Excerpt: Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology!

Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology
by Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, Erica Ridley

Publication Date: September 28, 2021
eBook & Paperback; 480 Pages

Genre: Holiday Fiction/Anthology

From four beloved writers—Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley—come four original stories that tell a hilarious tale of a Christmas house party that serves up love and scandal in equal measure!

The Duke of Greystoke’s Christmas Revelry is famous throughout the British Isles for its plays, dancing, magical grotto… not to mention scandals leading to the marriage licenses he hands out like confetti.

But not everyone welcomes a visit from Cupid.

Lady Cressida, the duke’s daughter, is too busy managing the entertainments—and besides, her own father has called her dowdy. Her cousin, Lady Isabelle Wilkshire, is directing Cinderella and has no interest in marriage. Lady Caroline Whitmore is already (unhappily) married; the fact that she and her estranged husband have to pretend to be together just makes her dread the party all the more. But not as much as Miss Louisa Harcourt, whose mother bluntly tells her that this is her last chance to escape the horrors of being an old maid.

A house party so large that mothers lose track of their charges leads to a delightful, seductive quartet of stories that you will savor for the Season!

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From “A Lady of Compromise” by Christi Caldwell

Isabelle reached the music room. Balancing her belongings in the crook of her opposite arm, she let herself in.

The well-oiled hinges gave without so much as a squeak, and as she stepped in and pushed the panel shut behind her, the loud hum of the night’s quiet served as her only company.

Closing her eyes, she breathed in deep and long.

She was home.

In this grand music room that she’d yearned to transform with a production of her own. And though Cinderella was hardly original, and certainly not a play she had created, it would be close enough.

Opening her eyes, Isabelle made to take a step forward—and froze.

She’d been wrong.

The night’s quiet wasn’t her only company.

Her heart did a funny little jump.

For he really was . . . everywhere.

But then, the nighttime hours had long been a friend to Cyrus, as well.

It was why he’d been such an expert at giving her guidance on embracing her insomnia and making it work for her.

Cyrus, with his head bent and his shoulders forward, had converted the pianoforte into a provisional workstation. Ledgers sat stacked in a neat pile. A silver inkpot with a candlestick in the middle sat at the center of his assembled work.

Through the heavy quiet, her ears picked up the faintest sound that had previously escaped her.

The tip of his pen striking the surface of whatever ledger he worked on had the same musical quality of a composer penning a song.


For a moment, she considered backing silently away, drawing the door open a crack, and slipping out.

But they were required to work together, and that partnership made it so that she had no other choice but to be with him.

So why did it feel as though she fed herself another fib? Why did it feel as though she still wanted to be here?

Which was . . . preposterous. She’d not seen him in a lifetime. They were really nothing more than strangers with a shared past. And that past was so very long ago.

In the end, he made the decision for her.

“Unable to sleep?” His quiet query echoed throughout the expansive room.

In fact, with his head still down and writing away as he was, she might have imagined he’d even spoken.

But then he looked up briefly before resuming his task.

Reflexively, she gripped her supplies protectively closer, wanting to shield secrets that he’d always had an uncanny ability to ferret out. “I was planning to work,” she offered evasively. Somehow, that acknowledgment felt far safer than the intimate details he’d been privy to long ago.

He didn’t say anything.

She should go. With his silence, he gave no outward indication that he wanted her here.

In fact, there were so many reasons she should leave: She had to work. He was working.

And the greatest reason of all: should someone come by and discover them alone together—her in her nightclothes and he in his shirtsleeves, no less—that sighting would be ruinous.

So why did she stay, then?

About the Authors

Eloisa James, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, wrote her first novel after graduating from Harvard, but alas, it was rejected by every possible publisher. After she got an MPhil from Oxford, a PhD from Yale, and a job as a Shakespeare professor, she tried again, with much greater success. In 2013 she won a Rita Award for Best Romance Novella. She teaches Shakespeare in the English department at Fordham University in New York. She is the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of The Bad Luck Bride. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

Christi Caldwell is the USA Today bestselling author of more than ten series, including Lost Lords of London, Sinful Brides, The Wicked Wallflowers, and Heart of a Duke. She blames novelist Judith McNaught for luring her into the world of historical romance. When Christi was at the University of Connecticut, she began writing her own tales of love–ones where even the most perfect heroes and heroines had imperfections. She learned to enjoy torturing her couples before they earned their well-deserved happily ever after. Christi lives in Southern Connecticut, where she spends her time writing, chasing after her son, and taking care of her twin princesses-in-training. Fans who want to keep up with the latest news and information can sign up for her newsletter at http://www.ChristiCaldwell.com.

Erica Ridley is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty historical romance novels. Her popular series include the Dukes of War, Rogues to Riches, and Magic and Mayhem.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 27
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, September 28
Bookstagram Feature at Reader_Ceygo

Wednesday, September 29
Bookstagram Feature at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Thursday, September 30
Excerpt at Bonnie Reads and Writes

Friday, October 1
Bookstagram Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, October 4
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, October 5
Bookstagram Feature + Excerpt at Bookworlder

Wednesday, October 6
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, October 7
Excerpt at Probably at the Library

Friday, October 8
Feature at The Romance Dish
Guest Post at Books, Cooks, Looks

Saturday, October 9
Excerpt at Elodie’s Reading Corner


4 book giveaway! Enter to win a book from each author’s backlist!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on October 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Mistletoe Christmas


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