Summary: Sir Lucien Blakemore accepts the invitation to his cousin’s Christmas party because the woman he fancies, Miss Winifred Nightingale, is away from his neighbour’s house, where works as the governess. Winifred (Winnie) is visiting her sister Cordelia (Cordy), a schoolmistress, for Christmas.
Winnie and Cordy are invited to the same Christmas party as Lucien. Some guests at the party resent the sisters’ presence because although they do not belong to the ‘ton’, they have enough grace, beauty and talent to compensate for that.
When this resentment turns into threats against the sisters, particularly Winnie, she seeks the help of Lucien, who she counts as her friend. She asks him to pretend to be betrothed to her, much to his delight.
Lucien has been attracted to Winnie for quite some time. So he agrees on the condition that she would consider making the betrothal real when they find the culprit.
This book by Manda Collins is about how Lucien and Winifred find their happiness while searching for the person behind the threats.
My thoughts: I did not know that this was a novella and that it was part of an on-going series until after I read a sizable portion of it. It did not matter.
This is a quick read, with a good storyline and characters. The light mystery added to the charm of the book. Cordelia and Charles Beesley were well-suited and adorable.
This novella is refreshing compared to novels, whose plots are full of angst, misunderstandings and terrible stories from the past. Of course, Winnie has reservations about their class difference and there are the threats; however, there is nothing in their personalities that prevents them from falling in love.
Overall, this is a sweet romance, apt for the Christmas season.
Note: The publishers, St. Martin’s Press, gave me this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank them for that.