A Regency Yuletide by Becky Lower

A Regency Yuletide by Becky Lower
Publisher: Romance With Sass
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

After a disappointing season in London, Sophie Davenport returns home without a marriage proposal. No sooner does she settle back into her country life than she learns her uncle has arranged for her to marry the local vicar’s son, a respectable and utterly forgettable man. He’s returning home immediately after the Christmas holiday and they will wed. She sets about making this last Christmas with just she and her mother memorable.

Jeremy Wyatt hatches a plan to help his friend Thomas and his love, Emma, escape to Gretna Green and marry before her father comes after them. What he’s really doing is avoiding heading to his parents’ home, where he is the son who is always making the wrong choices. But their carriage becomes hopelessly mired in the mud from the incessant rains so Jeremy sets off to find shelter for them at the first house he comes to.

Sophie welcomes the wet and weary travelers, and her mother agrees to house them temporarily until they can free the carriage. Sophie forms a bond not only with Emma, but with Jeremy. However despite the sparks they ignite in each other, they have to maintain their separate paths.

But love and mistletoe have a way of upsetting even the best-laid plans.

Sophie’s first Season on the marriage mart had been an abysmal failure in the eyes of her mother and Uncle Harry. Hoping to marry her off to a gentleman of means, Sophie’s mother and uncle were dismayed that not a single gentleman had danced with her, aside from her pimply-faced cousin. Relieved to return home, Sophie is determined to try and live comfortably. Jeremy Wyatt is assisting his best friend elope with the woman of his dreams, acting as witness and collaborator in their rush to Gretna. When their carriage is bogged down by flood waters, he walks back to the small cottage they recently passed by. Can Sophie and Jeremy make this the most special Yuletide ever?

I thoroughly enjoyed the strong secondary characters. Thomas and Emma (Thomas being Jeremy’s best friend) were eloping and by mid-way through the story I was as invested in their happy ever after and marriage as I was with Sophie and Jeremy hooking up. A part of me would have enjoyed getting to know Sophie’s mother a little better, her character felt a little inconsistent to me. At the start of the story she appeared quite determined that Sophie have a second Season to hook a rich husband almost regardless of Sophie’s feelings in the matter. But after meeting Jeremy, Sophie’s mother was more than willing to scheme to help this man she had only just met form an attachment to her daughter. I couldn’t help but feel if I’d got to know her character a little better this complete about-face in attitude would have made a lot more sense and felt like a smoother transition for me.

I found this to be a lovely Regency-era romance story. While I didn’t find any of the plot particularly unique there’s definitely something to be said for the traditional boy-meets-girl storyline. The attraction between Sophie and Jeremey is nearly instant and I loved the numerous steamy kisses they shared. In true Regency style, there was no sex, and nothing spicier than those stolen kisses, so I feel this should appeal to all levels of romance readers except for those who can only enjoy the very sweet stories.

Overall I really enjoyed this Regency romance. I loved the characters and the sensual kisses and short spaces of time secretly captured between Sophie and Jeremy. I loved the happy ending and found this a very satisfying short story to read. Recommended.

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