This is a great collection of 15 feel-good stories and happily ever afters by 15 awesome authors. They are all connected to the Whitwell masquerade ball. In Erica Ridley’s A Match Unmasked, Kitty Stanley and Nathaniel Baxter will settle the hurt between them (he stood her up at her debut) and have a second chance at love. That is if Nathaniel’s mother has anything to do with it. It may not happen at once, but Nathaniel is determined to apologize and try to start anew. This is a sweet story of forgiveness and moving forward. Anna Harrington’s One Enchanted Evening takes place next door to the Whitwells when a little girl wanders into Mason Granger’s garden to watch the fireworks. Nora follows Emmaline and finds her just in time to see her pet Mason’s dog Brutus and hear her say “Fluppy,” the first word she has spoken in eighteen months. Mason is taken with mother and daughter almost immediately. This kind, caring, and understanding man may be just what is needed to help Emmeline find her voice and bring the light to Nora’s eyes. Truly heartwarming. Jennifer Ashley’s A Kiss for Luck is the story of thrice-widowed Gemma Cooke and confirmed bachelor Lord Guy Lovell. This one is full of humor. After Guy sort of rescues Gemma from the unwanted attention of another man, they somehow become an item. Gemma’s friend, aunt, and stepdaughter pick right up on this and do everything they can to match these two up. There is some courting, a lot of kissing, a bit of rivalry, and a possible duel. Never a dull moment. Fun and romance. In Grace Burrowes’s Love Disguised, Rupert and Mary attend the Whitwell’s party disguised as a footman and a maid. Each of them was supposed to be trying to find and learn a little about the person to whom they are betrothed. They are, unbeknownst to them, doing just that. What will happen when they meet as the Earl of Esterly and Lady Sefton? A happy surprise, a delightful courtship, and happily ever after. Sigh… An invitation to the Whitwell Ball is definitely a good thing.
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There is nothing better than a collection of stories surrounding an event and in this case a masquerade ball. More amazing is the fabulous group of authors that have each written each novella! In A MATCH UNMASKED by Erica Ridley, reunites Nathaniel and Kitty who had always loved each other but been apart for several years. Plans are afoot to reunite these two at the ball and see the joy as they come together. Simply romantic and a wonderful story! UNMASKING THE EARL by Madeline Martin has a matchmaker bringing together two people seeking to find a spouse and have each asked her help. They are brought together and realize they had known each other when children but they have a little journey to find their happy ending! Wonderful as this author always brings me a sigh and smile! Anna Harrington, in ONE ENCHANTED EVENING, does indeed make it the best evening ever for Nora and Mason. With the help of Brutus, a handsome boy of the four legged kind, Nora's daughter Emmeline, who hasn't spoken since a terrible accident, seems to start opening up. Mason helps too with his kind heart and as he spends time with Nora and her daughter he realizes he has been too wrapped up in business and missing life. A very special story that will not soon be forgotten. Trading places takes the stage as Mary McGoldrick's A PRINCE IN THE PANTRY shows how a Prince doesn't want anyone to know who his real identity. He meets a lady, who he thinks is a worker at the masquerade, but she may be more than she appears too! A winding journey to their happy ever after but so sweet at the end! Ella Quinn shows us in A MOONLIGHT KISS, that love is worth waiting for when a couple meet and fall in love at first sight. But it takes a few years to come back together and shows true love never ends. So romantic! In THE AWAKENING OF LADY FLORA by Bronwen Evans, Lady Flora finds herself at the ball and recognizes her deceased husband's best friend James, Earl of Battling. What she doesn't know if James has loved Flora forever and did not pursue her because his best friend had her in his sights. So heartwarming and lovely as these two come together. Gina Conkle brings us romance in UNTIL YOU, when two people come together in a most unexpected way. He needs answers from his past and she needs an answer to her future! They both get their wish and a sigh worthy dance will enchant you! A woman is being forced to marry in SHE WALKS IN SCANDAL by Elizabeth Essex. But she will not give into her father because she is in love with another. A daughter of a Viscount and her fencing instructor find they cannot deny their love. A fun time to their happy ending! LOVE DISGUISED by Grace Burrows tells the story of how those at the ball may appear one to be something they are not. Or could it be the other way around? It is a masquerade ball! A footman saves a maid from being put upon by a bounder and the rest is history. But who are they really? A fun story that will have you smiling! When pursued relentlessly, A KISS FOR LUCK by Jennifer Ashley shows there are good men who will rescue a lovely lady and not expect more. She is a widow with men after her and his is a handsome rake who never thinks he will marry. But you just never know as these two come together! In ONE SIMPLE KISS by Sabrina York, two people are brought back together after years and find that one has to be patient to help another understand what real love can be. Simply wonderful! A disguise can often bring out the fun and in A SEASON OF SCANDAL by Alyssa Alexander, a couple find they both love the Bard. Quoting Shakespeare and romance in the garden is nothing compared to their surprise when they are unmasked! Jade Lee brings us an unexpected romance in HER WILDEST DREAMS, as a future duke tries to discover who his next duchess will be! Will he be able to romance her into taking a chance with him for a future of love? What more would you expect at the ball but LOVERS AND MADMEN by Heather Snow. Two people who had been promised to each other when young, but never marry due to a terrible
I love the idea of a collection of novellas all set during a masquerade ball themed on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These romances, written by award-winning authors, have not been previously published. I haven’t had a chance to read them all yet, but all of the stories I have read have made me smile. Many of the stories involve friends to lovers or second chance romances, sometimes helped along by “fairy” godmothers or godfathers. I liked the main characters and enjoyed their sometimes-steamy romances, but I also appreciated the relationships with friends and family. The devious mother/godmother in Erica Ridley’s “A Match Unmasked” made me laugh with her schemes, as did the antics of elderly Aunt Fedora and the youngest Bentley Flower, Lily, in Sabrina York’s “One Simple Kiss.” I’ve always liked A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I enjoyed seeing how different authors incorporated that theme. I was particularly charmed with how Heather Snow used appropriate quotes from the play as chapter headings in her story, “Lovers and Madmen.” This collection is a fun way to discover new authors, and I highly recommend it to fans of historical romance.