Book Critique – Seduction on a Snowy Night

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A charming holiday anthology that resonates to the inner Christmas spirit, hidden heart that craves happy endings and tickles the funny bone in yourself to give you few laughs.

Seduction on a Snowy Night is an anthology of some fun loving romantic holiday tales by three authors - Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries and Mary Jo Putney - first published in September of 2019. The book has three novellas set in winter bringing to the readers a blazing love story while in captive, a sudden snow storm coming to a rescue, and a masquerade ball gives experience of exotic dance.

First novella in the anthology is A Christmas Abduction by Madeline Hunter. The story is a sort of charming tale of abduction of Adam Prescott, Baron Thornhill by Caroline Dunham, Lady of Crestview Park, in a misguided notion to help her sister.

Second novella in the anthology is A Perfect Match by Sabrina Jeffries, the first novella in her Duke Dynasty Series. The story is a rescue operation by a gallant soldier, Colonel Lord Heywood Wolfe, to save the virtue of his friend's sister, but accidentally falls in love with her cousin, Miss Cassandra Isles, instead while closed-in during a snowstorm. 

Third and final novella in the anthology is One Wicked Winter Night by Mary Jo Putney. The story brings two past lovers - Lady Diana Lawrence and Anthony Raines, Duke of Castleton - after a span of seven years, where one is wanting to pick up where they left off, while the other doesn’t want to do anything with it considering the current situations of both of them.

The three authors have very different approaches to their way of telling romantic tales to boost the holiday cheer and give more importance to Christmas spirit and magic of it. While Madeline gives us a tale of abduction turned love story, Sabrina Jeffries gives us a story of confused love and gallantry; and Mary gives us a hopeful plot about regaining lost love.

Madeline's novella definitely makes it a stand-alone per the plot, and I didn’t find a whole lot of sub-plots for it to be part of any of her series; which by the way I have read most of them. Sabrina's had more characters and sub-plots and a continuity from previous books is very clear, considering it is part of a series. Although I havent read many of Mary's books, the story looks like a stand-alone and not part of any series.

Sabrina's plot in A Perfect Match, reminded me of a 2002 Indian Hindi-language film, Mujhse Dosti Karoge! (= Will You Be My Friend!). I loved that movie a lot when I first watched it. Although the movie comes with a dose of Bollywood music, dance and drama; Sabrina has given us equal drama in her plot. 

Considering some part of the plot set in India, I was not surprised to see elements from India brought into the plot by Mary in her novella, One Wicked Winer Night - Hindu dance as she calls it about Indian Classical Dance; salwar kameez with dupatta; and other artistic works from India imported to England.

The stories have a central theme of Christmas and finding love, brandishing away the enemies in the process. Yet, each heroine that was introduced to us are as disparate as they come. Madeline's Caroline has steady strength and blazing flame around her spirit. Sabrina's Cassandra is as bracing as brandy with wit and caution. Mary's Diana is as poise as she looks with a deep deep secret.

A charming holiday anthology that resonates to the inner Christmas spirit, hidden heart that craves happy endings and tickles the funny bone in yourself to give you few laughs while you enjoy reading the journeys the three heroines go through. Perfect book to read while you sit by your fireplace under a cozy throw and some Christmas jingles in the air.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot reveals:

a. A Christmas Abduction: Amelia and Jason become a couple, she is pregnant.

b. A Perfect Match: Captain Lionel Malet has a grudge against the Wolfe's and Nickman's families. His character doesn’t have a closure yet. 

c. One Wicked Winter Night:

i. Constance and Aurora have a book, Shining Blade, published. 

ii. Athena is pregnant.

2. Sub-Plots:

a. A Christmas Abduction:

i. Members of Caroline's household, Crestview Park - Tom Hoover, his wife, & son Jason; sister Amelia

ii. Adam's family - cousin Nigel;

b. A Perfect Match:

i. Cassandra's family - her Aunt Virginia and cousin Katherine "Kitty" Nickman & her brother Douglas Nickman.

ii. Heywood's family - Mother; Sister Gwyn; Brother Sheridan, the Duke of Armitage; Brother Thornstock; Brother Duke of Greycourt & his wife Beatrice, Cousin Joshua Wolfe; Their help includes Fox.

c. One Wicked Winter Night:

i. Diana's family & friends - Niece Lady Aurora Lawrence Vance & her husband Gabriel Vance with their pet cat The Spook; Niece Constance, illegitimate daughter of one of Diana's brother; Brother Geoffrey Earl Lawrence & his wife Sylvia; pet cat The Panda; Jane Evans, business partner in India.

ii. Anthony's family & friends - Sister Athena & her husband Will Masterson, their pet cat Khan; Sister Julia & her husband Major Alex Randall.

3. Grammatical / Factual / Location / Historical / Character Errors:

a. On Pg. 47, Line 19, it should be "Caroline" instead of "Amelia".

b. On Pg. 217, Line 4 from bottom, it should be "…that what she really…"


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