His Christmas Pleasure
by Cathy Maxwell
Abigail Montross grew up believing in the power of true love. She met a man when she was very young and immediately found herself head over heels in love. She spent years determined to marry said man. Despite the fact that he never offered for her and her parents arranged a marriage to someone else (who eventually walked away from her), she never wavered in her devotion. When the man in question lets her know that he will be proposing to her cousin, but they could still have a dalliance on the side she starts to realize she needs to make other plans. Before she has the chance, her father finds yet another man for her to marry, this one much older than her, twice-widowed and with thirteen children.
Andres has come to England hoping to restore honor to his family's name. Society women find him irresistible, which causes him some problems with their husbands. When he overhears Abigail talking about her dowry he sees the way to not only gain the honor he is looking for, but to escape those husbands as well.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the honesty in the characters. The marriage was very blatantly a marriage of convenience, but it was discussed up front and agreed to by both parties. They know going into it what the other needs from the relationship. Then when all went to hell, they didn't split from each other just because they weren't getting the original bargain. Neither was afraid of working hard to succeed. Abigail's parents were a little harsher on Abigail then I would've have expected from people who had runaway from their own parents to elope, but in the end it was explained enough that I was comfortable with their reactions.
While this book is set in Christmas, it does not revolve around the holiday or its traditions. I know that at this time of year a lot of people look to holiday themed novels to ring in the season, but don't look at this one to do it. Plenty of tried and true plot devices are used in this book, but they were written cleverly and with enough of a twist that I found them refreshing. His Christmas Pleasure is an easy and enjoyable read.
“This Christmas they'll both need to learn to trust in love”
December 2010, 384 pages
When her father threatens to marry Abigail Montross off to a man twice her age (and with thirteen children!), she decides to elope instead with the irresistibly handsome Baron de Vasconia. She knows all about his notorious reputation. He is the most seductive man in all of London, but he's vowed to protect her, so she allows herself to be tempted into his bed, promising to guard her heart at all costs.
Andres believes he's entered into nothing more than a marriage of convenience with a charming and very wealthy young woman. But the days - and nights - Abigail spends in his arms soon reform this rogue. He'll do anything to gain her love - until they each discover the truth about the other and old wounds are revealed.
It's the season of miracles and passion - when love not only awakens the senses but delivers the greatest gift of all . . .