Denied the woman of his dreams by his father’s meddling, Calder Stafford, has spent the last decade proving himself to be self-sufficient, austere, and utterly uninterested in joy. Now that he is the Duke of Hartwell, he’ll enact his revenge by abolishing the holiday traditions his father loved so well. His sisters will not sway him and neither will the woman—newly returned to town—who was stolen from him.
Returning to Hartwell to care for her mother, widow Felicity Garland is delighted to be back home, especially for the holidays. However, the jolly festivities she expects are nowhere to be found. When she goes to the source of the problem—the duke—she’s astonished to see how much the young man she once loved has hardened. It’s up to her to break through the impenetrable fortress around his heart—not just to save Christmas, but to save him.
A sweet ending to a fun holiday novella series!
Calder had his work cut out for him in this book–he was a wretched human being in the first two books, and the novella-length format doesn’t give him a lot of room for error–but fortunately for him, Ms Burke got right to making him work on his own redemption. Not that he was at all interested in even trying at first–thankfully, Felicity has the tenacity of a bulldog and won’t give him a moment’s peace. She’s going to drag him back to his long-buried last bit of humanity kicking and screaming if she has to.
In keeping with the underlying theme of the series (holiday stories loosely inspired by classic Christmas tales), it’s a Christmas Carol-style episode that finally gives him the final nudge he needs to start fighting for his own HEA and sets the reader up for a super sweet epilogue. If needed this novella could work as a standalone, but since each story builds slightly on the one before it, you’ll get a more complete story by reading them all in order.
I don’t know about you, but where I am the weather is perfect for three sexy but sweet historical holiday novellas–so grab a cup of tea, a cozy blanket, and start reading 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.