The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Anne Gracie, Susan King, Cara Elliott, Nicola Cornick

October 8th, 2015 Kimberly Review 70 Comments

8th Oct
The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley,  Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice,  Anne Gracie, Susan King, Cara Elliott, Nicola Cornick
The Last Chance Christmas Ball
by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Anne Gracie, Susan King, Cara Elliott, Nicola Cornick
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Hall is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year… A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering decorations, and swell of the orchestra, every duchess and debutante, lord and lackey has a hopeful heart. There’s the headstrong heiress who must win back her beloved by midnight—or be wed to another….the spinster whose fateful choice to relinquish love may hold one more surprise for her…a widow yearning to glimpse her long-lost love for even one sweet, fleeting interlude …a charming rake who finds far more than he bargained for. And many other dazzling, romantic tales in this star-studded collection that will fill your heart and spice up your holidays…

The Last Chance Christmas Ball is an anthology featuring eight stories told by some of our favorite Regency Romance authors. Jo Beverley begins with a prologue as The Dowager Countess of Holbourne, Lady Holly and her companion are writing out invitations for her annual Christmas Ball. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the event. Some folks refer to this as the Last Chance Christmas Ball as they hope to find true love or rekindle old flames. All of the stories take place at or around Lady Holly’s Ball.  At well over 400 pages, this delightful collection has a romance for everyone.

  • My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne – This is a second chance romance involving a jewelry maker and a nobleman. She doesn’t think she is worthy but when he aids her in seeking revenge he may just get a second chance. A sweet story that offered interesting side stories as well.
  • A Scottish Carol by Susan King-offered a  second chance romance between a widowed woman and a wounded college professor.  Henry was a student to Clary’s father the doctor. When he asked permission for her hand, her father refused. Clary was forced to wed another but fate has brought them together again.
  • Christmas Larks by Patricia Rice – a man returning home injured discovers his home has been sold to an old childhood friend. The romance was fast paced and not a favorite but I must say I loved the mice.
  • In the Bleak Midwinter by Mary Jo Putney – This was one of my favorites about a young couple who were in love. Kim goes off to war but returns injured and refuses to see Roxie, until she decides she must see him.
  • Old Flames Dance by Cara Elliott- This tale involves Lily, returned from India who hopes to see Edward her childhood crush. Edward is Kim’s brother and it was nice to see him find happiness.
  • A Season for Marriage by Nicola Cornick- Another sibling, Caroline sister to Edward and Kim and her marriage to Piers. Can they rekindle the flames after she forced him into marriage?
  • Miss Finch and the Angel by Jo Beverley- After meeting Clio in the prologue I was hoping she would find her happy. She is the companion to Lady Howard and has caught the eye of a handsome Duke.
  • Mistletoe and Kisses by Anne Gracie -Allie’s financial situation is dire. She will be forced to stay at home as a servant or find work outside the home. The Ball offers her escape before she begins work as a teacher, but it seems fate has other plans when she finds herself traveling in the company of Lord Kelsey and his sister.

All of the tales in The Last Chance Christmas Ball were delightful, some like In the Bleak of Winter were five cups of coffee worthy and others were sold threes, making this collection a winner. I loved the idea of the Second Chance Ball and seeing all the characters find their chance at happiness.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

70 Responses to “The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Anne Gracie, Susan King, Cara Elliott, Nicola Cornick”

  1. Priya Prithviraj

    Adding this to my wishlist. From the blurb it sounds like a delightful mix of romantic short stories, and the cover is so beautiful.

  2. Lover Of Romance

    I am super excited to try this one out. I love Christmas themed romances, they are the best to read. So glad to hear these stories were great to read.

  3. Tyler H Jolley

    What a fun collection. Sometimes I really enjoy short stories within a grand scheme of a book, especially when I’m in a reading slump. It makes me feel like I’ve read a lot of books in a short period of time.

  4. Sarah

    Awe this anthology sounds wonderful! I need to read more historical romance before the year is up, and this sounds really fun 😀 I think I’ll see if my library has the book. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lorna

    I do love a good Christmas romance! Fun fact-Patricia Rice’s mom lived across the street from my parents and they were friends. She came with her mom to a yard sale at my parents, and bought my mom’s antique cookie jar that I almost wouldn’t let her have-I really kick myself now.

  6. Wattle

    I like the idea that all the stories take place around/at the same event, it sounds like a perfect holiday read (or just a holiday mood read!) Great review Kim 🙂

  7. Trish

    What a fab idea for a collection! Going to keep this one in mind for my Christmas reads as I love the concept of the second chance ball.
    I always find with anthologies that I connect with some and some not so much. But overall you seemed to really enjoy this so count me interested 🙂

  8. Deborah

    Oh Kimberly… I love the structure of the review (and the ‘add to Goodreads’ button). Is it a new plug in or something?


  9. Cyn

    Ooh so many stories! I do love Anne Gracie, and Mary Jo Putney. Will definitely have to check this out soon. Awesome review, Kim!

  10. Bookworm Brandee

    I don’t typically read holiday-themed books but I might give this one a go since I’ve been on an historical kick lately. It’s always nice to get so many nice reads in one. 🙂

  11. Paij Slater

    I should love this, but anthologies are not my favorite. I feel they are too rushed most of the time. I just feel like I can never really connect with the characters. There are some out there that really help me connect more, but more often than not they are just too rushed.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love them. I keep them on my nightstand and read a story each night. Works perfectly since I am not up all night just one more chaptering!

  12. Kathryn

    Like many I am not an anthology reader, but this one did catch my eye, with Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney and Anne Gracie would be my favs. But 3 coffee cups for the lesser ones makes it a winner for Christmas reading.

  13. Liza

    I do have a copy of this one and I hope to read it before December 🙂 I really like historical romance, but I’m not familiar with all the authors. Great review!

  14. Elizabeth the Evil Overlord

    I don’t usually go for these anthologies, but I like the idea that all the authors worked to have their stories focus on the Last Chance Ball. I’ve been reading Christmas themed books this past week so I’d have some to recommend for Ho Ho Ho. The Santa Klaus Murder was an excellent cozy mystery and Merry Mistletoe is a novella still available on NetGalley.

  15. Lily B

    wow, 400 pages? i suppose that’s good, gave enough to wrap the stories up, this sonds cute, glad you found some you liked.

  16. Maureen Beatrice

    I really love collections of short stories.. And since Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday.. this especially sounds like a really fun read. And the Last Chance Christmas Ball sounds like something that totally fits the Christmas spirit. Thanks for sharing Kimberly. I’ll put this one on my what-I-want-for-Christmas list! 😉

  17. Heidi

    I have really been struggling with anthologies lately. I just finished another last night that ended up being average. Maybe this one with the lighter, fluffier stories would work bette.r

  18. Ramona

    The Christmas angle is irresistible! Christmas romance must a be a favorite with anyone who likes hot cocoa and crackling fires 🙂 I’m not big on short stories, but I will check out this anthology.

  19. Angela

    I love a good Christmas anthology and I missed this one somehow. It has some of my favorite authors in it, so I’m adding it to my buy list! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  20. Kristin

    What a great idea! Last Chance Ball but for second chances at love… how sweet and to put it with Christmas! Awwwwwww… Solid threes are great for me plus with an anthology, a 5 cupper will make a whole book worthwhile for me 🙂 Thanks for reviewing each one!!

  21. Braine

    I saw this documentary a while back about Christmas “back in the day”. It does sound truly magnificent except for the food. They have some weird dishes going on back then. They even recreated a favorite and according to the hosts it tastes yucky

  22. Jenny

    I’m on a historical romance kick at the moment Kim, so this is right up my alley. I just love knowing I’m going to get a happy ending, I can’t deal with anything too heavy right now:) Super excited about In the Bleak Midwinter!