Last summer I read The Secrets of the Soho Club, an anthology of novellas that all feature the super exclusive Soho Club in London where members can do what they want without fear as all other members and staff are very discreet. Readers are given a chance to go back to the Soho Club with this Christmas edition – Christmas Secrets of the Soho Club. Below is a brief description of each novella and my thoughts!
- The Holiday of a Marquess by Linda Rae Sande – This novel follows Elaine and Edward. Elaine is a widow who happens to be really good with numbers after helping to manage her late husband’s books for years. She meets Edward at the Soho Club after he approaches her when he learns she’s good with numbers. He suspects someone in his business or estate is embezzling. Things turn more than friendly and allows Elaine a chance at love since her late husband wasn’t the most affectionate. I really enjoyed this novel and thought it was something different since the characters were both in the 40s/50s. It was nice to see characters that are bit older than the typical age in romance books find love.
- Violet Evergreen Seduces a Rogue by Charlotte Anne – Violet wants to be a writer, but every time she turns in a story to the publisher he tells her it’s still missing something. That something apparently is passion. She gets her friend who she has known since she was a child, Morgan, to take her to the Soho Club for inspiration. Loved this friends to lovers story because it had so much tension. I loved Violet discovering spicy reads for the first time in the Soho Club library. And there’s the one bed trope too!
- Thursday’s Child by Fiona M. Marsden – Bella and William have been married for a little while now, but are very distant with each other and barely interact after a sort of disastrous wedding night. Each think they are the reason their marriage is failing, but after they both go to the Soho Club separately to try to help themselves they end up reconnecting and figuring out what’s wrong with their marriage. I really liked this one and thought it was unique that the couple is already married and trying to work through their issues.
- The Widow’s Modiste by Renee Dahlia – This sapphic romance follows Phoebe and Jacinda. Jacinda is a relatively new modiste in London and trying to make a name for herself and gain clients of the haute ton. Phoebe is a bit older than Jacinda and a widow to a viscount. When Jacinda makes an elaborate gown for a high class client to attend a party at the Soho Club and that client ends up not being able to attend the party, Jacinda goes in her place. Since she is wearing a mask, no one will know that she is actually the modiste. Jacinda and Phoebe get together that night and what they thought would only be a one time thing ends up being a connection that neither can stop thinking about. I really enjoyed this story and loved the characters. There were cameos from the main characters in “Love Wasn’t Built in a Day” from the first anthology too!
- The Case of the Black Diamond Part II by Clyve Rose – This part 2 from the fun, spy story told in the original anthology. The conclusion to the tale focuses on Felix and Ada this time, but the original main characters play major roles. The two continue searching for answers and clues to find the murderer from part 1. I love a good spy story and this one was great and mixed in adventure and a slow burn love story.
- Scandalous Charlotte by Ebony Oaten – This novella is a sequel to “Theres Something About Miss Mary” from the original anthology. Charlotte is Mary’s cousin and is a widow. Before her husband passed away, they learned she was pregnant. The Wentworth family seems to have a curse because a lot of them die young in some tragic way. So Charlotte’s husband makes her promise to keep their son a secret so that the Wentworths don’t force her to turn over the heir. While living at the Soho Club with her young son, she begins an affair with a footman, who may be more than he seems. I was instantly hooked on this story and I found the characters really likable.
- The Freedom of a Widow by Heidi Wessman Kneale – Lillias is a young widow. Her late husband was very old – to the point where her stepson and daughter-in-law are older than her. Her husband being as old and unwell as he was, she didn’t have a lot of experience being intimate and saw sex as something tedious. Because of this she doesn’t really have a desire to remarry, but when she learns from her maid that she’s been missing out she decides to take classes with Endymion aka Master Bisou at the Soho Club. Endymion is a member of the ton like Lillias, but he secretly teaches kissing lessons at the Club. I thought this story was funny and I loved the characters. I just wish it didn’t end so abruptly!
Another great visit to the Soho Club! Perfect if you’re looking for holiday regency romance!
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