At a house party in the countryside, the joyful spirit of the Christmas season threatens to sweep Georgiana Trent under the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue who broke her heart two years ago. Little does she know that Lucas Godwin has no intention of leaving until he has reclaimed her as his own.
I love the Victorian era (this one is set in 1885, so far enough into the era for cool stuff like telegrams!). I love reunion stories. I’m a fan of Christmas, and like books about the season as long as they’re not full of cheese.
Meredith Duran is a well-known historical romance author, and one whose work I’ve never read before. No idea why, because I enjoy her style, her characterisation, and LOVE the atmosphere of the era she creates. There were a few issues I had with this one (research and language mistakes) – I’ll mention that at the end.
However, I loved that this had a Christmas feel without any of the annoying stuff that tends to come with a book set at that time of year. And the reason I love the Victorian era in historical romance is because something new is always happening. There’s a sense the world is changing fast, and you’ll be going along thinking you’re reading a normal historical, and then suddenly someone’s catching a train or sending a telegram, and it’s such an exciting time to set a book.
The reunion and the misunderstandings were done well in a short space of time. I think the pacing of how the conflict was resolved was also done really well. I also liked that they didn’t just jump into bed without making some sort of long-term commitment to each other first.
And the Victorian era is so synonymous with Christmas, it’s a perfect setting for a book for the holiday.
There were a few language issues (it’s a biscuit, not a “cookie”; and I’m not sure why an English earl would have an estate named Harlboro like it’s the Carolinas, instead of Harlborough).
However, the thing I had trouble with was that the plot revolves around hero and heroine searching the guests’ rooms for a letter. They do this at 5am, when the guests are off frolicking in the morning sunshine, finding a Christmas tree. The sun streams in the window, and the heroine appreciates how attractive the hero looks lit like that.
The problem? 5am on the 23rd of December in Britain? Pitch black. 6am? Pitch black. 7am? Pitch black. 8am? Well… you get the picture. It was really distracting, and – I’m not being sarcastic – I’d love to know where the author lives that it’s that light and sunny over the solstice in winter!
Those quibbles aside, I really enjoyed this novella. I’m a little surprised it doesn’t have better reviews, but then novellas rarely get the praise they deserve.
Victorian era + reunion romance + Christmas? A great combination.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.