What Happens at Christmas

( 18 )

Overview

A blazing fire, an English country house . . . and the ultimate game of charades. In this charming holiday novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander, a beautiful widow finds her plan for a Christmas proposal going perfectly awry . . .

Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas--an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which...

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Overview

A blazing fire, an English country house . . . and the ultimate game of charades. In this charming holiday novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander, a beautiful widow finds her plan for a Christmas proposal going perfectly awry . . .

Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas--an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which leaves the lovely widow with a slight problem. The last thing Camille wants is for the prince to meet her unconventional relatives. But with the aid of a troupe of actors, Camille intends to pull off a Christmas deception of massive proportions.

At least until Grayson Elliot shows up. A dozen years ago, he declared his love on the day before her marriage to another man, then vanished from her life. Now he's back, gate-crashing Camille's already chaotic house party, playing absolute havoc with her scheme--and with her heart. Because for Grayson, losing Camille once was quite bad enough. Losing her twice? Unthinkable. And he'll find a way to show her they belong together--for this season, and every Christmas yet to come . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alexander’s divine Victorian Christmas confection provides an abundance of wit and warmth. Camille, the widowed Lady Lydingham, hires a troupe of down-on-their-luck actors to masquerade as her family and staff in order to entice the handsome, if shifty, Prince Nicolai Pruzinsky to propose. What could go wrong? Everything, starting with the unexpected reappearance of Grayson Elliott, Camille’s long-ago love, who’s bemused to arrive at her house and be asked whether he’s there to audition. Alexander takes full comedic advantage of every possible plot twist as the farce threatens time and again to come crashing down. Actors flub their lines and disasters cascade, and it’s up to Camille, Grayson, and Camille’s delightful twin, Beryl, to shore up the increasingly shaky burlesque and keep the prince’s proposal on track. This star belongs at the top of the tree. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Possessed of a family that is anything but traditional, Camille, the young widowed Lady Lydingham, sets out to provide a "traditional English Christmas, à la Dickens," for her current romantic quarry, handsome, debonair Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky. She takes advantage of her family's absence and hires a company of actors to "become" her proper relatives for the season. It all seems a brilliant idea, until Grayson Elliott, the friend Camille hasn't seen since the day he stammered his love for her and then left her engaged to another man, shows up at the front door and refuses to leave. Wary but relieved when Gray agrees to help her maintain the subterfuge, Camille has no idea that Gray has his own agenda: to keep her from marrying the prince and claim her for himself. VERDICT Clever, quirky, and thoroughly delightful, this creative Christmas confection features a houseful of offbeat characters, a surfeit of family members, and a pair of protagonists who finally get things right. Alexander (My Wicked Little Lies) lives in Omaha.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758255686
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and has never looked back. Victoria grew up traveling the country as an Air Force brat and is now settled in a very old house in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two allegedly grown children and two bearded collies. She firmly believes housework is a four-letter word, there are no calories in anything eaten standing up, procrastination is an art form, and it’s never too soon to panic.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2012

    Camille, the widowed Lady Lydingham, has set her sights on marry

    Camille, the widowed Lady Lydingham, has set her sights on marrying the handsome and charming foreign Prince Nikolai and obtaining her fairy tale happy ever after.

    She sets to win the prince's heart and a marriage proposal by giving him the perfect Dickens Christmas. Camille feels the only way to ensure the proper Dicken's family is to hire a troupe of actors to play her eccentric family and sets about to pull off the perfect scheme.
    After a long absense Grayson Elliot returns to England and his family's country estate. On a goodwill errand for his cousin, Grayson stumbles upon Camille's crazy charade. Having declared his love to Camille eleven years earlier on the eve of her marriage to another man, Grayson vows not to lose Camille a second time. After situating himself within Camille's Christmas production, Grayson offers her his help, while working to regain her trust and ultimatley winning her heart.

    I truly enjoyed this book and many times found myself smiling while reading it. I found the cast of characters to be fun and engaging as well as the the perfect compliment to Camille and Grayson sweet romance. Some of the things I enjoyed most were the light hearted, sentimental and often fun interaction between characters. I just adored the Christmas Carrolls. I found myself caught up in the books twists and turns and it left me laughing. What Happens at

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    What Happens at Christmas will tickle your funny-bone ¿n- warm y

    What Happens at Christmas will tickle your funny-bone –n- warm your heart!

    What’s a woman to do when fate fortuitously lends a hand and virtually throws you into the arms of a handsome and practically perfect royal prince? Well, Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows exactly what she's going to do; seize the opportunity and marry him ASAP. Because being swept away by a wealthy, handsome prince to a foreign land—to live happily-ever-after—was the stuff fairytales were made of, and didn’t every woman want that?

    And "Princess Camille" really did have such a lovely sound to it………..

    Fortunately, her intended, Prince Nicolai, of the Kingdom of Greater Avalonia, was just as infatuated with the beautiful Lady Camille and he was -thisclose- to proposing to her. So Camille came up with a practically perfect plan, one that was sure to help bring her prince charming to the point of popping the question before the New Year began. She would gift him with one of his heart's desires... a chance to spend a proper English Christmas, in a proper English country house with a proper English family as portrayed in the popular Dickens' novels……………

    It seemed simple enough to do, but regrettably, that was not exactly how she would describe her own family. As a group their personalities were much too eccentric, or perhaps a bit too uninhibited, to be considered "proper" in the strictest sense of the word. Therefore, Camille decided it would be best to create the illusion of a perfectly proper English family celebrating the Christmas holidays at home… by hiring a troupe of professional actors to play them. Of course, there would be some minor details to work out, but—all in all—she thought it was a brilliant plan! What could possibly go wrong???

    *****STAR*****

    Victoria Alexander packages up her latest book with a virtual cascade of dazzling ribbons and bows, and delivers this festive treat to the romance reading world in the form of a heartwarming, humorous and thoroughly delightful Christmas story. WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS is a clever and creative tale that's filled to the brim with equal parts of holiday cheer, ardent romance, and sparkling good humor, that together brings to life all the traditions, magic, and joy of the Holiday Season……………

    Victoria Alexander is a tremendously talented writer and gifted storyteller and I have been a fan of her delightful romances for many years now, but I have to say this is my new favorite of all her books. I just loved everything about this story from beginning to end—the Christmas with family storyline, the second chance at love theme, all the quirky yet endearing characters, the clever rhetoric, sharp dialogue, crisp banter and playful wordplay used to great effect throughout the story, and the very funny, farcical nature of the comedy. I think it represents top-notch romantic comedy, though I hope readers don't get so lost in enjoying the humor of the book that they fail to appreciate the many dramatic, emotional, and sentimental elements that were so delicately woven throughout the story as well……………..
    What Happens At Christmas will surely tickle your funny-bone and at the same time warm your heart. It's a great story to read anytime, but also the perfect book to start off your holiday season on a high note!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Robin Book provided by NetGalley for review Review o

    Reviewed by Robin
    Book provided by NetGalley for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    It took me a while but once I got past the first few chapters of repetitive lines I found that this historical romance was a really funny story about what happens when you really have more money then you know what to do with. Well, actually it is a bond between women.

    Who would think to hire a troupe of actors to portray their kooky family so that could impress the man you are hoping will propose? The only problem is that the actors are even kookier than your own family. As nutty as everyone was in this fast paced story I found them rather endearing. They were written in such a way that they seemed real. Almost as if you could find them in your own family or perhaps a little like a neighbor.

    Camille has loved Grayson all of her life. She was just taught that you marry for money to procure your place in society. To ensure that you have enough to survive without a husband should he die early and that love isn’t necessarily needed to marry.

    So Camille wasn’t exactly brought up with the best of intentions she really was rather fond of the man she married until he died. This is where we drop in on the story. She is trying to obtain a prince. After all isn’t it every little girls, or big girls for that matter, dream to marry a prince? Just like in the fairy tales? Well, Camille really is no different than you or I. She was beautiful and full of life and fun. She runs into a real prince or so she is lead to believe. The thing is he read Dickens’ and wanted a real traditional family Christmas. He wanted the family and trimmings…everything.

    But, where was a girl to find these things when her own family was off on a trip and they really weren’t all that traditional. They were rather well, shall I say a mess. So to catch her prince Camille hatches a fool proofed plan. Hire some actors! Yes, that should work. Actually…I really wouldn’t want to spoil too much of the story. But I guess I can give a little bit away.

    Camille has the actors she hired in place ready to fool the prince she wants a proposal from by Christmas. The woman hired to play here mom keeps changing her name. I thought that the prince would catch on but he was clueless. As we get into the story her first love comes back into the picture. Grayson (the love of Camille life, who didn’t have money) ends up helping Camille with her charade as does her twin sister. As the escapes keep happening and you find yourself laughing only to find that her real mom and sister cut their trip short for sentimental reasons, showing up at the house.

    Will Camille win her prince? You just may be surprised how this story ends. There are many twists and turns, along with many delightful yet unexpected things happening all the time. I was never bored and found it hard to put this down once I got into the story. They decide to help Camille in this fiasco. Later her…here is where I will have to bow out in these somewhat funny antics of Christmas that just may turn out alright after all.

    Family dynamics was a strong concept in this story; Ms. Alexander showed that in a house full of women you tend to lean on each other. Mother lets you know that she knows best whether it really works for you or not. Although in most cases it is better to trust your own instincts.

    If you can get past the repetitive first part I know that you will enjoy this comical story with a cast of likable characters that bond family, friends and strangers into new friendships. Where you find that families forge though the past to find that forgiveness is all that is needed to put the past to rest so that you can then move on to the future.

    Ms. Alexander’s story shows many things including that things aren’t always what they seem. But are things ever as they seem, really?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Highly renommended

    It was a great reading .I recommended it

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  • Posted January 18, 2014

       Camille has found herself a new husband.  A prince.  The only

       Camille has found herself a new husband.  A prince.  The only problem is her family is less than conventional. What's a woman to do? Why hire actors to portray her family and servants.  The prince, after all, expects to see a classic English Christmas.  Camille never expects her first love to show up out of the blue. It's been eleven years.  Here he is though. Standing in her home and wondering who all these strange people are.  Grayson reluctantly agrees to help Camille with her scheme while silently planning to stop this engagement. 




         Funny and sweet, this book will make you laugh and tug at your heart.  Ms Alexander adds just the right amount of romance, love and giggles to this book. You'll enjoy the escapades of Camille and her ragtag cast.  An easy read, you'll finish this one before you know it. It's amazing.




         I found no issues with this one.




          I gave this one 5 cheers out of 5 because I have some friends I can see doing this..lol.

     ~Copy of book provided by author in exchange for a fair review~

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  • Posted December 24, 2013

    Fun historical Christmas romance! *Book source ~ Many thanks to

    Fun historical Christmas romance!

    *Book source ~ Many thanks to Kensington for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

    Camille, Lady Lydingham and Beryl, Lady Dunwell are twins who are not known for being boring. In fact, their whole family is a bit barmy. So when Camille is hoping a Prince of some foreign country (Camille can’t remember which) will propose to her she decides to hire a troupe of actors to play her family and give him a proper English Christmas at her family home Millworth Manor. Except for her twin, the rest of the family are in Europe and out of the way. What can go wrong?

    Yeah, what exactly can go wrong with this scenario? You got it. Just about everything. This was a delightfully fun holiday historical romance with plenty of unexpected turns and shenanigans. I’ve read a few other books by Victoria Alexander and enjoyed them so I was pretty sure I would have a fun time reading this one. I was right. The characters are excellent, the writing wonderful and the plot is one I’ve not seen before. Who hires actors to play their family in order to impress a Prince? I just knew it wouldn’t go smoothly. Lol If you’re looking for an entertaining historical holiday romance then be sure to pick this one up. I’m sure it won’t disappoint. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Leap of emoticon's faith (test)

    <3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3.75* I very much enjoyed this Christmas tail. This was my first

    3.75*
    I very much enjoyed this Christmas tail. This was my first book by Victoria Alexander and it won't be my last. It was a fun and funny book with a cast of characters real and actors that will have you in stitches. Camille and Elliot have good chemistry and it was interesting to watch Camille at first try to get her prince and then to avoid him and Elliot trying to get Camille to forgive him for his past failings. A must read.

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  • Posted March 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Highly entertaining! Young widow Camille, Lady Lydingham, had g

    Highly entertaining!
    Young widow Camille, Lady Lydingham, had grown up thinking that there wasn’t much use for true love in a practical world. Grayson Elliott, her first and only genuine love, had come forward with an ill-timed declaration, right on the eve of her arranged marriage to an older and much wealthier man. After revealing his feelings, Grayson had vanished, disappointing Camille’s hope to be rescued at the altar from a loveless marriage. He had fled to America bringing his broken heart and wounded pride with him, spurred by the sheer determination to prove himself to Camille by making his way into the world and building a fortune. Eleven years later, Grayson is back in England and ready to fight for the woman who never abandoned his thoughts: for too long they had been like “a play without a last act”, and the now outrageously wealthy Grayson is ready to pull the final curtain on his unrequited love for Camille. His timing seems to be wrong once again, though: the young widow has recently met Nicolai Pruzinsky, prince of as small as unheard-of kingdom of Avalonia. The charming royalty, who’s traveling incognito across Europe in the hope of fully and freely enjoying foreign Christmas traditions, represents everything Camille has ever wanted, handsome and perfect as if he had just popped out of one of those fairy tales she devoured as a young girl. Maybe too perfect to be real.
    Animated by her childish dreams more than true feelings of love, she sets her heart on Pruzinsky. So, when she learns that he is a fan of Mr. Dickens and that he is quite eager to experience the winter holidays the way they are portrayed in the novelist’s books, she decides to provide him with that proper English Christmas experience as well as a proper English family to go along with it. Afraid that her extravagant relatives will embarrass her in front of a royalty, and taking advantage of a temporary permanence abroad of her flamboyant mother, in fact, Camille hires a troupe of actors to fill her country house and pose as her family. To add complications to her preposterous plan, her long-lost love shows up at her manor, but when it seems that the farce can only end up in disaster and escalate in a huge scandal, the sweet memories of a distant past and her unquenched love for Grayson will remind Camille that, far from being shallow and mercenary, her heart is capable of true love.

    This historical romance novel by #1 New York Times best-selling author Victoria Alexander was quite a delightful read, reminiscent of a farcical comedy a la Shakespeare, twins, mistaken identity and all. I particularly appreciated Alexander's use of the classical unities (events unfold along one unique plot line, in one location and in a limited span of time), and her ability to get her well-paced narration flowing almost entirely with the use of dialogues. I found Camille’s character to be an original and unconventional female lead, a more practical sort of woman than your usual Victorian romance novel heroine.
    Fraught with witty dialogues and lively lines delivered by Alexander with the elegance and the perfection of a string of pearls, What Happens At Christmas features an entertaining holiday pageant brightened by the breezy tones of a light-hearted comedy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    A fun read

    A fun read

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  • Posted January 1, 2013

    Good Christmas Story!

    Good Christmas Story!
    I truly enjoyed this story although it sounded familiar. I knew what was going to happen before it. Somewhere a long time ago I must have read a story similar to this except I didn't remember the children. Regardless I enjoyed it. This story had me laughing.

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  • Posted December 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS by Victoria Alexander is an exciting R

    WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS by Victoria Alexander is an exciting Regency historical romance.Follow, Camille, Lady Lydingham and Grayson Elliott on a Christmas time adventure of passion,holiday spirit,secrets,deception,and humor. Ms. Alexander has done it again with this delightful story of love lost,and found again. If you enjoy Christmas time stories with a flare for the drama,deception and love you will enjoy &quot;What Happens At Christmas&quot;. Received for an honest review from the publisher. Visit the author's website,Kensington Books, or My Book Addiction and More for more details.

    RATING: 4.5

    HEAT RATING: MILD

    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This story was very entertaining to read. Camille is putting on

    This story was very entertaining to read. Camille is putting on the show of a life time to impress a gentleman who she believes will make a great marriage. Everything is going to plan until Grayson Elliott shows back up into her life. He proposed to her once but she believed it to be out of honor and not love. This story has a lot of twists and turns but it was very fun to read. Camille and Grayson circle around each other not wanting to get close but they can’t seem to walk away from each other. Camille falls in love again with Grayson during the Christmas charade and they finally can be together after years of being separated. Camille learns that family isn’t something you should be embarrassed about but to embrace them, faults and all.

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful Christmas Story

    Author Victoria Alexander beautifully blends romance, loyalty, humor, historical England, and mystery with a dash or two of Christmas magic for an engaging read. You always know her book is going to be filled with passion and lots of fun. Narrator Elizabeth Wiley does a wonderful job bringing all the characters to life. She gives each their own distinct voice keeping the story flowing smoothly. Her accent transports listeners to an English country home for an unforgettable Christmas. Camille, Lady Lydingham, thought she’d found her perfect prince. All she has to do is give Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky a perfect Dickensian Christmas like he wants and he will surely propose. There is just one problem - her family. There are out of town on holiday and are a bit unconventional to begin with. Camille, a wealth widow, hires a troupe of down-and-out actors to play her family and staff. With the reluctant support of her twin sister, Beryl, and her husband Lionel, Lord Dunwell, Camille believes she can pull it off. She’ll explain everything to the Prince once they’re married and they’ll have a good laugh. Camille never dreamed her plan would go up in smoke, but then she never planned on seeing Grayson Elliott again either. She had loved Grayson for years. He had declared his love for her 11 years ago on her wedding day and then disappeared. Grayson returns to find Camille in the midst of a masquerade. He can’t help but say he’ll help her win her prince despite buried feelings that are beginning to surface and a distrust for the prince. As Camille’s play continues, sparks begin to fly between her and Grayson. Just as she realizes she may have her prince, she’s not sure she wants him anymore. The characters are well-developed and realistic. The author’s detail to the era and setting add another layer to the story. The eccentric characters and the perplexing plots will keep you in stitches. Filled with twists, surprises, romance, and loads of humor, WHAT HAPPENS AT CHRISTMAS is a delightful story that reminds us to be careful of what we wish for. FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

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  • Posted November 24, 2012

    What happens when a young, rich Victorian widow decides she want

    What happens when a young, rich Victorian widow decides she wants to marry a Prince from a small country? What happens when said Prince decides to travel incognito? What happens when this widow decides to hire actors to play her family and servants? Well, all could go as planned---or----!!

    What happens when our heroine's long lost love comes back after eleven years? What happens when the actress playing the Mom continues to forget her name? And another actress decides to flirt with the prince?

    There is a lot of humor in this farce. There is also a lot of emphasis on communication and forgiveness. Of course, the obligatory sex scene changes everything for our characters. For all those who enjoy Victorian romances, this book will win over your hearts!

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  • Posted November 10, 2012

    This was one of the best romances I've read in a long time...

    This was one of the best romances I've read in a long time...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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