With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

WithThisRing

With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

I’ve never read Manda Collins before. In all honesty, I don’t usually read historical romance either. Once in awhile I will, but it’s typically an author I’m familiar with and know that I already enjoy their writing. This book is opening my eyes to new horizons though.

This book is the definition of what a holiday romance should be. There’s love, second chances, snow, a sleigh ride, some family drama, Christmas. I have enjoyed other holiday books but a lot have felt forced or like it didn’t capture the magic of the season. This book captured that magic for me.

Merry’s friend, Charlotte, delivers a baby but dies after from complications. Merry’s final promise to her friend is to find the father of the baby and ensure she has a family to care for her. Unfortunately for Merry, she needs help from the very man she once was betrothed to, Alex Ponsonby.

A few of the things I really enjoyed about this book were both Merry and Alex’s characters. Even though they are both proper and appropriate to the time period, both are more than willing to stand up for what is right. Merry is nervous to have to turn to Alex for help, but she is selfless and does the right thing for the baby. Alex, who is still reeling from the hurt of Merry leaving him, puts aside his own resentment and vows to help Merry and the baby.

Another aspect I loved about this story is that while it’s definitely historical, there are moments of humor and a few twists. One twist is Alex’s Grandmother. She is a total witch. Then there is a slight touch of mystery with one of the holiday guests. It just the right amount of extra little elements to keep you interested but it didn’t overpower the actual fact that this is a holiday romance.

Historical Romance fans: this is the holiday romance for you. To be honest, I feel like the majority of readers could enjoy this book. It’s not overly heavy, the magic of Christmas remains throughout the story, and the great romance between Alex and Merry is the icing on the cake.

 

 

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Find Me Alastar by T.L. Swan

findmealastar

Find Me, Alastar by T.L. Swann

He outbid me, that was our initial interaction.

He was cocky, my first impression.

Then he stole my heart, I don’t even think he noticed.

Alastar O’Shea was full of sexual energy, the things he would say, the addictive things he would do.

He knew how to make me come undone.

He knew how to love me.

He was the best experience of my sheltered life.

But do you ever really know who someone is?

What if the story I know isn’t the story at all?

I thought I knew him.

I was wrong.

 I finished this book yesterday and I have spent the time since trying to figure out what to say in this review. I didn’t care for this book initially, and then by the end, I thought the author was a complete genius and was beyond impressed with the story.

I will say this book is different than anything I have read before. The synopsis above doesn’t do it justice at all.

This book starts with Emerson moving to London, with her best friend, Brielle. Emerson and Brielle have both just gotten out of relationships that were going nowhere. Both girls are working, and just adjusting to their new lives when Emerson meets Alastar aka Star in an antique shop. He and Emerson are both vying for the same ring, (Alastar claims its for his mother) but Emerson is the one who ends up leaving with the ring.

As this book went on, many times I found myself wanting to kill Alastar. He really gives Emerson the run around a lot, but when he’s with her, he’s beyond head over heels in love with her. In all honesty, some of this book was hard to get through until I got to the end and everything made sense.

This book will leave your head spinning. It does NOT end in a cliffhanger or anything like that. However, you will be confused at times. You will think you know what Alastar is doing, but you won’t even be close to guessing accurately. You’ll wonder what is happening with Emerson. Again…you’ll be guessing wrong the entire time.

This book would be great for someone who wants to try something different, or if you love solving a puzzle. This book is well written and extremely well thought out. I was beyond fascinated by how this author constructed this entire story, because a lot of thought had to have gone into every little detail. You will take a chance on this book, but its absolutely worth it.