by Wendy Vella
- File Size: 2698 KB
- Print Length: 95 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Wendy Vella (December 8, 2013)
- ASIN: B00H707SG0
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
Publication Date: December 8, 2013
Miss Hero Appleby distrusts noblemen, especially self-indulgent rakes like Lord Caruthers, however she was desperate for money to support the orphans in her care this Christmas, so it is to him she must go. Perhaps it had been wrong of her to point out his many faults so boldly, but the man drove her to distraction and all thoughts of lady-like behaviour disappeared in his infuriating presence.
Max didn't remember much of his first meeting with the annoying Miss Appleby, thanks to the after effects of one good drink too many. But he vaguely recalled he'd promised her something, just to get her out of his house so he could suffer in peace. Unfortunately peaceful was the last word to describe her as he found out the next day. She was unlike any woman he knew - opinionated and rude certainly, but she worked selflessly to provide for children that were not even of her blood. Max had believed himself incapable of emotion yet Hero was making him feel things that he had believed were long dead. Could his long forgotten Christmas wish really come true?
Hero is from a society family but her father was a wastrel and she is now alone and reliant on a family relative for support. She is content to live at a ramshackle estate she inherited but she needs more to care for the six orphaned children she has taken in. They really need financial patronage to make repairs and have a bit of Christmas joy. She has written to the local “Lord” but he hasn’t even had the decency to reply.
Shortly before Christmas Hero learns that Lord Caruthers, Max, has returned from town so she ‘storms the castle’ to seek his help. It isn’t very encouraging when she discovers him with bloodshot eyes and clearly suffering from a night of excess. Hero doesn’t have much faith or sympathy for the obviously indulgent Lord and he initially views her as a prissy termagant.
Max surprises Hero when he keeps his promise to visit her the next day but she is still distrustful and rude. Max realizes how outspoken Hero can be but he also sees how lovely and caring she really is. Max has known little of love through his life and is surprised to watch this young woman who is willing to give so freely to children who aren’t even her own. One little boy has clearly suffered abuse but he attaches himself to Max and is sure that he will protect them.
Max manages to surprise Hero again, first with repairs and gifts and then with personal attention. She is attracted to him although she knows that she isn’t likely to attract such a rake. When danger threatens the children and then Hero, Max is quick to come to the rescue and to decide that there is something special about Hero that brings to mind Christmas wishes.
Although this is a rather common plotline for a historical novel--the poor innocent miss and the rich rake--Ms. Vella makes it a fun read with the addition of delightfully cute children, good chemical attraction, a little danger and sweet romance. It is a quick, easy read that was a delight. This is a wonderful novella to give a reader a taste of this author, or a treat for those readers who already enjoy her work.
Max recognizes that Hero is special:
“... She was everything he had never wanted in a wife. She would be demanding, argumentative and want to play a full role in his affairs....” Location 1408
I was glad to read this quick Christmas delight from the author.