What I've Read This Week Part I . . .
Mistletoe Kittens by JoAnn Ferguson, Judith A. Landsdowne and Regina Scott -- Regency romance
These three novellas by well-known Regency romance authors are set at Christmastime and all feature cats. The first story "Beneath the Kitten Bough" features a tiny little kitten who becomes a pawn in a matchmaking scheme. Recently orphaned, the niece and nephews of Lord Snoclyffe decide they need a wife for their uncle and mother for themselves for Christmas. They have just the lady in mind and hope to lure her to their home by leaving a tiny kitten in a basket on her doorstep. The plan doesn't quite go the way they hoped when the lady's outspoken cousin Rosemary Burton believes it her duty to take Lord Snoclyffe to task for endangering the life of the kitten. When she learns the children acted on their own, she takes pity on the motherless children and shows them the delights of the Christmas season. Her intention is to completely avoid their uncle, who has an alarming tendency to make her feel uncomfortable (in a good way), for she has heard stories of his youthful exploits. Andrew finds the bold redhead refreshing and delightful and falls helplessly in love. He knows she would be a wonderful wife and mistress of his home and he also knows she'd make a good mother for his wards. Rosemary isn't so convinced that His Lordship's intentions are honorable. It's up to Cutie Pie the kitten with some help from her spirited two-legged friends to help the adults find their way to the kissing bough. This is my favorite story of the three. It was well-paced and the characters had good chemistry without being overblown. The pacing of the story works well for a novella and the ending is very sweet.
The second story, "The Christmas Kitten" features a beautiful lady and a sleek, dark-haired handsome stranger, both of whom happen to be cats. Lady Ellena is a purebred house cat who is devoted to her owner. Rowdy is a mischievous stable cat who is determined to make his way to the most beautiful lady he has ever seen. Lady Ellena's owner, Camelia Dunsbury is set to marry the oh-so-proper Lord Cottsworth, a match that was made when the pair were children. Camelia has never thought about not doing what her father asks, which includes keeping her cat a virtual prisoner in her bedroom and marrying Daniel. As Rowdy and Lady Ellena become more determined to meet, they help Camelia and Daniel become better acquainted with their inner cat. This is a weird story because of the four points of view. Camelia and Daniel are largely unrealistic and uninteresting. Their transformation is quick and unusual and it doesn't make a lot of sense. The story contains a lot of sensual imagery, but mostly from the point of view of the cats. It's a nice, light read though and not terrible.