2015, 85p, Clean Regency Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from eBooks for Review for an honest review
A Christmas Novella from the bestselling Hearthfire Romance series by Michele Paige Holmes:
Five months isn’t enough time to grieve the death of her husband and marry again, but when the unexpected opportunity to take her sister’s place as the bride of wealthy New York businessman, William Vancer, presents itself, twenty-four year-old Charlotte Holbrook agrees. Their marriage of convenience will provide a secure future for her son, while William will be able to claim the inheritance he needs to expand his company westward.
To begin their perfect and perfectly safe arrangement, William allots the last twelve days in December to become acquainted with his new family—a task more easily accomplished than he had imagined. For in Charlotte he finds a tender heart and companion, while stepping into the role of father to her son, brings William a great measure of joy as well. Before the twelve days have passed, he finds himself wishing their marriage of convenience could be something much more.
For Charlotte, every day with William is one of overwhelming gratitude, as he anticipates and provides for her needs, as well as the fondest desires of her heart. More than material comforts, William offers friendship as well, and a loving concern that Charlotte has gone too long without. Guilt ridden, she struggles with her growing attraction and wonders how she can ever remain loyal to her first husband, while allowing herself to love William as he deserves.
I loved the Hearthfire series! William and Charlotte were two of my favorite characters so I was excited to learn there was a novella with their story! We met them in the third book, Marrying Christopher. Twelve Days in December starts with a scene from that book which is told from Charlotte's perspective. Charlotte is Marsali's sister who had been recently widowed and had a young son to raise.
I loved William Vancer and felt bad for him when things didn't work out with Marsali (I was very happy for her, though). In order to save his business, he needed to be married by a certain date and Charlotte spontaneously agreed to marry him. We learned her reasons for that and his reasons for needing to get married. They were unsure of each other at first (which was humorous at times) and it was fun to see their relationship progress!
I could have read more about them but am glad that they each got a happy ending! What I did like about the length is that it was a fast read and was perfect for this time of year. This probably could work as a standalone, but it would be much more fun to read Marrying Christopher first!
Her first novel, COUNTING STARS (Covenant Communications 2007), won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. The sequel, a romantic suspense titled, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN (Covenant 2009), was a Whitney finalist, as was her first historical romance, CAPTIVE HEART (Covenant 2011). MY LUCKY STARS (Covenant 2012) completed the Stars series.
In October 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE (Mirror Press 2014). The companion novel, LOVING HELEN (Mirror Press 2015) was released in February 2015. A third book about this same family, MARRYING CHRISTOPHER, will be published in summer 2015, with another historical to follow later this year.
Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.
When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains.
My reviews of the other books in this series: