by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Scandals and Seductions #4
Publication date: November 30, 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN AT CHRISTMAS!
When her father threatens to marry Abigail Montross off to a man twice her age (and with thirteen children!), she decides to elope instead with the irresistibly handsome Baron de Vasconia. She know all abut his notorious reputation He is the most seductive man in all of London, but he’s vowed to protect her, so she allow herself to be tempted into his bed, promising to guard her heart at all costs.Andres believes he’s entered into nothing more than a marriage of convenience with a charming and very wealthy young woman. But the days–and nights–Abigail spends in his arms soon reform this rogue. He’ll do anything to gain her love–until they each discover the truth about the other and old wounds are revealed. It’s the season of miracles and passion–when love not only awakens the senses but delivers the greatest gift of all . . .
I am having a blast reading all of these holiday themed books and His Christmas Pleasure left a smile on my face. I saw a review from Felicia @ The Geeky Blogger's Book Blog and thought the cover looked familiar. Sure enough this was on one of my bookshelves and I immediately began reading. It had elements I love; a feisty heroine, a rouge, an overbearing father and a marriage of convenience. I literally consumed this in a single afternoon.
Abigail Montros’s life is complicated, she has been in love with a man forever, but he has not offered for her, even when her father arranged a marriage. Thankfully the man backed out, but her reputation has suffered and yet still she pines for this fop. Things are about to get turned upside down when at a Christmas party the fop announces he is marry her cousin and her father tells her he is about to arrange a marriage for her with an old man who has thirteen children! As if that is not enough she slaps the handsome Baron de Vasconia when he tells her she is beautiful. He is in need of money to secure his dreams and has been forced to leave London within three days, she desperately needs to escape her father’s plan; together they decide to elope and the tale that unfolds was heartwarming.
Maxwell’s characters were certainly lovable and I enjoyed getting to know them and their back-story. Abigail is strong, opinionated and never really fit in among the ton with her fiery red hair and freckles. Andres, is the second son of a Baron and born on the wrong side of the blanket, and he desperately wants to restore his families good name. While he is definitely a rouge he is also vulnerable. Side characters including the fop added to the tale and created tension.
I love tales about marriages of convenience especially when they turn into something more and Maxwell gave me exactly what I wanted. I love how she created tension, allowed the characters to grow and kept me turning the pages at a dizzying speed. The romance that developed began out of mutual respect and felt genuine. The chemistry and heat was delightful while being relatively clean. This is a feel good novel, where you root for the couple and hope they overcome. The tale flowed wonderfully with just enough twists and turns. The characters became real to me and I adore when that happens.
I recommend His Christmas Pleasure to fans of romances. While this is a historical fiction it is very character driven and not laden in historical detail. I will definitely be looking for more from this author.
Four mocha peppermint coffees out of Five