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Sunday, December 31, 2017

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for A Very Gothic Christmas by Christine Feehan and Melanie George @AuthorCFeehan #MelanieGeorge @Pocket_Books

PUBLISHER: Pocket Books
PUBLICATION DATE: October 31, 2017 (first published 2001)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 432 pages
GENRE: Fantasy/Paranormal, Holiday/Christmas
ISBN: 9781501160981
From the “magnificent storyteller” (Romantic Times) Christine Feehan and USA Today bestselling author Melanie George comes two wickedly sexy novellas for the holiday season!

In Christine Feehan’s After the Music, Jessica Fitzpatrick is terrified by mysterious threats. Determined to keep her twin wards safe, she flees to the remote island mansion of their reclusive, widowed father. With Christmas approaching, the spark between him and Jessica might light the future, but there are those whose evil machinations may plunge the family into darkness—unless a Christmas miracle occurs.

In Melanie George’s Lady of the Locket, the echoes of history and romance lure Rachel Hudson to Glengarren, the Scottish castle where her parents met many Christmases ago. But it is the portrait of fierce Highlander Duncan MacGregor that sparks a deep desire inside her. On a storm-tossed night, as lightning cracks across the castle’s turrets, Rachel finds herself face-to-face with MacGregor himself, astride a mighty stallion. Now, stepping into Rachel’s time—and her heart—the warrior from the past is pursued by an ancient, evil enemy.

I'm a fan of Christine Feehan's Sisters of the Hearts series. When I saw this one at the library with holiday romances featuring a story by Feehan, I grabbed it! Feehan writes the first novella in the book, After the Music, while Melanie George (a new-to-me author) writes the second novella, Lady of the Locket.

After the Music is about a former rock star, Dillon, who has lived in seclusion for the past seven years after a fire burned down his home on his private island, which killed his wife and six other people. Dillon thought his six year old twins, Tara and Trevor, were still inside the house and he rushed back in to save them. Unbeknownst to him, the twins had already been safely ushered out of the house by the nanny's daughter, Jessica. As a result, Dillon was burned horribly and lived for a year in the hospital undergoing treatment for his burns and skin grafts. Simultaneously, he was also on trial for the murder of his wife who apparently was shot before the fire started. However, he was cleared of the crime. Dillon left his twins in the care of the nanny, Rita, and Jessica.

Now, seven years later, after Rita was killed in an automobile accident, Jessica returns to the island with the twins so that they can spend Christmas with their father. Jessica is hoping for a Christmas miracle and that the family can become united. She and Dillon had always had a close relationship, and the twins look to Jessica as a mother.

I have to say that it was a little strange, with Dillon having feelings of unrequited love over Jessica who was his nanny's daughter, who was just 18 years old at the time. It was almost like a bit of a taboo relationship. However, now that seven years have passed and Jessica is now 25 years old, the relationship works because of the role that she is to the twins. Dillon is touched by her love and protectiveness towards his children, and he envies that and wants to be part of it. Feehan's couples are always very passionate, and Dillon & Jessica are no exception. There is also a bit of a paranormal aspect to the story.

Lady of the Locket is about a 27-year-old woman named Rachel Hudson, whose parents had the type of romantic love that most people dream about. Tragically, they die within six months of each other just shy of their 30th wedding anniversary. Rachel is bereft at the loss of both of her parents, but she is determined to carry out their dying wish. They were planning to celebrate their 30th anniversary at the place where they met, Glengarren Castle in Inverness, Scotland. The castle was once owned by her father's friend, and it is now owned by his son. She intends to release her parents' ashes at the castle on her parents' anniversary. When she arrives at Glengarren, she is awe-struck at the gorgeous Highlander featured in the portrait hung over the stairs. The name at the bottom of the painting indicates that the man is Duncan MacGregor from 1745. The caretaker, Fergus, tries to convince Rachel to rent a room in town and hints that there are strange goings-on at the castle and is concerned that she will be staying there alone. She assures him that she'll be fine. However, one evening during a storm, she is awakened by shouts and the sounds of fighting. She comes face to face with the warrior from the painting, Duncan MacGregor! 

I quite enjoyed this reverse time-travel romance. In other time travel romances that I've read, it's the woman who is thrown back hundreds of years. This time around, it's the man who is brought into the present. Poor Duncan is so confused. He recognizes that he is in his home, yet it is not his home as he knew it because of modern conveniences like electricity and appliances. He thinks that Rachel is a witch and has someone put a spell on him, and he is rather enchanted by her as well. Rachel finds with Duncan the kind of rare love that her parents had, but how can it last when they are from two different worlds?

I read Lady of the Locket in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down! I will definitely read more from this author!


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy holiday romances with a touch of paranormal.

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