Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn’t handle–until he’s hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her–and she can hold her own–Crispin knows he has finally met his match.
Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she’s near him. She’s never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn’t expect…in this delightful Regency gem, The Duke and Miss Christmas by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey
Source: ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
This started so well. Crispin and Gwen’s first meeting is a little over the top, but kind of funny in a cute and charming way. He’s trying to help an injured girl, Gwen thinks he’s abducting her sister, a basket of greenery gets involved and there’s lots of rolling around on the cold ground, followed by some flirting and anxiousness over revealing the shared secret. The dinner party that follows is equally enjoyable, even if the dialogue isn’t really period appropriate.
After that, however, it seems any attempt at keeping it historical is thrown out of the window. Crispin’s habit of talking to Gwen first whenever they meet and ignoring her older sister, the duchess, is plain bad manners. The idea of the pair of them exchanging letters, even if they start with inquiries about her injured sister, is completely inappropriate – not to mention unlikely, since Gwen would need her brother-in-law to frank the letters or have a servant deliver them, of which no mention is made, and her family would know about it anyway.
Add in the rushed encounter that bypasses romance and involves getting down and dirty in the cold outdoors – nice gentlemanly behaviour there, Crispin – and I lost all hope in this tale. I know it’s a novella, so it was always going to be rushed, but considering Gwen’s past she’s both really knowledgeable about what’s about to happen and really naive about the whole thing. As for Crispin, nope, sorry, I thought he’d changed his ways. If he had then he wouldn’t have ensured her first time happened hurriedly on the ground in the middle of winter.
If you’re looking for a historical romance with a nice touch of Christmas but not a lot of historical appropriateness or really much romance, then that’s what you’ll get here. If historical accuracy isn’t an issue for you, then you might enjoy it, if it is… maybe move along. I’m finding this series a bit hit and miss, to be honest, but I still hope the last book will do Adam justice.
The Duke and Miss Christmas is Out Now.
Visit Amelia Grey for more details.