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When a meddling but warmhearted lady’s companion tries to force a reconciliation between a dowager countess and her son, no one can guess at the resentment and betrayals that will be unearthed; but Christmas is the season for forgiveness and new beginnings—and possibly a little romance?

The Earl of Devonmont is quite clear on two things in his life: He wants nothing, ever, to do with his mother, and he’s determined to never marry. So, even he is surprised when, after receiving a letter from Camilla Stuart, his mother’s companion, indicating the dowager is on death’s door, he high-tails it to his country estate where his mother lives simply in the Dowager House. And he's even more surprised when, upon seeing evidence of the lady’s good health, he allows his intended immediate departure to be delayed by the intriguing employee. One day flows into many, and while he and his mother move into a more civil relationship than they’ve had since she abandoned him as a child, all three of them realize they must get to the heart of the matter—the truth behind the abandonment and the secrets of the Dowager’s past—before real peace and understanding can be achieved. Meanwhile, Camilla and the earl grow ever closer, and for the first time, Devonmont considers marriage, though Camilla knows a match between them is unacceptable. She’s a foundling widow with a young child, and he’s, well, an earl. Jeffries’ latest historical romance is an enchanting holiday charmer with a complex and captivating plot; characters that interact with emotional authenticity; and a rich set of conflicted, heart-tugging obstacles—all of which combine to provide a satisfying happily-ever-after set against a fun holiday backdrop.

Skillful writing and storytelling, compelling sexual and emotional tension, and a cast of realistic, vulnerable characters contribute to a lovely, spirited Christmas winner.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4246-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2012


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