Thank you Dragonblade Publishing, NetGalley, and all the wonderful authors in this collection for the opportunity to read this book!
“There is nae ‘life after love; life is love, and loving is life.”The Laird’s Yulebringer
O Night Divine is a holiday anthology written by 21 authors. All the stories take you back in time to the Scottish Highlands, the Regency Period, the Victorian period, and even the Elizabethan period. All of the stories channel Charles Dickens with helpful ghosts and love. The authors are:
Kathryn Le Veque
Anna St. Claire
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Emily E K Murdoch
and they really bring the Christmas spirit with these tales.
One thing about this collection is that it has 21 stories and each story is roughly 50 pages. In previous anthologies that I have read, there are usually 8-10 stories and range 150-200 pages each. Needless to say, these stories move extremely quickly! Some of them left me a little disappointed because I wanted more. All of the authors created some amazing characters and stories but 50 pages just aren’t enough.
However, I did have quite a few favorites!
1) The Laird’s Yulebringer by Caroline Lee takes place in the Scottish Highlands and Callan is mourning his wife who died a year before. He has a young son and everyone around him is pushing him to move on but he just can’t. That is until a spirit comes to him and shows him his future with another woman and a child. He believes it was all just a dream until he sees the woman and child in the forest.
2) Never Keep a Secret at Christmas by Maggi Anderson introduces a grumpy old man named Lord Hawkinge. He has no family that he talks to and keeps to himself. That is until a spunky young woman climbs their neighboring wall. Alice knows that he is only grumpy because he is lonely. So she writes to his heir and grandson. He comes immediately, dreading to see his grandfather, and is completely captivated by Alice.
3) Her Star from the East by Mary Lancaster is such a touching love story. It is Christmas and Emma is not happy. She misses Selim, her Prince from the Ottoman Empire. He is a good friend of her brother and she has been in love with him since she met him. One night she sees a star and she wonders if she follows it just like the wise men did, that it would lead her to him. Then Selim appears…
4) How to Get an Earl for Christmas by Violetta Rand introduces Rose and her brother Timothy. They have been cast out of their home by their half brother. They soon discover that they have a godmother who is to help them with their mother’s last wishes and that includes a betrothal for Rose.
5) The Heart is Never Silent by Aubrey Wynne is probably my favorite out of all of them. Henrietta and Horatia (Etta and Tia) have to flee their current situation. The man that is supposed to be Tia’s guardian, plans to marry Etta and send Tia to an insane asylum since she is deaf. They come across Dr. Wharren who feels called to help them, but can’t deny his attraction to Etta.
All of these tales have beautiful love stories but my favorite part is all the little references to Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. There is so much charm and love that is perfect for the holiday season! Overall, I rate this collection 4 out of 5 stars!