His Christmas Pleasure by Cathy Maxwell:This was an odd one; Maxwell took all the standard tropes -- dangerous rake, virginal spinster, nefarious aristrocrat, spoiled lady, misunderstandings galore -- and twists each of them in an unusual way. The result was a story that was both unexpected and predictable, charming and weird.
A Gift of Love (short stories and novellas):
Double Exposure by Judith McNaught: I am unfamiliar with McNaught's work, but she is an "old school" romance writer, and it shows. The story was okay but the tie to Christmas was tenuous and too much time was spent on the set-up and not enough on the actual relationship between the hero and heroine.
Just Curious by Jude Deveraux: I am not a fan of Deveraux's work, and this confirmed it. She's another "old school" writer, and it shows in the gender stereotypes under a veneer of feminism, and materialism under a veneer of the importance of family. Again, the tie to Christmas was perfunctory.
Gabriel's Angel by Kimberly Cates: This story, on the other hand, was delightful and Christmasy, although the prose was quite melodramatic and purply.
Yuletide Treasure by Andrea Kane: This story was remarkably similar to the Yates one, although I didn't enjoy it quite as much. The hero was just too much of a jerk, and the fact that his jerkiness came from manly anguish from a tragic past did nothing to mitigate it. I'd make a horrible romance heroine.
Five Golden Rings by Judith O'Brien: I'm not normally a fan of time-travel romances, but this one was short and sweet and well-done. Like the first two, Christmas gave the story a time period but didn't have much to do with the plot itself.