TWO WICKED AND
WONDROUS HOLIDAY NOVELLAS
AFTER THE MUSIC
by CHRISTINE FEEHAN
Terrified by mysterious threats, Jessica Fitzpatrick spirits away her twin wards, Tara and Trevor, to the remote island mansion of their estranged father, world-famous musician Dillon Wentworth. Ever since the fire that claimed his troubled wife's life and left him horribly disfigured, Dillon has shut out the world. With Christmas approaching, the spark between him and Jessica might light the future, but there are those who shared Dillon's wife's love of the occult . . . and their evil machinations may plunge the family into darkness -- unless a Christmas miracle occurs. . . .
LADY OF THE LOCKET
by MELANIE GEORGE
The echoes of history and romance lure Rachel Hudson to Glengarren, the Scottish castle where her parents met many Christmases ago. But it is the portrait of fierce Highlander Duncan MacGregor that sparks an inexplicable yearning inside her. On a storm-tossed night, as lightning cracks across the castle's turrets, Rachel finds herself face-to-face with MacGregor himself, astride a mighty stallion. Now, stepping into Rachel's time -- and her heart -- the warrior from the past is pursued by an ancient, evil enemy. . . .
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . A good holiday read!
Posted December 08, 2010 by Kim @ The Caffeinated Diva , Gouverneur, NYIn After the Music, Jessica arrives on a remote island in the midst of a horrible storm with the twins who have been practically her own since their birth 13 years ago. Tara and Trevor haven't seen their father for many years, since a terrible fire that changed all of their lives irrevocably. But now, for reasons that soon come clear, Jessica has brought them to the island unannounced, knowing that their father will protect them when she can't.
I don't know that I would have necessarily called this "gothic" in the traditional sense, but I very much enjoyed the novella. Sometimes novellas can be too short to allow you to become full invested in the characters, but I did not find this to be true with this story. I was able to feel for Jessica from the opening scene and for the twins throughout the story. There were many twists and turns and I was kept guessing until the very end; the suspense kept me on the edge throughout the novella. A quick read that I would recommend, especially for the holidays.
In Lady of the Locket, Rachel arrives at Glengarren broken in spirit. Having had a traumatic year, she has come to Scotland to fulfill the last wishes of her parents. Glengarren was the place where her parents met and fell in love and it is where she must finally let go of them and say goodbye. The castle is rumored to be haunted and Rachel's life is changed forever when she meets the Highlander who was the first Lord of Glengarren, centuries earlier.
Of the two novellas, this second one was unexpectedly heartwrenching to me. Rachel's pain was almost palpable and I found myself feeling her sadness. There was scene towards the end of such despair that I was in tears reading it. It was romantic and lovely and had a fairy tale ending, everything you want in a romance novel!
2 . Very Gothic
Posted May 26, 2008 by Jade , Wyoming USAThe first story was my favorite of the two but that could be because I have read the second story before. Both locations were very gothic (first more than second though) and the first story was very original. A musician scarred in a fire that had taken place years before is reunited with his two children and their caretaker, a woman who had undergone serious tragedy while under his protection before and all their lives are in danger. Very great story. Christine Feehan is a brilliant writer. Melanie George's story about a time traveling highlander surprised me when I initially read it. I expected the same old story just in a different location (scary castle) but was pleasantly surprised by the twists that she took with it. Duncan even managed to change his present and her past to save her life. Both stories end well and give you that wonderful christmas glow that all great stories have, regardless on if it is the holiday season or not. Both stories involve ghosts, spooky places, enemies and love. Wonderful!
April 19, 2002
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Excerpt from A Very Gothic Christmas by Christine Feehan
Jessica Fitzpatrick woke up screaming, her heart pounding out a rhythm of terror. Fear was a living, breathing entity in the darkness of her room. The weight of it crushed her, held her helpless; she was unable to move. She could taste it in her mouth, and feel it coursing through her bloodstream. Around her, the air seemed so thick that her lungs burned for oxygen. She knew something monstrous was stirring deep in the bowels of the earth. For a moment she lay frozen, her ears straining to hear the murmur of voices rising and falling, chanting words in an ancient tongue that should never be spoken. Red, glowing eyes searched through the darkness, summoning her, beckoning her closer. She felt the power of those eyes as they neared, focused on her, and came ever closer. Her own eyes flew open, the need to flee was paramount in her mind.
The entire room lurched, flinging her from the narrow bunk to the floor. At once the cold air brought her out of her nightmare and into the realization that they were not safe in their beds at home, but in the cabin of a wildly pitching boat in the middle of a ferocious storm. The craft, tossed from wave to powerful wave, was taking a pounding.
Jessica scrambled to her feet, gripping the edge of the bunk as she dragged herself toward the two children, Tara and Trevor Wentworth, who clung together, their faces pale and frightened. Tara screamed, her terrified gaze locked on Jessica. Jessica managed to make it halfway to the twins before the next wild bucking sent her to floor again.
"Trevor, get your life jacket back on this minute!" She reached them by crawling on her hands and knees, and then curled a supporting arm around each of them. "Don't be afraid, we'll be fine."
The boat rose on a wave, teetered and slid fast, tossing the three of them in all directions. Salt water poured in a torrent onto the deck and raced down the steps into the cabin, covering the floor with an inch of ice-cold water. Tara screamed, and clutched at her brother's arm, desperately trying to help him buckle his life jacket. "It's him. He's doing this, he's trying to kill us."