Title: Carols and Chaos
Author: Cindy Anstey
Release Date: October 9th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Google Play
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A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.
1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.
Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue.
Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and…a chocolate Labrador called Chester.
Halloween is over and now the holidays are upon us! I read Cindy’s novel Suitors and Sabotage earlier this year and at the time, I heard that she was coming out with a spin-off for it. The moment I found out I was approved for this book, I was excited to dive in and see what she had to offer.
We focus on one of the ladies maid’s Kate and Matt, Ben Steeple’s valet, from the previous novel. There were hints of their attraction from the novel and they are further explored in this one. Due to the holiday hustle and bustle in Shackleford Park, the Steeple and Chively families come together to feed the flame between these two.
Now, I enjoyed Suitors and Sabotage, but it needed to be fleshed out more. There was more talk than show pertaining to scene development and even pertaining to Kate and Matt’s relationship. I mean, there weren’t that many scenes where they were paired together for us to fully understand or watch their relationship grow to what we could have perceived.
I was great to be back into this world and the atmosphere of the 1800s. However, the lack of action made the experience lacking. The mystery aspect didn’t even show up till halfway through the book. It was a good read, yes, but when you tell more than show – it robs you of the experience.
If you need a quick, holiday-themed mystery, try this out. But do not expect everything you wish for wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.