Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
To discharge a debt to his friend, Andrew Nash, Lord Thomas Barrington returns to the family estate he fled six years earlier after refusing to marry the woman his father had chosen. To Thomas’s dismay, Barrington Hall is no longer the joyful home he remembers from his childhood, and his young niece has no idea what Christmas is.
Determined to bring Christmas back to the gloomy estate, Thomas must confront his tyrannical father, salvage a brother lost in his own misery, and attempt to fight off his father’s machinations. As the holidays near, Thomas and Andrew begin to realize they are more than merely close friends… and those feelings are not only a threat to their social positions but, in Victorian England, to their lives as well.
Lately I have been feeling dissatisfied with reading the same types of stories over and over. One particular type of story I have been avoiding is the m/m historical romance. I just never got a thrill from reading them. In the spirit of branching out and not allowing a few bad eggs to color my view of an entire genre, I decided to give the m/m historical romance another go. And I am glad I did. I enjoyed this holiday story.
On the surface, this is a pretty holiday story about bringing life back into a grieving and unbendable family. Thomas’s niece doesn’t even know what Christmas is! So the story itself unfolds as Thomas makes a wager with his father to bring Christmas back to the manor or else be cut off from the family’s money forever.
It is through this plotline that Andrew and Thomas’s friendship grows into romance. It was fun watching them interact together and with Thomas’s family. I didn’t really care for Thomas for a while though. He was very selfish and pushed all of Andrew’s button to the point where I hurt for Andrew and just want to reach into the book and tell him he deserved better than Thomas. But then, Thomas comes to grips with himself and I liked him more. This was a GFY, friends to lovers story that worked well. I am a sucker for both and I really enjoy it when the story isn’t too angsty and leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.
And maybe I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t and the father’s drunken confession caught me totally by surprise. I like a when a twist actually catches me by surprise and this one enhances the happy ending. It was very satisfying knowing that the two men have a way to be together even if they have to be very careful. This was one of the things that turned me off to historicals in the past. The fact that m/m relationships were illegal and highly frowned upon. I got tired of reading about unsatisfying arrangements. This story, however, left me feeling happy along with the men since Thomas’s father stepped up and arranged for a way that these men could be together without fear. It made for a very nice Christmas tale.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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