by Victoria Alexander

December 2004
ISBN: 0-06-051763-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Like a treat that you only have during the holidays, Victoria Alexander brings us a witty and charming Christmas romance in A Visit From Sir Nicholas.

Ten years earlier, a young Elizabeth Effington offered her heart to Nicholas Collingsworth, only to be rebuffed. He was leaving for America, to make his fortune. Besides, everyone knew that Elizabeth would marry Charles Langley, her brotherís best friend. They made the perfect couple. No one ever suspected that Elizabeth was attracted to the somber Nicholas.

After making his fortune many times over, Nicholas has returned to his home. His success has changed more than his bank balance. Being able to overcome the failures of his father, Nicholas is now more relaxed, sure of himself, and a charming, handsome man. He looks forward to renewing old friendships with childhood friends, including Jonathon Effington. Jonathon has been doing him a great service in recent years, for which Nicholas has been grateful. Now it is time to face his responsibilities.

With a touch of sweetness and a lot of spice, Ms. Alexander has written a fast-paced tale of second chances. Elizabeth Langley is no longer that flighty young girl. She has matured into a woman of consequence. The untimely death of her husband and the daunting task of raising two sons has kept her busy. She revels in her independence. Nicholas feels certain that the affection he felt as a youth will have aged into an appreciation and fond regard for his first love. Neither of them will admit that they were fated to be together.

The use of Dickensí The Christmas Carol throughout the book was an inspired device. Not only does it fit the circumstances perfectly, it also serves as a nostalgic reminder of the best aspects of the holiday. Family, love, and the abundant blessings that both can bring. (What really tipped the scales in favor of this five-rose review was an appearance by the Pirate King!)

Curl up with some cocoa and cookies and enjoy A Visit From Sir Nicholas - a perfect romance for the holidays!

Reviewed in November 2004 by Paula.

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