Series: Hellions of Halstead Hall #6
Genres: Romance, Historical, Regency
. . . I feel I should inform you that your mother is very ill. If you wish to see her before it is too late, you should come at once.
Mrs. Camilla Stuart
Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has led an unabashed rogue’s life, letting no woman near his heart. Inexplicably abandoned as a child to be raised by distant relatives, he never forgave his parents, refusing to read any of his mother’s letters after his father’s death. Then came a letter that shook his resolve. A Christmas visit to Montcliff might prove his last chance to discover the truth of his past, and come to terms with the stranger he calls “Mother.”
But two surprises await him at Montcliff. His mother is perfectly healthy, nowhere near a deathbed, as her meddling lady’s companion led him to believe. The second is Camilla Stuart herself, a lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce. Though she alone is reason enough to prolong his stay, he is soon faced with other tantalizing riddles: What secrets lie in his mother’s past to explain his childhood abandonment? Why is the captivating Mrs. Stuart so determined to mend the breach between mother and son?
Meanwhile, Camilla herself is caught up in love’s complications since the arrival of the irresistible earl. As his bold flirtation and suggestive whispers draw her dangerously close, can anything protect her vulnerable heart? If they are destined to share real happiness, there must be honesty between them—yet telling him the truth about her own life may shatter that chance.
None of them can predict the startling revelations to come. Or the secrets, both heartening and shocking, divulged between a mother and son, and between two lovers haunted by their respective pasts, that will make Christmas night at Montcliff one to remember—and the glorious night after, one to treasure for a lifetime.
The first strains of historomance overload.
Thoughts on ‘Twas the Night After Christmas
Man. This is the kind of book that I like while reading, then don’t want to think about when I’m done, because it’ll ruin the fun. (Don’t ask me why I picked up a Christmas-related story in the summer, either. I just did.)
So it seems I’m to be plagued by characters who hold onto their secrets. Can’t anything just be uncomplicated? Give them some outside obstacles! Or something. I didn’t quite find these secrets as frustrating as other books I’ve read recently, though perhaps it was believable why they would be kept. EVEN THOUGH I JUST WANTED TO KNOW ALREADY, GOSH.
Randomly, it was cool to see Mr. Manton begin his investigative services, since I’ve already read that series. But I’m getting ahead of myself, especially since I intended this to be short and sweet.
Despite spending an entire novel with Camilla and Pierce, I’m not sure I feel like I know them much. Pierce was — rightly so — lost in his anger and hurt over his mother’s abandonment, and Camilla was busy hiding her son and trying not to let herself fall for Pierce.
Who, again, starts off the story with ending a relationship with his mistress and WHY MUST SO MANY HEROES REQUIRE A STRING OF WELL-SATISFIED WOMEN IN THEIR PASTS? Satisfaction in the bedroom can be had with moderately or barely experienced peoples, and a man’s value shouldn’t be in the number of women he’s bedded, just as a woman’s value isn’t in the number of men she hasn’t. But my rant isn’t necessarily Twas the Night After Christmas’s problem, but rather a problem of all the historical romance books I’ve read recently.
*cough* Moving on.
I did like to see Pierce slowly repair his relationship with his mother, because there was (obviously, or there wouldn’t be much of a story) a lot going on to cause what happened. I like that he was slayed by Camilla. Though really, why do men think becoming a mistress is something most women want? At least Camilla outlined all of the reasons why it was terrible. And it was sweet to see Pierce take to Jasper, Camilla’s son. I’m not sure what to say about Camilla, because apart from being the kind of woman Pierce needed, I’m not sure what else there is to say about her.
I have another Sabrina Jeffries book waiting for me (don’t ask which one, I don’t know), and I shall look forward to it.