Her true love gives her the most precious gift of all. Good fun read.
This is a highly entertaining Regency Christmas romp. The characters are all memorable, especially the old "beldame" Bertha. This book is as funny as any written by Barbara Metzger. The plot, though wildly improbable, is a lot of fun and keeps one reading.
A couple of quibbles, though....the book has a couple of anachronistic errors in it. It mentions Christmas trees, which were not used as Christmas decorations in Regency England and didn't really come to England until Queen Victoria's time, after she married Prince Albert, who was German and who brought the custom to England. The book also mentions hansom cabs--but the man after whom the cabs were named wasn't born until around 1808--unless he was extremely precocious and invented the cab type when he was 7 years old. During the Regency period, hackney cabs were used.
Another quibble is faulty proofreading. Twice I saw "wined" when it should have been "whined" as "the dogs whined." (Now,I suppose someone will scour this review for spelling errors. I admit there may be a few as my computer keys stick a bit).
Another quibble is that the 17-year old heroine, Carin, takes in a foundling baby not old enough even to crawl--yet there isn't a wet nurse in sight. Bertha is a nurse, in that she cares for the baby, but she is hardly able to feed it, as she is an old woman. As near as I can tell, the baby lives on air! Then, in the last two penultimate chapters, after the Marquise loses nearly all his servants the babe Joy disappears from the book while all the main characters are involved in their problems and such, and doesn't reappear until the last chapter. Who took care of her while all of the other stuff was going on and the servants were nearly all gone?
Still, the book is a fun romp with well-developed, 3 dimensional characters. I highly recommend it.