Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Love Is All Around #2
Publication Date: 10/15/19
Number of Pages: 134
It was truly a fortuitous day for us readers when this author realized her oeuvre didn’t contain any Christmas stories. She immediately set about remedying that with the Love Is All Around trilogy. The trilogy features the Stafford siblings and is set around the St. Stephens day festival and Hartwell House (a home for impoverished women). While the stories all occur at around the same time, none of them provide enough information on the other stories to provide any spoilers. The first book, The Red Hot Earl, featured the youngest sister, Bianca, but we were also introduced to the older brother, Calder (whom we’ve all loved to hate) and our heroine for this book, Poppy. The trilogy wrap-up will be Calder’s story in Joy To The Duke and I can hardly wait to see what turned him into such a sour curmudgeon!
We met Poppy in the last book and learned that something was wrong, but we never learned what it was. Now we know. Poppy and her husband, Gabriel, Marquess of Darlington, have been married for almost three years and Poppy has slowly come to the realization that there will be no children. It isn’t from lack of trying – she and Gabriel are a love match, but still, no children. She’s gotten more and more melancholy and she can’t bear to go to Hartwell House to see the children that are housed there. It just hurts too much. In her sadness, she’s even begun to withdraw from Gabriel.
Gabriel Kirkwood loves his wife to distraction and her current melancholy hurts him, especially since all he wants is her happiness. He doesn’t know how to help her, but he does know that he is happy that there have been no children. Not that he doesn’t want children – he does – he is just absolutely and totally terrified of losing Poppy and the child in childbirth. He lost his mother and his older sister to childbirth and Poppy lost her mother in childbirth. He cannot lose Poppy as well.
These two are so wonderfully and sweetly in love. It was a pure delight to see how they expressed their love and helped each other overcome their issues. The epilogue is wonderful and you’ll read the last word with a full heart and a warm-all-over feeling. If you want a truly uplifting and loving Christmas read, this one is for you.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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