Better Than a Present by Cynthia Moore

Better Than a Present by Cynthia Moore
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (54 Pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Bluet

While in London on business during the Season, Lord Paul Russell, attracted by a beautiful woman, fails in securing a place on her dance card. The next morning when he returns to Cornwall, he wonders if this mystery woman will still be available.

Bored by all the eligible gentlemen she meets, Lady Samantha Grayson desires more than their meaningless conversations and preoccupation with silly fashion requirements. Only one gentleman catches her eye, but she misses her chance to speak to him, never encountering him again the rest of the Season.

A sudden snowstorm on Christmas Eve morning catches Samantha alone and unprotected. When she seeks shelter in a nearby cottage, she is astonished when the door opens to the very man who caught her interest in London a few months ago. What was doomed to be an uneventful Christmas, to her pleasant surprise could be better than a present.

Does love at first sight exist? Lord Paul Russell and Lady Samantha Grayson have never met, but on two occasions, have noticed each other across a ballroom and felt a connection and an instant attraction. When he sees her for the third time, Paul decides he must be introduced. He approaches her aunt, and waits among the gentlemen surrounding her, only to discover that her dance card is full for the remainder of the evening. He has to leave for his country home early the next morning, as he’s been summoned by his steward to attend to urgent business. So, he leaves with a heavy heart, sure that this lovely lady won’t still be unmarried next season when he returns.

Samantha was very aware of Paul’s waiting to meet her, but the next dance started, and her dancing partner claimed her. As they were dancing, she notices Paul leaving, and actually has to fight back tears. She never knew who he was, or saw him for the rest of the season. Months have passed, and neither of them has stopped thinking of the other, wishing they could have met. It’s now Christmas time, and Samantha is visiting her sister. In order to escape her sister’s incessant matchmaking, she dresses up as a boy, and goes out riding. The weather starts to get bad, and she gets thrown off the horse. She sees a small cottage and seeks shelter there. Who should be in the cottage, but the mystery man she’s been pining over!

For a short story, we get a lot of insight into the character of both the hero and heroine. Samantha is kind, tender hearted and romantic. Paul is a gentleman, considerate, and just a tad wicked. Cynthia Moore does a very good job of letting you feel their emotions, and making you root for their happy ever after. The story flows along nicely, and has a very satisfying conclusion. If you like a sweet romance that will put you in a holiday mood, this may be the book for you. I enjoyed it, and recommend it.


  1. Sounds intriguing.

Speak Your Mind