and Joanna Shupe

Content warnings: Mentions of violence and abuse.

My rating:  4 books out of 5

Highlights: 

  • Magic Scottish shortbread
  • Sexy sexy Christmas times 
  • Women who GET SHIT DONE
  • Just so much festive love

Merry Christmas everyone! 

I’ll be taking next week off to celebrate with friends and family, but before that I have the most wonderful festive book for you all! How The Dukes Stole Christmas is a fantastic set of four short stories by acclaimed romance authors Tessa Dare (a blog favourite), Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan and Joanna Shupe and honestly I was so excited to read this book. I love romance, I love historical fiction and I love Christmas – not so much the shopping and stress, more the food, games and time with those I love. This book, it seems, was made for me. 

I’m going to avoid spoiler-y mini reviews, as these are only short stories so it would be easy for me to just tell you what happens, but I have come up with subtitles for each story:

  • Meet Me in Mayfair by Tessa Dare
    • Introverts at parties prove they are incredibly ballsy by wandering around London in the dark.  
  • The Duke of Christmas Present by Sarah MacLean
    • How Scrooge might have reacted if the ghosts were sexy ladies. 
  • Heiress Alone by Sophie Jordan 
    • Home Alone in the Highlands, swap out the booby traps for a grumpy yet charming Scotsman.
  • Christmas in Central Park by Joanna Shupe 
    • Never mix business with pleasure – unless it involves shortbread, sham marriage and newspaper headlines. 

Each story is distinct, no two plotlines or heroines overlapping except that all of the young women in this book have agency, determination and (often) a tin of vaguely magical shortbread nearby. It’s romance, you know the drill, there’s a whopping total of FOUR HEA endings in this book. FOUR. That’s literally four times the bang for your buck, if you catch my drift, then you usually get in one romance novel. Now they’re short stories, the plot moves quickly, and they’re historical so often the topic of ‘marriage vs ruination’ appears, so if you’re not into hasty marriage plots maybe just read contemporaries? I LOVE me a good historical ruination so I was all about it. Plus these stories made me smile, they’re witty and funny and full of joyous consent and everything I love about romance with a good seasonal helping of Christmas cheer on top.  

Overall this book was a delight, I’d have liked more build up in a few of the stories but that’s just me being hard-wired as a novel reader, and if you’re a frequent reader of short romance stories then this may be the absolute perfect fit for you!

Thank you so much for reading, whether you are a new reader or you’ve been here right from the start. I hope you enjoy my blog, and I look forward to one-sidedly rambling at you all again in the New Year! 

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