Lydia’s Christmas Charade by Saralee Etter

LYDIA
Lydia’s Christmas Charade by Saralee Etter
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (68 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Dutiful, practical Lydia Potts knew that her father, a wealthy commoner, planned to announce her engagement to a nobleman at their Christmas house party. But she didn’t expect her prospective fiancé to be in love with another woman!

Anthony wasn’t usually so reckless but something about the unknown lady’s sweet manner and big pansy-brown eyes made him want to share a bit of juicy gossip with her. Everybody knew Lord Danville needed to marry an heiress to save his family from financial ruin, but nobody but Anthony would mention it to the heiress herself.

To fix the mess he’s created, Anthony must woo Lydia on his noble friend’s behalf—and Lydia will have to decide between duty and desire.

Anthony fully intended to fix the mess he’d made, but his heart has other plans.

I immediately felt sorry for Lydia. Not only is she about to enter into an arranged marriage with a man she barely knows, but she seems to be the only one who doesn’t know he’s already in love with another woman. Lord Danville is only marrying her for her money. Lydia is absolutely mortified. I’m sure anyone who has ever been the subject of gossip can relate. Even though the news about Danville is a severe blow, I think Lydia handles herself very well. She holds herself together in front of her guests, determined not to cry in front of them. Lydia also tries very hard to please her father. She knows that a marriage to a nobleman will bring her family the respect that money can’t buy. She tries very hard to envision a life with Danville. However, that becomes more difficult as she spends more time with Danville’s charming friend, Anthony.

Anthony is a hero in every sense of the word. He is clever, caring, and the perfect shoulder for Lydia to lean on throughout the story. Lydia isn’t used to playing hostess to a house full of wealthy and arrogant guests, and she finds herself overwhelmed on more than one occasion. Anthony always manages to come to her aid at just the right time. Anthony has a great sense of humor and I found myself laughing and smiling along with Lydia as I read.

Anthony frequently puts his foot in his mouth, especially where Lydia and Danville are concerned. His attempts to convince Lydia that Danville likes her are hilarious. Anthony truly tries to do the right thing by his friend Danville, but Anthony’s feelings for Lydia grow stronger as he gets to know her. It was clear to me that Lydia and Anthony make a great couple, but I wasn’t sure how they could ever be together without someone getting hurt. I was pleasantly surprised by Ms. Etter’s satisfying solution to this problem.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read Lydia’s Christmas Charade. Anthony is thoroughly entertaining, and I truly enjoyed watching his romance with Lydia bloom. Looking for a sweet and charming historical romance? Pick up a copy of Lydia’s Christmas Charade today.

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