Sunday, 18 December 2016

'A Christmas Surprise' by Emily Murdoch (Review as part of the Writerly Yours Christmas Readathon)

About the Book - in my own words

'A Christmas Surprise' is a wonderfully written Regency romance novella about Lady Audrey who has now turned 18 years of age, the perfect age to host a society Christmas Ball to find a husband. Lady Audrey has never met any man that has made her consider marriage in her whole 18 years. How can she possibly find a husband at such an event and why would she when she is perfectly happy in her life.

Lady Audrey's loving father describes the account of Lady Audrey's first Christmas Ball, when her mother was still living. Lord Robert describes how magical the event was with her mother and how well the idea of a masked ball went down well with the guests. This particular detail intrigues Lady Audrey and she thinks what a wonderful way to 'come out' as a new woman of society, so there it was, Lady Audrey was going to plan her very own masked Christmas Ball at Scotchmore Castle. 
At the Christmas Ball, a tall dark and handsome stranger asks Lady Audrey to dance, to which she happily agrees....

Will Lady Audrey ever find out the stranger's true identity? Will she ever marry? 

Favourite Quote

“And that is not right. A man should not be measured by the worth in his pocket, but the worth in his heart.” 

The Review

If you have suffered a bit of a book slump recently and you're just wanting a quick read, lots of romance and a sprinkle of Christmas, then this is it!

This Christmas Romance Novella, the way in which it is written and the Regency era interested me right away and I couldn't wait to start reading.

When I started reading the first chapter, I did think 'Oh no, I really hope this isn't going to revolve around class and money too much' and luckily 90% of the book is Romance.

The romance story between Lady Audrey and Thomas is so beautiful, I only wish there was more of it, I could have read 100 pages more at least! but I am glad there wasn't much suspense around Lady Audrey finding out the stranger she danced with was Thomas. It would have driven me crazy! I think it would have been nice to read about how Lady Audrey and Thomas were when Audrey was younger and their lives leading up to the reveal, especially about how Thomas became the valet.

I did feel there was very little description of Christmas apart from the Ball being a 'Christmas Ball' and there was only really a subtle mention of Winter for my liking. This family comes with wealth so I think in reality, the Christmas decorations and food etc would have been more grand so a little bit more content around how the castle was decorated for Christmas would have added to the festive feeling - I am being picky here!

At the end when Thomas told Lady Audrey that she is the 'best Christmas Surprise he ever had' - I feel like the romance was deeper than that comment, even if he said 'This is the best Christmas I've ever had' I think it would have fitted better. That's just me being picky, again!

All in all, I love this novella so much. I want to read it all again and I will definitely be recommending this story to family and friends as we all love the Georgian/ Regency/ Victoria era when it comes to Romance!

4/5 Stars, thank you Emily!

S x

Actual Blurb

Every year for thirty years Lord Robert, the Viscount of Marchwood, throws a Christmas Ball. 

But this year the Marchwood Christmas Ball holds extra importance. 

His daughter, Lady Audrey, has just turned eighteen, and it is time for her to be introduced into society. 

It is Audrey’s first, best, and potentially only chance of securing a husband. 

Especially seeing as there are rumours that the Marchwood money is running dry. 

But headstrong Lady Audrey is not sure she wants a husband. 

Ever since her mother died she has been left to her own devices. 

Though she is very close to her father, it was often the servants she turned to for companionship, particularly Thomas, who, five years older than her, was always the person she depended on for conversation. 

She is not ready to leave everything she knows, and the thought of abandoning her father breaks her heart. 

She is determined that only someone truly special will take her away from her home. 

But with the ball centred around a masquerade theme, everyone is in disguise. 

And a handsome stranger threatens to steal Audrey’s heart. 

Could he hold the key to her heart? 

And when she unmasks him will it be a good, or bad, Christmas Surprise? 

‘A Christmas Surprise’ is a festive regency romance novella.

About the Author

Emily Murdoch is a medieval historian and writer. She has authored a medieval series and a regency novella series, and is currently working on several new projects. To stay updated on her writing and upcoming books, follow:

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