Accidentally colliding with Tess Ellery on the icy streets of Ghent is definitely not how resolute bachelor Alexander Tempest, Viscount Weybourn, intended to start the festive period. He may have mistaken her for a nun, but there’s nothing innocent about his reaction to Tess’s delicious curves…
When Tess is left stranded, Alex is honour-bound to take her home…as his housekeeper! And despite his long-held rule of spending Christmas alone, Tess’s vivacity soon has this brooding lord determined to make all her Christmas wishes come true!
I nearly skipped this one, which was stupid, because Louise Allen is one of my favourite historical romance writers! I’m glad I got it, because I really enjoyed it.
His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish is smart, funny, historically accurate, and very British. It has some of that Christmas sweetness without making you sick with it. It has characters taking risks, but unlike most in the subgenre, they seriously consider the consequences. This is not the Disneyland version of the Regency era.
At first I was a little worried about how this would go, because like ALL historical romance series, this one starts with a “secret club” of sorts as a hook. Four friends from their student days, nicknamed the “Elementals” because they all have elemental names (Tempest?!) – it didn’t sound promising.
However I can happily report that the hook disappears after a few pages, and there’s no sequel baiting whatsoever popping up after the first couple of chapters. This is a complete book on its own, and what a relief that is.
In some ways, the hero of this one reminded me a bit of Anne Gracie’s heroes. Kind men rather than brooding jerks.
Honestly, it’s always harder to explain why you like a book. I can go on forever about the faults in books I disliked! Regency romance has been almost done to death, so every blurb ends up sounding pretty much the same. You have to learn to choose the book by the author, not the description, and this is an author worth investing in.
Any author struggling with their British language and grammar should use Allen as a template for their own writing. I felt so much more immersed in the story because these people actually spoke like English people! I was also relieved to see that some of the issues with grammar were all in order in this book, as I’ve recently read so many books edited outside Britain (using grammar in different ways) that I thought I’d been getting the language wrong my whole life!
My biggest grumble is with the kitten the hero gives the heroine. You DO NOT feed kittens milk! Cats cannot tolerate the milk we drink. It makes them sick. These characters were feeding the kitten milk on every other page!
However, I was so happy with this book. It is one of the better books I’ve read recently, the writing was not only solid but hugely entertaining, and I’m excited about the rest of the series.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.