Series: The Heirs' Club of Scoundrels Trilogy #2.5
St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Date Read: December 15, 2015
Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn't handle--until he's hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her--and she can hold her own--Crispin knows he has finally met his match.
Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she's near him. She's never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn't expect...in this delightful Regency gem, The Duke and Miss Christmas by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey
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I thought that this was a decent short story. It didn't knock my socks off but it was entertaining enough. I have been trying to get myself in the mood for Christmas this year by doing a little bit of holiday reading. It was a given that I would need to fit a historical romance into my Christmas reading schedule. I hadn't read anything by Amelia Grey before so this story seemed like the perfect choice.
Everything that happened in this story seemed to happen fast. There was a bit of insta-love but in this case I am going to forgive that....mostly. I think that everything really had to move quickly due to the length of the story. I also tend to forgive insta-love in historical romances a little more quickly than I would in a contemporary romance. The difference is really the changes in how the world works. During this time period, decisions were made quickly and many times without the input of the individuals involved.
I did like the characters. Miss Christmas, Gwen, was fiesty. She doesn't hesitate to protect her younger sister. The Duke, Crispin, isn't the stuffy man that one might think of when they hear he is a Duke. He takes things in stride with a bit of humor. I thought the chemistry between the pair was tame at best but I really did enjoy their banter. It did seem like they were building a foundation to build upon. The secondary characters, including Gwen's younger sisters, were a lot of fun. The way that the Duke interacted with them really helped establish his character.
The major problem with the story that I had was the one and only sex scene. I am still a little confused about it. It didn't make sense. One minute the Duke and Gwen are taking her sisters on an outing and the next minute a few kisses move quickly to a roll in the hay....or the field to be more precise. I just don't buy it. It felt completely out of her character that she would so easily lose her virginity without a lot of thought. This probably would have been a 4 star read for me without this scene.
I would recommend this to readers looking for a short Christmas story. This was the first chance that I have had to read Amelia Grey's work and I am definitely interested in reading one of her full length books after this story. I liked her overall writing style and I would be very interested in seeing more character development that would be possible in a longer story.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
About the Author
Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.
She is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award, and she has also won the Aspen Gold, and Golden Quill awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia’s books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.
The Duke In My Bed and The Earl Claims A Bride were Amelia’s first two books in the widely acclaimed “The Heirs’ Club of Scoundrels” trilogy. The third book Wedding Night With the Earl is coming in March 2016.