Review: Cotillion Christmas Spirits / Edited by Mary Moran and Helen Woodall / Cerridwen Press, 2009

Title: Cotillion Christmas Spirits
Edited by Mary Moran and Helen Woodall
Published by Cerridwen Press, 2009
ISBN: 9781419923913
Length: 281 Pages
Format: eBook Collection
Genre: Traditional Regency Romance

“A freak snowstorm and a mysterious lady in red combine to lure Anna Marshall away from her home and into an encounter with the notorious Earl of Ashington. Marooned on his country estate, the two discover a mutual attraction that both realize can lead nowhere. After all, he prefers life in London while she has reason to avoid the city and her aristocratic relatives who reside there. But Christmas is approaching and with help from the lady in red, the couple eventually find that by accepting love and forgiveness, they can possess the peace and joy that the season promises.”

A simple historical fantasy about accepting love where it’s found and that love’s power to bring peace and forgiveness where there was none before. A perfect Christmas story to be read out loud for ‘tweens and older.

“Sarah Pelham is led by the spirit of Christmas past to dream about her missing twin and sets out in a snowstorm to find her. Lord Vance is led by the same spirit to take shelter at the inn where Sarah arrives, and discovers she is the girl of his dreams. Vance is determined to help Sarah complete her mission so she can then marry him. The spirits of Christmases present and future also have a hand in ensuring the couple’s happy ending."

Another wholesome historical fantasy, this one in the vein of Dickens. Two strangers are drawn together by Christmas spirits who visit them in their dreams. Willing to believe in their dreams and to act with blind faith, the two achieve their dreams and more.

“Hannah Brown is forced to spend the Christmas holidays far from home with cousins who ridicule her at every opportunity. To get revenge, she tries to scare them by making up stories about the Belznickel, the Christmas demon.
Then her stories start to come alive…”

I enjoyed this old-time ghost/fairy tale story. It had depth, mystery and a small bit of the paranormal. The author managed to make her tale feel as if it were a larger piece through solid character development. The abrupt ending caused me to raise an eyebrow, but it fit the story perfectly.

Jeanne Savery

“The late Lord Everston’s lover wanted to join him in eternal bliss from the moment he died. But instead of achieving her own happiness, Jenna was required to help his lordship’s heirs find theirs.
Now Jacob, Sarah, Patrick and Roman have true love, and it is Jenna’s time to join her deceased lover. It is also Christmas and all the families celebrate it together. Though grieving for Jenna, they still have reason to celebrate the season—the knowledge that true love can survive even death.”

A bit syrupy for my liking, this ghost story is about a dying woman who believes she is about to be reunited with her dead husband and how that belief touches everyone in the family, teaching young and old alike something about love.

Larissa Lyons

“Dominated by her father’s rigid ways since a twist of fate stole her sight, Isabella uses the magic of Christmas to steal away for an adventure of her own when invited to join friends for the holidays. Oh, how she adores Christmastime!
How he abhors Christmastime! Lord Frostwood lives up to his name, freezing out everyone since a childhood tragedy hardened his heart. Everyone, that is, until a spirited wench falls at his feet and proceeds to warm his cold existence, thanks to some strategically placed mistletoe and their resulting Christmas kisses.”

This is my favourite piece in the collection. The author managed to balance the give and take dance between the two would-be lovers as perfectly as anything I’ve read. Yes, the reader will know from the beginning exactly how the story will end, but the freshness of language and the abandon with which Larissa Lyons writes her two main characters flows out of her pen and onto the paper like life blood. I loved reading about Isabella and Nicholas: they made my chest ache and left me wishing for Christmas in a way I haven’t done for ages.


A Cotillion of Christmas Spirits is about as family oriented a book as you’ll find these days. I strongly suggest picking up a copy now for next Christmas. You’ll have something wholesome, old fashioned and full of love that you can allow anyone in the family to read.

Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2010 The "Inside Story" by Sassy Brit and her Gang!
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  1. Thank you, Clayton, for your review! I'm delighted you enjoyed the anthology, and touched by what you wrote about my contribution, Miss Isabella Thaws a Frosty Lord. Thank you! >^..^< Larissa

  2. Thanks for popping by, Larissa.

    Lovely to hear from you. :)


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