A Lass for Christmas by Jane Charles, featured in A Scandalous Christmas by Various Authors
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Tenacious Trents #4 & Several Anthologies
Release Date for Anthology: November 24, 2020
I first read this novella years ago when it debuted in the Tenacious Trent series, since then it has been featured in several anthologies and even after all this time – I love this story and was delighted to see that it was included in this anthology.
Lady Madeline Trent and her mother, Rose have stopped to visit her brother Matthew and his new wife on their way to Danby Castle for Christmas and she couldn’t be more delighted. After a disastrous first season and then a missed season due to mourning, she is finally looking forward to meeting a gentleman and starting her own life. But those dreams are shattered when she overhears Matthew and her brother Jordan talking to Rose (their 2nd stepmother). They tell her that they have learned that they have learned that their father’s second wife and daughter, are not dead as everyone thought and they believe Adele and Julia are back in England. This means that the Earl’s marriage to Rose was not valid and Madeline is illegitimate! Overwhelmed by the news, Madeline needs to think and decides to sneak out and go for a walk. She ventures out and gets lost, she sees lights and comes upon a manor house – nearly freezing, she makes her way to the house, but doesn’t realize she is walking across a frozen pond and breaks through the ice.
Lachlan Grant, the Marquess of Brachton is at his estate in England, he inherited the English title from his uncle, but in his heart, he is a Scot and he plans find a Scottish bride. His plan to leave is thwarted by a snowstorm and forces him to delay his departure until the snow stops. He is enjoying a drink with his friend/valet Dougal when he spots a woman walking on his lawn and to his horror, sees her fall through the ice. He races out to save her, she is barely conscious when he finally gets her into the house and he has no choice but to undress her and try to get her warm – he asks her name and she tells him it is Mad before passing out – he thinks she is trying to say Maddie. The next day the misunderstanding grows when she tells him she was traveling with Jordan Trent – a friend of his – but doesn’t mention she is his sister. Lachlan assumes she is Jordan’s mistress and decides to seduce her away from him.
This is a well written, nicely paced novella with very likable characters, warm love scenes and a surprisingly in-depth emotional story. This novella is part of the Tenacious Trent series, but it can easily be read as a standalone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and received from the publisher. All opinions are my own.*