Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Kitty Hall is at her wits end, her son Joss refuses to settle down and ignores all the nice girls she has placed in his path. In desperation, she writes to his godfather, Dr. Thomas Black and asks if he would help her find a bride for Joss. Dr. Black is about to refuse when he remembers that his cousin’s daughter is working as the housekeeper at his estate in the north. When her mother died five years ago, he meant to see her settled and find her a husband, but he never got around to it. Seems like he can kill two birds with one stone. Joss is a gifted architect, so Dr. Black requests that he go to Thorncroft Manor and give him suggestions for updating the house. He means to write to Maggie and let her know and to Kitty to tell her the plan, but he gets sidetracked and forgets.
Maggie Carr is not looking forward to spending Christmas alone, she has been alone too much since her parents died. But alone she will be, because she wouldn’t ask Jane to stay with her and miss time with her family. After Jane leaves, Maggie settles in for the night only to be awoken by a banging at the door.
Joss barely made it to Thorncroft with the blizzard raging, but he is here now and no little slip of a girl is going to keep him out. Maggie is shocked when Joss shows up, she would love nothing better than to kick him out, but if Dr. Black sent him, she doesn’t have the right and the storm is too bad. Shaking with cold as they are standing in the foyer arguing, she refuses to go with him to the kitchen. So Joss picks her up and tosses her over his shoulder and takes her himself.
Joss is a gentle giant, he was raised a gentleman, but his manners are a bit rusty. He knows he should leave, but Maggie sparks something in him he has never felt before. He wants to know more about her.
As they spend time together, they form a friendship and Joss does his best to bring some joy in her life. When an impromptu kiss unleashes the barely passion he feels for her, he knows he must leave. He wants Maggie, but he will not dishonor her, he will return later once Jane has returned and court her properly.
Joss sets out and Maggie is heartbroken, she knows she loves him and wonders if he will return and if he does will the magic between them be the same. She feels even more lonely now that she has ever felt and worries about his safety. Later that night, Joss returns, half frozen. The road was impassable and his horse was lame.
Maggie immediately takes charge and gets him warm and fed. After Joss retires, she goes to his room, determined to make memories with Joss that will sustain her after he is gone.
This was a sweet, slightly steamy little novella. The writing was wonderful and the story was well paced. The story is amusing and heartfelt and it has a wonderfully sweet epilogue.
I happily recommend this novella, it is set at Christmas, but it is not overly “Christmas-y”, it is just a great story about two wonderful people meeting and falling in love around Christmastime.
*I was provided a copy for review by the Author*