‘Twas the Night After Christmas
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: #6 in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series (can be read stand-alone)
Review Copy Provided by Galley Books via Edelweiss
Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has been estranged from his mother for most of his life. When his mother’s new companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart, writes to tell him that his mother is seriously ill, he goes home. But when he learns that the lovely widow tricked him in order to effect a holiday reconciliation, he refuses to stay—unless she meets his “terms.” Somewhere between trying to seduce the beautiful Camilla and struggling with the cruel memories of his childhood Christmases, Pierce discovers that not only does forgiveness go two ways, but that love can blossom even in the coldest of winters.
Ok, so this is one of the reviews where I admit that I have too many series in progress and that I am an idiot…when I was browsing Edelweiss and came across this book (being as it is book 6 in a series), I could have sworn that I had read the previous books – so my finger got click-itis (I wonder if i can get that as an actual medical diagnosis) and I got it on my kindle…to realize that I hadn’t even started the series…I did have book 1 somewhere in the archives of my kindle, but I hadn’t read it, or the 4 that followed…and being a tad OCD like I am, I couldn’t read it out of order (even though I was told by friends that i could)…so this review is a bit delayed, which I read the other ones in the series, but I am now all caught up… (no laughing from the peanut galley over my antics…its the old adage, too many books, too little time)
Anyways, after that digression (aren’t you glad you read it) – here is my review…I had really enjoyed reading the previous books in the series. i am a sucker for those that feature a family or a close-knit group of friends (a la Lisa Kleypas, or Stephanie Laurens as alternative authors), so seeing how the mystery emerged and was solved was great. However, this book, which loosely linked (Pierce, the main character, was a secondary character in #4 – To Wed A Wild Lord – didn’t really fit into what I was expecting – it was much more of a stand-alone traditional historical romance (not that that is bad, just wasn’t quite what I expected). Although, my favorite character from the series, Jackson, the Bow Street Runner made an appearance.
I did enjoy how the author was able to work in the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poem into the story. I grew up with it but honestly didn’t realize that it was around in the early 1800’s – although then called “A Visit From Saint Nicholas.” so it was interesting seeing how some Christmas traditions that still exist today were carried out nearly two centuries again (in about 10 years time…).
I think that my biggest issue with the story was the feud/disagreement/mystery (whatever you want to call it) between Pierce and his mother. While it was a significant part of the story, it was just underwhelming to me. I felt like it, while it could have been center stage, kind of took a backseat to the romance (not that that is bad, I just wanted more). Overall I would give this book a solid 3 stars – it was for me, a comfort read…since I rarely re-read, I can’t say that I would see myself reading it again, but at the same time, it is the type of book that I seek out when I just want to spend the day bumming around doing nothing.