So what if the holidays are over? Bring a little joy into your life by reading this anthology of Regency romances by some of the best historical romance writers. Well, some of my favorites, anyway. This delightful collection of tales overlap and intertwine around a Yule party, but each one is complete in and of itself and offers both delicious temptation and savory seductions, as well as some surprisingly deep emotional connections – not at all easy to pull off in short stories, much less ones that must fit like puzzle pieces with the rest. And don’t let the title fool you. Not a single one of the heroes or heroines is desperate for a “last chance” at love. It is merely the hostess of the titular ball who feels it time that they all get on with it.
The contributors to this lovely little romp are Joanna Bourne, Nicola Cornick, Anne Gracie, Patricia Rice, Cara Elliott, and Susan King. Some of them I had read before, and some were new to me, but not one of the stories disappointed, and that is rare in a compilation like this. As always, I was particularly enchanted by the plottings of the Joanna Bourne story, but I can honestly say there was something to love about each one of the pieces. The beauty of watching characters from other stories pass in the hall or observe part of a scene I had just read (or one I then hoped to read) was sublime. So, if you want to get a little bit of holiday cheer back in the tail end of winter – or in the middle of summer, if that suits you – I highly recommend this book.