Mistletoe, Mischief, & the Marquis- Amelia Grey
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Rating (out of 5):
Synopsis: The Marquis of Wythebury, is expecting an ordinary Christmastide at Hurst—until he is set upon by a beautiful miss who takes him to task for not allowing his young nephews to play outside. In his mind, a five and seven year old needn’t get chilled in the snow; better to plop them in front of the fire with a book. Few people have ever been brave enough to challenge him over anything, much less the rearing of his wards. The cheeky Miss Prim has no such compunction. No matter how fetching he finds her, he can’t give in to his attraction…for she is the sister of his best friend.
Growing up the middle child of five rambunctious girls, Lillian Prim doesn’t understand why two young boys visiting Hurst don’t know how to play until she meets their dashing guardian. The Marquis of Wythebury is commanding and intensely serious-minded. To her surprise, she’s captivated by him. It’s all she can do not to give into her feminine fantasies about her kissing him. Lillian has no intention of falling in love with the Marquis, but she will create Christmastide mischief and teach the boys and the handsome Marquis how to play.
Mistletoe, Mischief, and the Marquis is a fun and quick short story of Regency England, Christmastide, families, and love. Seth Wythebury, Marquis of Wythebury, has brought his two young nephews with him to a friend's home for the Christmas holidays. His nephews are recently orphaned and now under his guardianship, but Seth knows nothing about children and isn't quite sure what to do with them. He believes they'd be better studying all the time indoors. Miss Lillian Prim, sister-in-law to Seth's best friend (and host) has other ideas. Snow ball fights, sleigh rides, and not studying all the time are what she recommends. Can opposites attract in time for a Christmas engagement?
A fast paced novella that still manages to include high jinks, humor, challenges, and chemistry is a rare thing, but Mistletoe manages all of that and more. Lillian and Seth battle back and forth, matching wits and stubbornness while enjoying themselves enough to fall in love. I'm not fond of books including small children, so I was glad that the nephews acted more as a way for Seth and Lillian to discover their differences in approaching life, while also being what draws them together, than being main characters themselves. Both characters know themselves, but also begin to discover where they can compromise to make the other happy. I enjoyed Seth's big declaration at the end, where he proves himself above the average suitor in imagination and memory. Perhaps one of the most touching, and memorable, moments for me was at the very end, when Lillian worries that eventually they will become unhappy because of their differences- how can they be sure their love will last? Not a question that often comes up- and Seth's answer is one that applies to couples today as well as it applies to him and Lillian: that's part of the challenge of love, and when differences start to push you apart, remind each other of the love and special memories that brought you together in the first place.
A lovely and fun story for the holidays- and all the year through!
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.