by Kate Huntington

October 2003
ISBN: 0-8217-7493-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

When the young widow Clarissa leaves her three children with her older bluestocking sister, Augusta Oglethorpe, and subsequently disappears. Augusta takes her three charges and sets off for the hunting lodge of Richard, the Marquees of Ardath. However, instead of finding him in a compromising situation she finds him alone and jilted.

Richard is a man of his word. And having promised the children that they could spend the Christmas holidays with him, he joins Augusta in the care for them and the search for her sister. More than happy to receive his and his old nanny’s assistance Augusta can’t help but be impressed by this unfamiliar side to the known rake.

Children might not be my favorite characters in romance novels, but when it comes to this Christmas themed story they are the one ingredient that turns an ordinary story into a special one. They do grow on you, even though they are little rascals.

Filled with tenderness and humor Kate Huntington’s charming Christmas tale delivers a message of love and kindness that sounds true and warms one’s heart. The fragrances of winter greenery, the tangy taste of oranges, the delicious warmth of hot chocolate, Kate Huntington knows how to engage her readers’ senses, how to draw them deeper, seduce them. As Richard seduces Augusta with his stolen kisses under the kissing bough.

I do hope though that the outcome of their time together won’t lead to her sacrificing her bluestocking friends and her intellectual pursuits. Even within a historical setting I would hope the message and Augusta’s choices to be more modern and open to compromise. Otherwise I wouldn’t enjoy a story, no matter how well written, touching and entertaining.

His Lordship’s Holiday Surprise might not be as smooth in its message, for me though Kate Huntington’s books are keepers and when it comes to Regencies she tops my list of must buy/must read authors.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Kris Alice.

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