Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Christmas Belle’s #2
Publication Date: 10/29/18
This is a lovely, very romantic read. It is well-written and the characters are fun, three-dimensional, well-developed and very likable. The first novella in the series, The Earl’s Wagered Bride, set up the stories for all three Craymore sisters and the war heroes who love them.
The Craymore sisters, Bee (Belinda), Del (Delphine) and Marjorie are living with their aunt, Countess Marsden because their father and brother died within weeks of each other and left them at the mercy of an avaricious cousin. He put them out and didn’t even let them keep a memento of their mother. They love their aunt and appreciate the largess of her and her step-son Griffith Harlinger, the fourth Earl of Marsden. However, they don’t like accepting charity and each of them is actively looking for a way to support themselves. Marjorie and Griff’s romance was featured in the last book and this one features Del and Neville Vaughn, Viscount Bromley.
Neville received a letter from his aunt Penelope (Penn) saying that her good friend, Gertrude, Countess Marsden, is having a Christmas house party with the express purpose of marrying off her three nieces. Neville met and fell in love with Del a couple of years prior. He proposed and she accepted. That same night, his nasty piece-of-work father appeared and announced Neville’s betrothal to another woman. Neville refused, but his father had the means to force him into the marriage. Needless to say, Neville and Del’s parting was not a pleasant one. Now, Neville’s father is dead as is his wife, and he’ll do whatever is necessary to make amends and win Del’s hand in marriage. Neville begs for a three-week leave from his post in war-torn France and seeks out the Earl of Marsden at Wellington’s headquarters in Paris. He asks Marsden for an invitation to the house party and tells him why it is so important to him.
Del was shocked and dismayed when the crowd parted on the first day of her aunt’s house party and she saw the man who broke her heart. She’s never forgotten nor forgiven him. He’d proposed to her and crushed her heart all in the space of a few short hours. She is still angry, but she can’t be rude at her aunt’s party – besides – she’s a sweet and kind young woman and he’s a wounded war hero. He comes straight to her and the wooing begins. She’s distrustful, but she still cares.
It was lovely to watch Neville woo Del. I think we’d all like to have our loves woo us that way. He’s sweet and thoughtful and caring and slowly wears her down. I loved watching their story unfold. Now, I can hardly wait to see Bee and Alastair’s love story.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”