Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Mischief & Mistletoe by Tanya Anne Crosby

I bought this book because I thought the cover was pretty.  I’m an artist, I like pretty pictures, and I’m drawn to attractive people.  Yes, I even do that with ebooks.  It’s still the cover that first gets my attention.  I thought the couple looked so attractive and into each other, and I like that it looks like a painting.  (When I was younger, I used to draw the covers of books with Fabio on them, thinking that when I grew up I would paint beautiful covers for romance novels.  I was kind of a weird kid. But I still wish that was my job.)

Anyway, it’s an appropriate cover.  As I was reading the story, I could completely see the two characters looking exactly as the people look the on the cover, on the verge of a kiss they’ve both been waiting for, but thought would never happen.

Emma’s father arranged for her to marry Lucien Morgen, the fifth duke of Willyngham, but the two didn’t really know each other.  Lucien had gone along with this because he respected and admired Emma’s father, viewing him as something of a father figure, having not been especially close to his own father.  But Lucien’s lived a harsh life and he doesn’t feel comfortable around Emma.  She seems so delicate and young, and he feels that marriage to him would destroy her.  Sounds a little silly, but it’s explained well in the story, and it’s easy to see why Lucien feels this way.  He watched his mother suffer in her own loveless marriage and he doesn’t want to be responsible for putting someone else through that same pain.  So he unofficially calls off the engagement.

He waits three years, until Emma’s father’s death, to approach her to officially withdraw his proposal of marriage.  Though he’s doing this with what he views as the best intentions, this isn’t good for Emma.  She’s already 22 (which is considered old during that time period) and people will be suspicious as to why the engagement was called off.  But she’s had three years to think about this and be angry and she wants nothing to do with Lucien.  She wants Lucien to know that she’s glad to finally be rid of him.  And this is when Lucien begins to realize that maybe she isn’t quite the fragile creature he once imagined her to be.

But this is where the mischief comes into play.  Emma lives with her brother and his family, consisting of his wife and their three young children.  And it’s Christmastime and after hearing a story about how you’ll get nicer gifts if you help people, they have a plan.  Because children are perceptive and they can’t help but notice that the Lucien doesn’t seem like a very happy guy and their aunt, Emma, whom they adore is all alone and they want to do something about this. 

The children’s attempts to get these two together are hilarious.  I was laughing aloud while reading this.  That’s what made this such a fun story.  You’ve got these two people trying to be all adult and angry and they are no match for these children. 

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  Cute story, quick read.  Finished it in one sitting.  Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a quick, fun, romantic holiday story.

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