It should have been simple…
With one more errand to go—the purchase of a hunting falcon—Andrew Blackshear has Christmas completely under control. As his sister’s impending marriage signals the inevitable drifting-apart of the Blackshear family, it’s his last chance to give his siblings the sort of memorable, well-planned holiday their parents could never seem to provide.
He has no time to dawdle, no time for nonsense, and certainly no time to drive the falconer’s vexing, impulsive, lush-lipped, midnight-haired daughter to a house party before heading home. So why the devil did he agree to do just that?
It couldn’t be more deliciously mixed-up…
Lucy Sharp has been waiting all her too-quiet life for an adventure, and she means to make the most of this one. She’s going to enjoy the house party as no one has ever enjoyed a house party before, and in the meanwhile she’s going to enjoy every minute in the company of amusingly stern, formidably proper, outrageously handsome Mr. Blackshear. Let him disapprove of her all he likes—it’s not as though they’ll see each other again after today.
…or will they? When a carriage mishap and a snowstorm strand the pair miles short of their destination, threatening them with scandal and jeopardizing all their Christmas plans, they’ll have to work together to save the holiday from disaster. And along the way they just might learn that the best adventures are the ones you never would have thought to plan.
Publisher and Release Date: Cecilia Grant, December 2014
Time and Setting: England, early 19th Century
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by Jill
As the eldest of the Blackshear siblings, Andrew takes his responsibilities seriously. He is, after all, the role model for his younger brothers. He also dotes on them, which is why he’s out on the day before Christmas Eve braving foul weather in the wilds of Norfolk to buy his sister a hunting falcon.
As the only child brought up in the care of her father, Lucy Sharp has lacked society and any real interaction with the opposite sex. With an invitation from her aunt to attend her very first Christmas house party, she hopes at last to meet a gentleman and gain some prospects for marriage.
Detained overnight by the weather, Andrew reluctantly agrees to transport Lucy and her maid to her aunt’s. But a broken wheel threatens to undo both their plans, and proper, responsible Andrew is forced to spend time with innocent, unconventional Lucy.
No historical romance writer pens more elegant prose, and very few writers adhere to the mores and values of the era as well as Cecilia Grant. In each of Ms Grant’s three novels in this Blackshear Family series, the heroines were at first, not easy to love. Not so here; the heroine, Lucy is as likable and as delightful as the hero.
A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong is the fourth title in the Blackshear Family series, (although takes place first, chronologically) but can be read as a standalone. Though it follows the basics of the attraction-of-opposites trope, and the romance takes place over a few short days, in the talented hands of Ms Grant, the story and romance come across as fresh and believable.
With touches of subtle humour, gorgeous prose, effortless pacing and deep characterisations, and a slowly-building and believable romance, this is just about as perfect a novella as you can possibly get. Highly recommended.