NetGalley I thought it was just going to be a novella, boy was I wrong. A wonderful tear jerking full length novel probably my favorite so far, o.k. so maybe it's a tie with the last one. Virginal widow, a house party for Twelve Nights, a duo of absentminded inventors, one matchmaking mama determined to match all the young couples at her party and a Christmas fairy tale fill this book to the brim with humor, romance, and heartbreak.
Lady Victoria Allen-Hill was widowed before she could become a wife in true fashion and she would like nothing better than to shed her virginal status before choosing to remarry again. He father on the other hand needs someone to take over his factories when he is ready to retires and wants Victoria to remarry as soon as possible, and the house party is the perfect place to find her match. Victoria's father seems ruthless to get what he wants and even stoops to threatening to send her young cousin who has been in her care off to boarding school, but it also shows a softer side of him as he himself finds a potential love match at the house party.
Lewis Noble is only at the house party to help out the Earl of Bullen who is also an inventor and is currently working on a submarine. He was not expecting to find a woman like Victoria at the house party and he finds it very irksome the she is one of the most sought after ladies at the party. Lewis wants Victoria to himself but doesn't want to bend his goals to suit her, he thinks she is just trying to please her father and find a husband to work under her father until he retires, Lewis has had enough with working beneath other men and refuses to let it happen even for Victoria. He doesn't realized the truth of the matter until it's to late. Victoria who just wanted a brief affair now finds herself more in love with Lewis than she ever thought possible but can't give in to him because she needs her cousin to stay with her. Victoria's cousin, Penelope, has had a hard time of things left almost abandoned and put in to Victoria's care by a philandering father when her mother finally goes unstable and shows incapable of taking care of a nine year-old girl. Victoria in between her lustful encounters with Lewis and debating with her father she tells her young cousin a tale of woe about a proud princess and the twelve trials she must endue to find her missing fiancee. The tale weaves in and out of the book, it's the only weird part of the book because some of it is just glossed over and some parts heavily detailed.
The story of Lewis and Victoria goes from hot and heavy to ice cold (figuratively and literally as Lewis gets trapped in the submarine when it sprung a leak and almost froze). Lewis pushes Victoria away because he is stubborn and he thinks he is still in love with Alys, but when he sees Alys again he realizes his mistake, but it is to late Victoria has already accepted someones proposal when it became blatantly obvious Lewis would not. This story really tugged my heart strings because of Lewis being a fool!
Also Goodreads.com has a giveaway for one autographed copy,