by Mary Balogh
Publication date: November 27, 2018
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.
After her husband’s passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snowbank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them, for she is nine years older than he.
They return to London the following Season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still, they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love. . . .
Elizabeth Overfield is finally ready to enter into marriage again after grieving the passing of her husband. During a Christmas celebration, she meets Colin Handrich, a much younger and highly desirable bachelor. Thinking nothing of the friendship they immediately form, she finds great comfort in his company, and after an unexpected kiss, is sad to part until the following season. Now, as they both search for more suitable love interests, they cannot help but be drawn back to one another. Will they defy the judgements placed upon their unlikely relationship, or will they listen and deny themselves of true love?
I love romance. I love historical fiction. And I am absolutely fascinated with the Victorian era. This beautifully written novel embodies all three of the qualities I love, so I found it difficult to put this one down. Elizabeth is a strong female character and one who demonstrates some spunk and keeps those “nay-sayers” on their toes. The relationship she has with Colin is heartwarming, unlikely, and absolutely perfect. And the added love triangle that Balogh throws us makes the final ending that much more beautiful. This is a feel good book that is perfect to read on a cold winter day, all cozied up with a blanket by the fire.