Thoroughly charming. Smart, independant woman, dashing hero, and two mysteries woven through.
Guy Westrope, Earl of Buckland, was not a gentleman used to encountering opposition to his will. But the quick-witted, stubborn and delectable Miss Hester Lattimer was proving to be more than a match for him.
Local ghost stories would not scare Hester from her new house-especially not at Christmas. Though her heart told her to trust the mysterious earl, she knew that she had to be wary. Even if Guy was not behind the strange events, leting him get too close would inevitably reveal her scandalous past!
Blah. One can forgive a weak storyline for a good Christmas themed romance, or a weak Christmas theme for a good story. In this case, Louise Allen achieves neither in this tepid romance and "mystery". Poor research and knowledge of Regency era customs (women shaking hands), and a general sense that the manner in which all parties relate seems uncharacteristic for the times. No real feeling of chemistry between h&h and sudden declarations of love that are flimsy and rushed while the book still seems boring and overlong. Regency romances generally have no sex scenes but are so intense and tortured that the kiss seems incredibly hot. This book goes a bit further and also describes each party as excited and aroused by the other, however never was there a moment of heat or yearning. Just not well written IMO.
I'm a fan of Louise Allen. After reading a half dozen of her books, I think she is one of the most enjoyable Regency authors out there. Her settings and plot lines continue to amaze me with their variety and originality. All that said, this particular book didn't do it for me. Though there was a decent setup, the story itself just seemed to go on and on and in circles. So much was either predictable or repetitive and it just didn't read nearly as good as her other stories. If you're not already a fan, I would skip this and find another of hers.