Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: A Scandal in Mayfair, #4
Release Date: November 22, 2022
With her worries mounting, Anthea Bryars needed a break from being trapped in the house, a house that she and her half-sisters and her former governess, Winifred won’t be able to call home for too much longer. She is trying to figure out a way that they can all stay together and hasn’t had any luck. Thinking a walk would be just the thing to clear her mind, she ventures out into the snowy afternoon. But instead of finding peace, she finds a gorgeous, half-dead man and after a bit of struggling, Anthea is able to wake the man, who is grumpy and clearly unappreciative of her kindness, she then manages to get him on his feet, she leads him to the house. Once in the house and with the help of Winifred, they get the grouchy, ingrate cleaned up and into a bed. Hoping he survives, because a dead nobleman is the last thing she needs.
Christopher Trant, the Earl of Denton wakes to find a small girl at the end of the bed engaging her dolls in a battle to the death – the victim is “Cousin Christopher” – he asks the girl where he is but doesn’t get answers until the astounding beautiful woman who saved him walks in. It doesn’t take long to realize that he is in the house he inherited, and apparently has three young cousins whom he unknowingly evicted and who all hate him in residence. He immediately decides to pretend to have amnesia, until he can figure a way out of this mess that doesn’t end with the most beautiful woman he has ever seen hating him. But once he gets to know the girls and Anthea (who thankfully is not his cousin), the harder it is to tell them that he is “Wicked Cousin Christopher”, but if he wants any type of relationship with the girls and more importantly, Anthea, he is going to have to come clean and hope they can forgive him.
This was a fun Christmas-themed read with delightful characters and quite a bit of humor. Christopher and Anthea have an instant attraction, but with his deception hanging between them, it doesn’t seem like HEA is going to happen. I also liked that despite his deception, Christopher was a good man, who honestly didn’t realize that he was displacing the girls and wants to make things right and not just to win Anthea. I did think that Anthea could have been a bit more understanding, but thankfully, she comes around pretty quickly. The book has lies, heated kisses, great secondary characters, lots of mistletoe, some laughs, some tears, and of course a HEA complete with an epilogue. This is the fourth book in the series, but it can easily be read as a standalone title and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*