Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review: What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Title:  What Happens At Christmas
Author:  Victoria Alexander
Genre:  Historical Romance
Pages:  352
Published:  October 2012
Publisher:  Kensington
Source:  NetGalley
Buy Link:  Amazon

Synopsis:

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 Elliott 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 …

Camille is bound and determined to make this the most perfect Christmas for Nikolai, a foreign Prince who wishes to be known as a Duke.  She hopes that with the magical idyllic Christmas she can solicit a proposal and become a Princess.

After convincing her twin sister Beryl to go along with her scheme to hire an acting troupe to pretend to be her perfect family, they make their way to the family estate.  Little does she know this is going to be one entertaining holiday.

With actors who can’t remember who they are, or anyone else's names, one who wishes her character was a ‘tart’, an uncle who tells wild fantastical stories and a man from her past who she would really rather just forget.  Can she pull of this without Nikolai finding out?

I really felt for Camille, she wanted nothing but perfection and ended up with a comical potential disaster on her hands.  The troupe she hired aren’t quite what she expected!  There were some pretty entertaining moments that had me laughing out loud.

Things really go over the top for Camille when Grayson shows up.  He professed love for her years ago and then vanished.  Leaving both of them with wounded hearts, and her marrying another.  Now that he’s back, he wants to make amends and not lose her again!  Unfortunately for Gray – Nikolai has his sights set on Camille.

Would I recommend this book?  Overall it was an entertaining story, with moments that had me laughing out loud at the characters antics.  Although not one of my favourites of Victoria’s, it was a fun read.  Would I read more by this author?  Without a doubt.

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