Published: November 13, 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)
A Dutiful Daughter
Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run of the mill London merchant. He's grim and silent. A man of little emotion--or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she's ready to put an end to things. After all, even a dutiful daughter has her limits.
A Taciturn Tradesman
Ned has come a long way since his days working as a draper's assistant. He's wealthy, ambitious, and eager to take a wife. But the courtship advice issued in The Gentlemen's Book of Etiquette isn't all it's cracked up to be. Though he's followed it to the letter, Miss Appersett still doesn't wish to see him again. Frustrated and hurt, he's more than happy to oblige her.
A Christmas Courtship
Severing ties with her former beau isn't as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there's Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What's a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to the annual Christmas party at Appersett House and give him one more chance to win her? But this time there'll be no false formality. This time they'll get to know each other for who they really are.
Yayy for freebies! I got this after Xmas last year and I figured I'd save it.
This is a novella where we follow Sophie and Ned. Sophie is willing to marry pretty much anyone to help out her family, but she wants to at least like the guy. She wants to feel at LEAST a friendship. Love can always come later. However, she is done with the emotionless Ned. However, severing ties with her former beau isn't going to plan. She is forced to invite him to one last Christmas party and give him one last chance to win her over.
This is oddly a second chances story and I'm here for it. I love that they both want to marry someone, but they have issues. He actually cares for her deeply but thanks to 'The Gentlemen's Book of Etiquette' he could lose her. No one is truly at fault for the original break up. They both had equal blame and equal innocence. I loved that.
This was a very sweet Xmas romance that gets a little deep. Not TOO deep, but it worked to add some complexity and volume to the story. I loved watching them actually fall in love and find happiness.
Now...I did have an issue with a lot of the side characters, especially Sophie's father. [SPOILER ALERT] I hated that they had no real karma hit them. They got HEAs too and they never grew up or changed for the better. Mmm. I'm all for Xmas miracles and people see the errors of their ways and THEN they get a HEA....but not so here. I'm just glad Sophie and Ned can leave them all behind and live in happiness if they want to. [END OF SPOILER]
All-in-all this was quick and short with enough depth to feel something. Minor issues with the side characters, but it was just me being grumpy and bitter. Sophie and Ned are adorable. If you need something quick for the upcoming holiday, I suggest this one! 4 stars from me.