Carols and Chaos

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Feiwel & Friends, Oct 9, 2018 - Young Adult Fiction - 320 pages

From the author of Suitors and Sabotage comes a swoonworthy Christmas adventure, perfect for fans of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.

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.

Full of sweetness, charm, and holiday mischief, Carols and Chaos—a standalone companion novel to Suitors and Sabotage—is perfect for readers who like their historical fiction with a side of romance and danger.

Praise for Carols and Chaos:

"One part intriguing mystery, one part cozy romance. Jane Austen fans will enjoy the propriety and the Regency setting, while that dose of Christmas adds an extra bit of cheer.” —Booklist

"A nod and a wink to the works of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. ... This book could serve as a stepping stone to classic read-alikes, such as Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre." —School Library Journal

 

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User Review  - ccheripka - www.librarything.com

If I had to choose one word for Carols and Chaos it would be charming...what a delightful romp through the early 1800's when the classes were so divided and the world was a "proper" place. Lord forbid ... Read full review

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Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey is a Regency novel that primarily takes place below stairs. Miss Kate Darby is a lady's maid for Miss Imogene Chively who is betrothed to Mr. Ben Steeple for whom Mr. Matt Harlow is valet. There is an immediate attraction between Kate and Matt but both stand off since they know no good can come of their attraction. Shackleford Park is Kate's place of residence with matt visiting in service to Mr. Ben. Johnny has also arrived with Matt as extra labor in the upcoming preparations for Christmas. As Christmas arrives and all the guests arrive, things get more complicated. For one, Johnny disappears, apparently on a quest to retrieve his ring, which he sold but was give a counterfeit coin in exchange. Kate and Matt use their spare time to locate Johnny.
After several days the people above stairs are forced to involve themselves in the disappearance. Kate and Matt are abducted, not once, but twice in their pursuit of Johnny and discover some disquieting facts about some of the town's residents. There are a few times they fear for their lives. Will they find Johnny? Will he be alive? Will their romance blossom into more?
Carols and Chaos was a fun, quick read. The characters were good, although as servants their lives appeared to be easier than lives below stairs are often portrayed. The mystery got a little involved with a lot of traipsing around on foot (servants don't have access to other means of transportation). As may of this general type, there is really little mention of daily life either upstairs or downstairs. It was a little heavy on abductions but all in all it was a pleasant book. I recommend it for anyone looking for light mystery or light romance.
I was given a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. #netgalley #carolsandchaos
 

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About the author (2018)

Cindy Anstey spends her days painting with words, flowers, threads, and watercolors. Whenever not sitting at the computer, she can be found—or rather, not found—traveling near and far. After many years living as an expat in Singapore, Memphis, and Belgium, Cindy now resides with her husband and energetic chocolate labrador, Chester, in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is the author of Love, Lies and Spies; Duels & Deception; Suitors and Sabotage; and Carols and Chaos.

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