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Once Upon a Dickens Christmas ~ Review

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas
By Michelle Griep

This book is actually a 3-in-1 book that includes the following stories: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, A Tale of Two Hearts, and The Old Lace Shop. These stories are each complete in themselves but there is a link between them. First, they are set in the time when Charles Dickens's works were new and popular. Second, there is a character who is secondary in nature who is in two stories. Third, there is a second chance coin that in all three stories and it passes through several hands as the stories progress.

Now to the individual stories themselves.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor finds Clara Chapman presented with an opportunity - the chance to obtain 500 pounds. Meanwhile, Ben Lane is presented with the chance to gain his freedom from the prison that has been his home these last 9 months. Both believe the other guilty of betrayal on the day that they were to wed when they are brought together at Bleakly Manor. They are not the only ones promised a long wanted desire. But to obtain it there are a few rules - only those who can last all twelve days will gain the promise. And staying is not going to be easy as it seems someone wants to be sure all others are out of the way.

A Tale of Two Hearts finds William Barlow in need of a wife. Will needs a wife to prove to his Uncle Barlow that he is a changed man and worthy of being named his heir. But Will's cousin Percy is also in the running to be named heir. With the help of Mina Scott, Will hopes to convince his uncle that he is married. But when the expected announcement is pushed off to a later date Mina's heart is in danger as she and Will have to play their role longer as they seek to save Uncle Barlow from a scheme that will see his life ruined. Can something more come out of this deception?

The Old Lace Shop finds Bella White determined to be a woman of independence - she never wants to be under the cruel thumb of another man. With her husband's death, she is free to pursue the life she wants and she is going to assume his majority partnership in the Nottingham Lace and Hose. What she never expected was that she would become a business partner with Edmund Archer the man who broke her heart and left her behind. Can this business partnership be a second chance at love or will it be the ruination of all Bella's plans?

These are enjoyable reads and those who prefer clean, gentle reads will love these three Christmas tales. It is interesting finding all the little Dickens tidbits scattered throughout the stories. Overall the book is 440 pages but is the total number for all 3 stories so each is approximately 130 to 160 pages long - perfect for a long afternoon of reading and enjoying tea. Each has historical notes at the end of the story to explain just what certain things were in relation to the historical period in which the story takes place.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own

About the Book:

Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep
Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan-favorite Michelle Griep:
12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.
A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?
The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

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~ Blooming with Books