Twelve Days of Christmas by Barbara Miller

TWELVE
Twelve Days of Christmas by Barbara Miller
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Tamara’s younger brother plans to spend Christmas at Oakley Park rather than with her in their London home. That simply will not do. She’s heard gossip about Lord Oakley and the scandalous holiday “celebrations” he’s indulged in since leaving the army. She sets out at once to rescue her brother from his clutches. But rather than finding a debauched rake, she finds a man broken from his experiences in the war.

Though it has been nearly two years since his injury, Lord Oakley—Ashford—still hasn’t quite recovered. He knows his family followed certain traditions over the Twelve Days of Christmas, but he can’t recall what they were. When Tamara arrives at Oakley Park, he finds a kindred spirit—someone as wounded by life as he’s been. Someone who seems more than willing to help him face the past.

Together, they set out on a journey of discovery and remembrance and find out just how magical the holidays can be.

Can two broken souls find peace together?

Life hasn’t been kind to Tamara and Ashford. Tamara and Ashford deal with their sorrows in very different ways. However, their coping mechanisms only mask the issues that they have avoided dealing with. Their lives are beginning to spin out of control. If they don’t take action soon, they will find themselves facing more pain. Fortunately some odd circumstances bring them together. If they are willing to open their hearts, they just might find themselves on the path happiness.

Tamara and Ashford’s courtship is very unconventional for the time, but I think it suited their situation perfectly. From the moment they meet, it is clear that they have a connection, though they are hesitant to explore it at first. However, it isn’t long before they realize just how much they need each other. Tamara and Ashford complement each other very well. Tamara tends to want to control everything, and Ashford helps her learn to let go a bit. Ashford has a tendency to be overwhelmed by his circumstances, and Tamara helps him take things one day at a time. They instinctively know when the other needs to face a harsh truth, and when to simply supply a shoulder to cry on. It was a pleasure watching them help each other heal.

There is a bit of an unexpected complication toward the end of the story that I really didn’t see coming. I won’t give away any details, but I will say that the situation could have turned out very badly. Fortunately Tamara and Ashford handle the problem very well. They are truly partners, and they worked in perfect harmony to resolve the situation quickly. Tamara’s role in the solution had a bit of a humorous twist that had me smiling.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Twelve Day of Christmas. It is a beautiful story of healing, hope, and love. Fans of sweet, historical romance should certainly pick up a copy.

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