London rakehell, Gerard Windham, Viscount Knowles, tired of his debauched life, escapes to the countryside and his cousin’s family for the Christmas season in the hope of avoiding another night in his cups. But during the festivities, he cannot resist the temptation of a wager—that he can seduce any woman in the room.
Written by: Anna D. Allen
First published: 2012
We first meet Gerard as he is finalising the wager and choosing the woman he will seduce. She turns out to be Elizabeth, a dour old maid – or is she?
This is a novelette (which makes it longer than a short story but shorter than a novella) so we are into the action pretty quickly.
So what did I like about the book?
I really liked Elizabeth’s willingness to take control of her life and the fact we get the hero’s POV. I also really liked the brief (it is a novelette after all) allusions to Gerard’s previous behaviour and how he was already trying to change that behaviour.
And finally the misunderstanding was cleared up quickly – probably because of the word limit requirement!
So what did I not like about the book?
There wasn’t that much that I didn’t like to be honest. Funnily enough it went too fast for me! I really wanted to see more of Gerard and Elizabeth.
There were a few small spelling issues and a bit of a faux pas where they dance 3 dances at the ball. I’m not a huge stickler for historical accuracy so this didn’t bother me too much but your mileage might vary.
How did I feel at the end?
That’s really the important thing isn’t it? Did I feel the HEA was right? Was I left with a warm and fuzzy feeling or wishing I could get my money back?
Basically yes I felt warm and fuzzy. I particularly liked the scene between Gerard and his cousin.
And I’ll be looking out to see if there’s a story about Claremont (Gerard’s cousin) and his second countess. It certainly feels like there should be!
Ms Allen has contributed to a number of Christmas Regency anthologies as well so I’ll definitely be reading (and reviewing) those in the near future.