STORY: Lady Pippa Godfrey has suffered the most ruinous London Season. She escapes to her Somerset estate for a quiet Christmastide holiday with her family, away from society’s prying eyes. But before her parents can join her, a storm crashes down on Somerset to destroy any hope of Pippa’s white Christmas dream. The roads have flooded and travel is impossible, leaving her stranded and alone. But a muddied, angry and devilishly handsome lord appears at her door demanding shelter.
Lucas Hartfeld, the Earl of Maddox, has been summoned by his parents, the Marquis and Marchioness of Bowmont, to attend a holiday party in the wilds of the country, far from his London townhouse. He suspects they command his attendance for far different reasons than a simple country party. When a storm strands his carriage, he’s forced to seek shelter at the only home for miles around, a local manor called Helton House.
When Lady Pippa is reluctant to admit him, he does what he’s been raised to do—demand she provide him and his servants with shelter until the storm passes. But the beautiful woman draws his interest far more than he’s willing to admit. Can Lucas find a way out of the predicament his parents are planning?
As Lady Pippa scrutinizes another arrogant, demanding lord, she is bombarded with memories of betrayals in her past. Can she forget those difficult life lessons to claim a Christmastide kiss from a perfect stranger?
REVIEW: London – 1813
Lady Pippa Godfrey, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Midcrest, is waiting her turn to play the piano at a musicale recital. It is her first London season and she is very shy and nervous about her piano performance. Pippa is not enjoying herself at all and would be much happier at home reading. She wishes she could be as confident as her good friend, Lady Natalie, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sheridan. But when Natalie introduces Pippa before her performance, she makes a veiled and snide comment about Pippa spending many hours with their handsome musical instructor making it sound like they were having a tryst. Shocked and deeply hurt by Natalie’s comment, she bravely faces the crowd and performs. Now, she needs to find out why her so-called friend has turned on her.
Somerset, England – December 1813
Pippa is reading and listening to a cold storm rage outside her family’s country manor, Helton House, as she reads her favorite books about Christmas. It is quite late but she is still awake awaiting her parents’ arrival. They have been out of town for a couple of days. The rain has poured all day and she worries about the damage to homes in the village. Pippa loves the countryside, walking everywhere, and having a more relaxed daily schedule.
Natalie’s family home is next to Pippa’s and they have been friends for many years. She has just received an invitation to a betrothal party for Natalie. Knowing she should be happy for her, Pippa still holds a grudge toward Natalie for her mistreatment of her at the musicale.
A knock at the door turns out not to be her parents, but a man asking if his lord could be given shelter due to his carriage getting stuck in the mud. The man is Lucas Hatfield, the Earl of Maddox, and son of the Marquis and Marchioness of Bowmont. Pippa is taken aback at his request. Knowing the few servants in the house have long been abed, Pippa is afraid as she is alone. The Earl is gruff and angry at her hesitancy to allow him inside. However, she relents and rings for her butler who shows him to a room. It turns out that he is heading to the party for Natalie and is, in fact, her betrothed. Ah, but Lucas soon becomes very attracted to Pippa.
As the storm does not allow him to continue with his journey right away, they share time together preparing for Christmas. They quickly come to admire one another.
Will they be able to say goodbye and go their separate ways?
This is a good story and I enjoyed the characters. I think others will like the book as well.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b