The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen

The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Holiday
Length: Full Length (263 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Lady Ivy Plumthorne, elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Wythorpe, is a worry to her parents. Desiring only that she be as happily wed as her younger sister, they’ve spent the past year parading prospective suitors in front of her. When she finds none of the suitors… suitable, her parents despair she will ever find the perfect husband. With Christmas approaching, they find one more prospective suitor, the Duke of Greenbriar. Only problem is, Ivy’s already met the man of her dreams… and he’s a toymaker.

Noel Phillip Vincent Greenstone, the Twelfth Duke of Greenbriar, wasn’t cut out to be a duke. He preferred crafting toys that made children happy. So that’s just what he did. And as Phillip Green, he traveled freely about, visiting shops and orphanages, and making no child went without a toy of his or her own. But a few chance meetings with Lady Ivy and he knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. The problem is, she needs to marry a nobleman and she only knows him as Phillip the Toymaker. He needs a plan, and fast. The world needs to meet the reclusive Duke of Greenbriar, so Phillip plans his own coming out. But how will Ivy react when she learns the truth?

Ivy is so tired of her parents trying to match make for her. She doesn’t want to marry for money; she wants to marry for love. After all, her sister found love and enjoys her marriage. She’d rather be an old maid than marry a man she can’t stand, especially not one three times her age!

The author does a nice job of setting this story in the Christmas season. She has created independent, stubborn characters who are determined to make their own choices and she throws them together by chance. I found it amusing to watch Ivy and Phillip blush when they meet and then accidently meet several more times while helping needy children have a special Christmas. The interaction between the two is sweet and they act more like young teens than adults.

While activities and festivities abound that both must attend, they find themselves thinking about their chance acquaintance. My favorite part of the story is the fact that Ivy doesn’t want to even meet the Duke of Greenbriar. Why should she, she’s already met the man she loves. It’s unfortunate that he’s a toymaker. On the hand, Phillip, the toymaker is actually now the Dean of Greenbriar because his Uncle died. Since he hasn’t admitted that to Ivy, he’s in a real pickle.

Watching the two characters dance around each and make mistakes in courtship is fun. Ivy even insinuates more has happened between them has. When he admits he is a Duke, things go downhill from there. The author does a very nice job with development of the relationship and demonstrates how easily it is to mess one up if you don’t communicate well.

Mr. Springsteen’s novel reads well and she adds a nice little surprise at the end of the story. You feel like you’re living in that time period, and you certainly care about the characters. I really enjoyed this read. Why don’t you grab a copy and see what you think?

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