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A Harlequin Christmas Carol: Yesterday's Bride\Today's Longing\Tomorrow's DestinyA Harlequin Christmas Carol: Yesterday's Bride\Today's Longing\Tomorrow's Destiny by Betina Krahn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The rating on this book may be somewhat misleading. During the Christmas break I shamelessly read stacks of seasonally-themed material: mysteries, romances, things like Cleveland Amory's The Cat Who Came for Christmas. Some of it's pretty bad, so the 3 stars here are restricted to that "set" of readings.

This particular book is three novellas (each by a different author), all set in the same milieu, with the conceit that 3 guardian angels must help their charges find true love by New Year's Eve, or they won't get their "wings" for another century. The setting is 1890, and the angels take inspiration from Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" for how to "nudge" their charges in the right direction.
The bad--the author's clearly didn't consult with each other about the "rules" the angels have to follow, since they contradict each other at various points. And the plots (especially the first two) are fairly predictable. If you know anything about Victorian strictures on behavior there will be cringing at the flagrant violations of custom, and the writing quality is uneven.

The good--the characters, especially in the "Ghost of Christmas Future" part are not "we've seen these a billion times before." Each story is about as long as this sort of thing really ought to take (instead of being padded to 300+ pages as is too often the case). Someone actually did some copyediting--far fewer than the usual list of typos, misspellings, and other nonsense that I find more and more often in "professionally" published material. And the sex scenes didn't go on for bloody ever.

Something between bubblegum and popcorn--just perfect for reading by the light of Christmas tree while sipping eggnog.





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