Author: Carla Kelly
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Published: September 2011
Paperback: 304 pages
Genre: Regency Romance
FTC FYI: I received my copy from NetGalley with approval from publisher
Reviewed by Mindy
Goodreads summary: “Miss Marian Wynswich is a rather unconventional young lady. She plays chess, reads Greek, and is as educated as any young man. And she’s certain falling in love is a ridiculous endeavor and vows never to do such a thing. But everything changes when she receives a Christmas visit from someone unexpected— a young and handsome English lord.”
Marian’s brother Percy is coming home for Christmas. He surprises everyone by bringing two suitors. The pompous Sir William who is the intended one for Ariadne, Marian’s older sister. Although she has eyes for the town vicar, who is as poor as a church mouse. The second is Gilbert Collinwood, Lord Ingraham. Marian (or Mare, as her family calls her) swears that romance is not for her. This is the first Christmas since her father’s death, which has left the family deeply in debt with his precarious ways. There is even talk of the Wynswich family having to sell their estate to pay off the debt.
The Wynswich family has a Christmas tradition making a Christmas pudding, and while stirring it, a wish is made in your heart. One that you can not repeat. In her mind Marian’s wish is that Gilbert Collinwood will have the best Christmas. Gil also makes a wish of his own.
Marian’s mother, Lady Wynswich is overly dramatic and judgmental. It is these actions, one day, that send Marian to check on her newly born kittens, Lord Ingraham goes with her. They talk and Marian finds herself in easy conversation. He keeps telling her to stop calling him “Lord Ingraham”, so she settles on Gil. Gilbert has a scar on his face, and Marian in her animal loving ways has made a healing salve, which she applies to his face. Right away, I think, Gil starts to think well of Marian.
Marian is such an enjoyable character. I really liked her. Many times she had me smiling. She is smart, well-read, witty, and has a lot of spunk (even for the time period that it is set). This story takes place in the Napolean era. Eventually goes in a direction I wasn’t expecting, but really enjoyed. There are many surprises that were exciting and kept me wondering. It’s a well written book, with a very sweet ending. I loved the changes in some characters too.