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
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen and she's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since. Her awards include the Booksellers Best, Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the prestigious Maggie Award. Her books have sold to many countries in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and most recently to Japan. Several of her books have also been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. Amelia is the author of twenty-five books. She's been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida. Her first book with St. Martin's was The Duke in My Bed
Read an Excerpt
The Duke and Miss Christmas
By Amelia Grey
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Amelia Grey
All rights reserved.
Crispin, the seventh Duke of Hurst, stopped his horse when he crested the rise and spied something that puzzled him in the misty whorls of fading fog. There was a young girl seated on the frosty ground a short distance away.
She'd obviously heard him ride up, because she was looking in his direction. Evidently, she wasn't afraid. She wasn't scrambling away or calling to alert anyone to his presence.
His senses strained to probe the hilly area for others, but the thickets were silent and empty. The winter air was downright cold, but the lass appeared to be properly dressed for the gray, freezing morning with coat, bonnet, and gloves. From his vantage point, he guessed her to be about the age of his ten-year-old sister.
But where were the girl's chaperones?
He kneed the mare forward and continued down the slope, searching the spindly growth of barren scrub trees and brush as the animal picked her way along the stony terrain. There wasn't another soul in sight that he could see, but surely someone was just over the next knoll. It couldn't be much more than an hour past daybreak and the girl wouldn't be without a companion.
Crispin hadn't been to his uncle's estate since he was a lad, so he wasn't familiar with the landscape or the location of the nearest house. He was here because the Duke of Drakestone had invited him to a Christmas ball, as a courtesy, Crispin was sure. Nevertheless, and much to his mother's disappointment, he'd decided to forgo Christmas Day church, the roasted goose and plum pudding dinner, and all the festivities with his mother, her husband, and their six children in favor of a quiet, restful holiday. Something Crispin never experienced when he was with his large family.
Since he'd missed the Season in London, he was looking forward to attending the many Christmastide house parties he'd been invited to throughout the countryside. He had all faith that the one at Drakestone would be a lavish affair of dining, wines, a late-night card game or two, and many beautiful young ladies to enjoy.
Not wanting the snorting horse to frighten the girl, Crispin dismounted about twenty-five feet away from her. He left the mare and approached the girl, who hadn't taken her attention off him since he first spotted her.
If there was one thing he knew, it was how to talk to children. Even though he'd been a duke since before he was born, his mother had never treated him differently from the rest of her children when he was at home and he never acted differently, either. Crispin had always been a hellion when at Eton and Oxford, but when he was home he enjoyed being just a big brother to the four girls and two boys. After spending the better part of the year traveling through America with them, he was ready to be on his own again. And since his mother had made a complete recovery from her malady shortly after he arrived in Baltimore, there was no guilt in missing Christmastide at Hurst.
His boots crunched on silvery patches of hardened dew as he neared the girl. She stared up at him with crystal-clear light blue eyes that almost seemed too big for her small face. The blustery wind had chapped her cherub cheeks and button nose. Both her legs were stretched out in front of her and, at a glance, he saw that her high-top leather boots were expensively made. The fabric and stitching of her dark blue coat and bonnet were of the highest quality. She wasn't a servant's offspring, he was sure.
Approaching her cautiously, he asked, "Are you alone?"
"Not anymore," she said confidently. "You're here."
Crispin hadn't expected such a cheeky answer from one so young. His eyes narrowed. "Does anyone know you're out here?"
A mischievous smile spread across her face and she said, "Well, you do."
"All right, Miss Priss," he conceded to her impertinent answer, stopping not far from her. "So I do. Are you lost?"
She shook her head. "My name's not Priss, and I'm not lost. I know where I am; do you?"
Crispin chuckled. Her humor was advanced well past her age. "Yes, I'm right here with you. So what's your name?"
"Sybil. What's yours?"
"Crispin," he answered, and took in their surroundings again. He saw an overturned basket with cuttings of mistletoe, ivy, and red holly berries scattered all around it. That's when he noticed she sat under a small tree that still had plenty of mistletoe left in its branches.
All at once concern pricked him and he said, "You didn't fall out of that tree, did you?"
She studied his face intently for a moment. He had a feeling she was trying to decide whether to tell him the truth. Finally, she expelled an annoyed huff of warm breath into the frosty air and nodded.
Crispin knelt in front of her. "Are you hurt?"
"It's my ankle," she said. "I can't stand on it. My knee hurts, too." She gently placed her small hand on top of her knee. "Especially when I try to move it."
Damnation, he thought. The first thing he should have asked was if she was hurt. And he would have if she'd been crying like his sisters would be if one of them had fallen out of a tree.
"Do you mind if I take hold your leg and look at it?" he asked, crouching closer to her.
She shook her head again. "But be careful."
"I promise," he answered, knowing that promises were very important to children.
He carefully slid his hand under her calf and picked up her leg, trying not to bend her knee or brush her ankle. She flinched noticeably but didn't make a sound. Because of her high-top boots, he couldn't tell if there was swelling in her ankle, but beneath the flesh-colored stockings she wore the knee was already puffy. Her boots didn't look to be laced too tight, but to be safe he should probably loosen them and get her home fast so they could get the boot off.
"Louisa is going to be cross with me," Sybil mumbled as she looked down at her leg.
Crispin saw the first crack in the young girl's strong demeanor. He didn't know who Louisa was, but he was fairly certain that what Sybil said was true.
Not wanting to upset the girl further, he offered, "Maybe not. I don't think anything is broken. You aren't crying," he added more to himself than to her as he carefully untied the strings in her boots.
She gave him a smoldering expression of defiance and crossed her hands over her chest. "I don't cry," she stated firmly. "Crying is for babies."
"I stand corrected, Miss Sybil. So Louisa doesn't know you slipped out of the house this morning before anyone was awake to come cut berries and mistletoe?"
"She told me not to, but I didn't listen. I wanted to surprise her and decorate the house for Christmas."
"You're getting an early start with that. Christmas is still over two weeks away."
Sybil wrinkled her nose. "I know. She was right, but I didn't want to wait."
He glanced over at her small gathering of clippings again. "It looks like you have plenty and you need to get home. Why don't I carry you over to my horse and sit you in the saddle. Then I'll come back, pick up your basket, and walk you home."
"All right, but be careful," she said again. "And don't bump my knee."
"I'll take it slow and do my best not to." He cautiously hooked one arm under her bottom and the other around her shoulders and lifted her up. He felt her flinch again. "How's that?" he asked, and started walking toward the horse. "Are you doing all right?"
She nodded and slid one small arm around the back of his neck and held on to him tightly.
"You're not afraid of horses, are you?" he asked, thinking it best he keep her talking.
"Of course not. I've been riding almost every day since the beginning of summer."
"Are you staying at Drakestone?"
"Yes. I like it much better here than where we lived in London."
"I like the country better, too," he agreed.
"What's the horse's name?" she asked.
Crispin had no idea. He'd just arrived at his uncle's house late yesterday. He'd awakened early and decided the first thing he wanted to do was take a long ride. Later he planned to go hunting, maybe do some fishing.
"You know," he said, "I don't think she has a name. What would you suggest if she were your horse?"
"She's the color of cinnamon."
"That's a good name. We'll call her Cinnamon."
"No," Sybil said thoughtfully. "I was thinking maybe we should call her Spice."
He smiled at the little girl who already had a mind of her own. She would be a female to be reckoned with one day.
"Spice it is," he said. "You know, you're a clever little girl."
"I'm not little. Bonnie is little. I'm ten."
"And who is Bonnie?" He lifted Sybil higher to place her on to the saddle.
"My sister and she —"
All of a sudden Sybil let out an ear-piercing scream.
Crispin's heart lurched and he froze at the sound. "What's wrong?"
"It's my foot," she cried.
He looked down. The boot on her injured foot had somehow caught in the stirrup and was twisted.
Crispin swore under his breath. In his hurry to fit her bottom in the saddle so he could turn her loose and untangle her foot, he bumped her knee and she cried out again, saying, "No, don't. Stop."
"Hellfire," he whispered, delicately trying to dislodge her foot without touching her ankle or her knee again.
All at once, out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of someone easing up behind him. Before he could react, something came down on the side of his head and face. Something sharp scraped the skin below the corner of his eye, searing him with pain.
"Leave my sister alone, you beast!" a feminine voice yelled as he was struck again before he freed Sybil's foot. "Get away from her!"
Crispin whirled to see a beautiful, but an angry-hot, blue gaze fixed on him. He threw up his arm in time to ward off the object that was coming at him for a third time.
"What the devil is wrong with you?" he said, grabbing a firm hold on the small flower container the young lady had turned into a weapon.
"Go for help, Sybil!" she exclaimed, trying to wrench the basket from his grip. "Hurry! Ride, fast!" she continued before he finally wrestled the wicker out of her hands and tossed it aside.
"Wait," Crispin said, whirling toward Sybil. But she had already thrown her good leg over the saddle and clutched the reins tightly in her hands. Crispin reached out for her but caught only a handful of air. At the same time, the young lady had reached behind him and slapped the horse's rump. The mare took off at a trot with Sybil bouncing in the saddle but somehow managing to hang on.
Fearing Sybil might fall off and do more damage to her leg, Crispin let out a loud whistle, but the animal wasn't trained to obey the command and kept going. He started to run after the horse, but the tail of his cloak was grabbed from behind and he was yanked backward.
"You can't have my sister! Leave her alone."
Crispin spun around so fast he lost his footing on the loose gravel and fell to the ground, but not before dragging the young lady down on top of him as he went.
Having had enough of the spirited young lady, Crispin rolled her onto her back. His cloak and her cape mingled and twisted around them, wrapping them together. Crispin grabbed the wrists of her flailing arms in his hands and trapped her kicking legs between his to stop her ineffective wrestling. His greater strength quickly and easily overpowered her, but she didn't quit trying to best him.
"Let me up, you foul beast!" She ground out a hiss as she struggled to break free.
Not a chance in hell, he thought as his fingers tightened.
His chest pressed hard against her soft breasts. Her heavy breathing was as fast and unsteady as his. The thrashing continued. She didn't willingly surrender the fight as he'd hoped once he trapped her, and their tussle for dominance continued. Crispin appreciated her courage, vitality, and strength. He might even be a little impressed by them, but he couldn't let her win.
"Stop squirming, you little hellion," he countered, jamming her bucking body harder to the cold ground with his weight.
But she didn't relent. This fearless young lady had no intentions of giving up her struggle.
"Be still," he said with difficulty. "I don't want to hurt you."
"Then let me go, you brute," she demanded between gasps, grunts, and bumps.
Was she calling him the brute when she was the one who stole up behind him and bashed him with a basket for no comprehensible reason?
"You started this," he countered, and shifted the length of his body on top of hers.
Crispin looked down into the loveliest face he'd ever seen. The spitfire's skin was flawless and the color of pale parchment, except for the heightened flush in her cheeks. She wore no bonnet and her flowing glorious blond hair was littered with brown grass, tiny twigs, and little pieces of gravel from their rolling around. Her shoulders were slender and straight. He felt a soft fullness to her breasts. And, despite her brazenness in attacking him, she looked wholesome, innocent, and everything else that was good about life. His muscles flexed in response to his sudden and unanticipated attraction to her.
"What did you plan on doing with my sister?" she demanded with a weakening spring against him. "Where were you taking her?"
"To her home," he answered hotly, focusing his concentration completely on her.
"Where did you think I was taking her?"
Crispin watched the panic gradually drain from her wide, expressive eyes and delicate features. She blinked slowly, taking in what he'd said. Then the realization of what she suspected came to him in a rush and resentment shot through him, hot and fierce. He'd been accused of many unsavory things in his lifetime and he'd probably done most of them, but he was an honorable man and he'd never hurt a child.
There was no way he would let an accusation like that go unanswered.
"You think I wanted to — to harm her?" he asked incredulously, not wanting to even voice the outrageous thought out loud. "A little girl?"
"I heard her scream," the lady challenged quickly. "She was crying and you were forcing her to get on your horse."
The miss scrambled to get from beneath him again, bucking and pushing against his body, but he held her securely. His muscles wound tighter in answer to all her wriggling. She had stirred more than his ire and his curiosity. Her movements were making him highly aware that her slight but obviously womanly form was warm and supple beneath him. If he wasn't so outraged about what she'd thought he intended to do to her little sister, his mind would be traveling places it shouldn't go.
"Did you once stop to think she might be crying because she was hurt, and I was trying to help her?"
Crispin felt her feminine spine stiffen and her arched brows furrowed as she eyed him skeptically. "Hurt? What do you mean?"
His hands slackened a little on her wrists. He regarded her keenly and bent his head so close to hers their noses almost touched. "It might have seemed as if I were forcing her, but that's not what was happening. I was trying to help her. Now thanks to you, she'll probably be thrown off the horse."
The young lady bristled and struggled against him again. "Sybil will not. She rides very well. Do you think I'd ask her to ride for help if she wasn't capable of doing it?"
"Yes. If you thought I was going to harm her or you," he answered tersely.
"Well, if you weren't forcing her onto your horse, why was she crying and telling you to stop?"
"She fell out of a tree and hurt herself."
The young lady gasped and her body stilled. He felt her prickle of concern. Her warm breaths continued to come heavy and deep.
"I was trying to get her onto the horse to take her to Drakestone and her injured foot caught in something on the saddle. That's why she was crying and telling me to stop."
"Why didn't you say so?" she whispered.
Crispin wondered if the young lady realized just how close his lips were to hers. The air was cold, fresh, and invigorating. So was she. Without even knowing it, the miss was alluring, weaving a sensuous cover of heat around him and drawing him into the web she didn't even know she had created.
His voice softened as he asked, "Why didn't you ask before you started attacking me?"
She quickly moistened her lips. "I was coming up the path looking for her when I heard her scream. I saw you putting her on your horse and I heard her say 'don't' and 'stop.' I just assumed you were forcing her to go with you."
In this Crispin would not give an inch. "You were wrong."
Her eyes swept up and down his face. Crispin knew it was the first time she'd actually taken a moment to really look at him. Once again, he was made very aware of the womanly body beneath him and suddenly she was aware of that, too. He couldn't help but wonder if she found him as fascinating as he found her.
"Let me up," she demanded, and started struggling again. "I must go to Sybil."
Crispin wasn't ready to let his captive go. "She is halfway to Drakestone by now and you've no chance of catching up to her before she reaches help."
"How badly was she hurt?" the young lady asked, her breaths evening out as her body went slack beneath him again.
"I don't think her leg was broken anywhere, but it needs attention."
"Oh, she was not supposed to come searching for trimmings this morning and certainly not by herself." She let out a frustrated sigh. "Sybil was told it was too early to decorate the house for the Christmas ball. She never listens to us."
Excerpted from The Duke and Miss Christmas by Amelia Grey. Copyright © 2015 Amelia Grey. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Why can't we know how many pages before we buy??????? 81 pages. Its a long paragraph not a book!!!!
Short story but full of fun.
Short and very predictable book. I'm thinking this book was written for a high school writing class and this is second draft.I sure wish Nook books were required to state the number of pages a book contained.
I’m not normally a fan of historical romances, but with it being Christmas time and the title of this story, I could not pass up the chance to read it. I have to say that I really enjoyed this story. It’s a sweet novella with a little hilarity thrown in. When the Duke is visiting his brother for the holidays, he comes across a young girl who has been hurt and tries to help. Only, Gwenn thinks he has other intentions and embarrasses herself by attacking him in order to protect her little sister. When she finds out that he is a Duke, Gwenn is both embarrassed and shocked at being attracted to the kind gentleman. The Duke, Crispin, is invited to a party throw by Gwenn’s brother in law and that’s when things become interesting. They continue to communicate with one another after the Ball and they eventually give in to their feelings and fall in love. This is such a cute, sweet, novella worth the time to read. *Copy provided for review.
I have read many Amelia Grays stories mostly in paperback . This was a sweet short Novella . We have the Duke (Crispen ) out for a ride on a horse when he sees a young child sitting down and not moving . He wonders what is going on . Crispen approaches her and starts asking questions . Once Crispen ( the duke ) finds out that she is injured picking Holly and Mistotle for a ball he decides to help her . He puts her his horse to take her back . Her home is at another Dukes home . The Duke of Drakenstone . Along the way the young girls leg gets injured in the sadle and cries out . Lol and behold the Crispen is attached . Gwen is the sister that attaches Crispen .She tackles him to the ground and starts beating him. Gwen did this without asking Questions . Gwen thought that Crispen is abduction her sister . Once everything settles down Crispen tells Gwen what happened . Gwen feels bad . Crispen asks Gwen for her name but Gwen won't tell Crispen . Crispen then tells Gwen he will call her Ms Christmas . Still at this point Crispen doesn't tell Gwen his name . Gwen thinks he is just a nobleman . Germs brotherinlaw The Duke of Drakenstone comes by . He still sees Gwen and Crispen on the grass . That is when Gwen finds out Crispen is a Duke . Gwen starts to fascinate Crispen . Crispen egarly goes to Drakenstone ball to learn more about Gwen Grab it and find out how it progresses . Does Gwen become her Grace ???
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. 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.
Crispin, Duke of Hurst is at a bit of loose ends at Christmastime, and accepts an invitation to his uncle’s country estate. Expecting a few house parties, good company and cheer, no one is more surprised than he when, after coming to the rescue of a young girl finds himself under attack from a hellion wielding a basket. That hellion is none other than Gwen Primm, having gotten the wrong end of the stick when her little (and occasionally intractable) sister Sybil twists her ankle and Crispin is simply stepping in to help. Add to this misunderstanding, Gwen soon is informed that the attacked is a Duke, and a friend and fellow ‘club’ member of her brother in law. A bad experience during her season has Gwen unwilling to acknowledge the attraction she feels, and the two of them are engaged in a battle of wills until inevitability and attraction take over. As just eighty-four pages, while the story itself is reasonably complete, I wanted more to show the characters and some time to build their relationship to better feel and believe in their connection. Smart dialogue, humor and a solid pathway for the couple all work in the abbreviated form, and no great swathes of information were missing, I just wanted more. A highly enjoyable, lighthearted and quick reading story, it is the perfect introduction to Grey’s work and this series. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
3.5 Stars Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog This was my first Holiday read of the year and to my surprise it was a lot shorter than I was expecting. Yes, I know, it’s a novella. But I was still expecting a bit more. I have read other novellas where the author manages to give me enough story in the page count that I’m satisfied with their HEA. In this case, although I enjoyed the novella, I felt the HEA it was rushed. As far as the characters go, I really enjoyed Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, and our unlikely heroine Miss Gwen Primm. Her family is definitely one that I would love to read more about because they are all women with personality that don’t care to follow the rules of society and etiquette necessarily. So in that respect, Gwen was right along my alley. Especially when the first thing that happens when she meets the hero is that she hits him in the face with a fruit basket. I would’ve loved to see this fleshed out in a full length story just to lend more credibility to the fact that these two have fallen in love and are headed for marriage. Nevertheless, this was enjoyable and sweet and full of holiday charm.
This is book 2.5 in the Heirs' Club of Scoundrels series. When Miss Gwen Prim sees a gentleman forcing her sister onto his horse, she does the only thing she can think of. She hits him over the head with a baskets and tells her sister to run away and get help. What she doesn't know is that the man she just assaulted is a duke. Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, is out on a ride when he comes across a young girl that is injured. While trying to get the girl situated on his horse, he is attacked by the girl's sister. He really should be mad, but all he can think about is that he has finally met his match. Can Gwen get over her mortification of assaulting a duke long enough to see that he is her future? This is a cute, quick read that I really enjoyed. We get to see Louisa and her hellion sisters again (of which Gwen is one) as well as Drakestone from The Duke in My Bed. If you are looking for a quick, light-hearted read then this is the book for you. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the series which comes out in March 2016. Thanks go out to St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
The Duke and Miss Christmas by Amelia Grey is a short read, perfect for those with limited time for reading. I enjoyed Ms Grey's well written story. The characters are lovable. Gwen and Crispin's story is short and sweet, very little sizzle, making it safe for younger readers. I think I would have liked this story more if it was a little longer. All in all, a good, fairly clean read. I look forward to reading more from Amelia Grey in the future. I received a copy of The Duke and Miss Christmas from NetGalley for review purposes.
This is book 2.5 in the "The Heirs' Club of Scoundrels Trilogy". It is a short and sweet read that I so loved! I have been reading the series in order but I felt it was a stand alone books. Amelia Grey is another author that when you see her name you know you are getting a great book! I so love her writing and quickly read her books up. This story is about Miss Gwen Prim and how she met our hero, Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, Crispin is coming to visit and along the way sees a small child that is hurt. When he tries to help her onto his horse, Gwen comes along. Gwen thinks he is trying to hurt her sister. So she hits him over the head. Gwen tells her sister take the horse to get help. While the sister is gone to get help for the "intruder" Gwen and Crispin start to bicker/ talk / argue about what he was doing. I thought is was a lovely, light and just right for a quick read. Also I thought a nice catch up with the family.
Crispin, the seventh Duke of Hurst, has been invited to a Christmas Ball by his friend, Bray, the Duke of Drakestone. The oldest of six younger siblings, Crispin has decided to forego Christmas Day with his family to attend this Ball. As he is riding his horse to Drakestone, he comes upon a young girl named Sybil sitting in the snow surrounded by a basket of greenery cuttings. She has hurt her ankle after falling from a tree attempting to pick mistletoe so he offers to put her on his horse and take her home. As he is lifting her onto the horse, he is attacked behind by a young woman who thinks he is trying to steal Sybil away! Sybil is a good rider and takes off on the horse. Crispin struggles with the young woman who had attacked him and scrapes his face with the basket. He tries to calm her down and explain to her that he was only trying to help young Sybil. She refuses to tell him her name so he calls her Miss Christmas. Gwen Prim is the sister-in-law of the Duke of Drakestone. Having returned from her season she is heartbroken from her experiences. However, she is shocked to find that Crispin is a Duke and will be staying at Drakestone. She is horribly embarrassed that she struck him and he now sports a scratch on his face. Crispin is a member of the Heir’s Club which is a group of wealthy young men who tend to become involved in scandal. That is exactly what happened with Crispin, so he chose to join his mother and siblings in America for awhile until the gossip died down. Crispin and Gwen are immediately attracted to one another and even after the Ball, they continue to correspond with one another. They are both quite fond of their many siblings. Gwen needs to be sure that the previous gossip about Crispin is not true before she can allow herself to fall in love with him. This is a sweet novella with lots of humor. Once again, Amelia Grey has given readers a fun story.
I suspect that Amelia Grey was paid a visit by the ghost of historical romance past when she wrote this wonderful novella, The Duke and Miss Christmas. An enchanting connection between the hero and heroine made for a festive and passionate read! This author's magical love story captured the Christmas spirit with its humor, sweetness and warmth, and I can think of no better way to start off the holiday season than to sit back, relax and experience the next installment in this writer's Heirs' Club of Scoundrels series! *I received this ARC via Netgalley.* *While part of a series this book can be read as a stand alone.*
A delightful holiday romance! The Duke and Miss Christmas, written by Amelia Grey, is a feel good holiday read! I can say that it’s a Regency gem! This novella is perfect for getting you in the holiday mood! This heartwarming and romantic story will surely remind you of the magic of Christmas with her beloved characters Crispin and Gwen. It was just the right length with romance, comedy and intrigue. This is a quick read to enjoy and can be read in a few hours. I loved her main characters Crispin, a handsome gentleman, the seductive Duke of Hurst and Gwen, a determine and smart young woman. Gwen’s last romantic relationship, had left her heartbroken, so she decided she didn’t need love again in her life. Crispin, an attractive young rake, has broken many women’s hearts; he will soon, meet Gwen, his perfect match, the woman that will challenge him. Their relationship is filled with trust, hope and romance! Sparks, will flare again, to ignite a beautiful passion between these two charming characters! We meet again some of the characters from her previous books, in the Heirs Club of Scoundrels trilogy, Bray, the Duke of Drakestone, his wife Louisa and children Sybil, Lillian and Bonnie. Young Sybil is quite a little girl and fits perfectly into Crispin and Gwen’s romantic story. Love will be in the air at the Christmas ball! I hope Sybil will have her own story, she would make a spunky young woman. I would definitely recommend The Duke and Miss Christmas! Cute story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just loved this historical romance set in the Regency era!