A lovely Christmas tale of family and love
The Christmas Bride by Anne Gracie is a lovely story about forgiving oneself and opening up for being forgiven and loved.
This novella is book #4.5 in the Chance Sisters series but can be read as a standalone.
I am a big fan of the Chance Sisters series and could not miss the chance to read this Christmas story.
Print Length: 125 pages
Publisher: Gracie Enterprises (November 9, 2020)
A chance meeting on a dark highway, a wounded heroine, a hero-in-waiting and Christmas . . .
When Blake Ashton reluctantly returns to England for a business meeting—his first visit in ten years—he learns his partners are getting ready for a big family Christmas in the country. Ash wants none of that. He has just one plan in mind—to show his face, then immediately return to his free and easy life in the Far East.
Making his way to Devon on a freezing dark night, he’s accosted on the road by a footpad. Shots are exchanged and to Ash’s horror he discovers he’s accidentally wounded a girl. Ash can’t leave her bleeding in the road, so he stays and tends her.
Charlotte Underwood, in hiding from an unscrupulous guardian, is battling to support herself and her little brother. Wounded, and helpless in the hands of this handsome stranger, Charley soon realizes her heart is in danger from him too.
Swept into a family Christmas with Max and Abby Davenham, and Abby’s ‘sisters of the heart’—not to mention their imperious aunt, Lady Beatrice—Charley finds the friendship and support her lonely heart craves. And as his feelings for Charley grow, Ash is forced to face up to his own past, and the reason he left England in the first place.
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Blake Ashton, aka Ash, was a favorite of mine from other books in the series. He was a little ruthless and unattainable and utterly irresistible.
Ash ran away from England after having ruined his family and did not return for ten years. Forced to go to London to meet his business partners, he planned to attend the meeting and immediately return to the Far East.
Unforeseen circumstances delayed his journey, and he arrived too late to attend the meeting in London. His partners had already gone to the country for Christmas, and Ash had no choice but to follow.
On the way to Davenham Hall, his business partner’s estate in Devon, Ash was attacked by a footpad and accidentally shot him in the arm. When checking for the man’s vitals, he realized it was actually a young woman.
Charlotte ‘Smith’ Underwood and her brother Toby were in dire straights, and stealing someone on the road was their last resource.
The novella is romantic, and the side characters are lovely, especially Charlotte’s 10yo brother Toby and his pet duck Hannabelle.
My favorite thing about the book was the heartfelt friendship between Ash and Toby. It showed, more than anything else, Ash’s real character.
Ash was so enchanting but at the same time so convinced that he was not good enough and did not deserve to stay with those he loved.
Charlotte is so worthy of becoming an honorary Chance Sister. Like the others, she was strong-willed, brave, and incredibly protective of those she loved.
The plot is very well developed for a novella and overall a delight to read.
Try a sample
About the Author
Anne Gracie is an award-winning author of twenty novels, published with Berkley USA (part of the Random/Penguin group), Penguin Australia and Harlequin International. She’s a nationally best-selling author in the USA and her Regency-era historical romances have been translated into more than eighteen languages, including Japanese manga editions (which she thinks is very cool). A lifelong advocate of universal literacy, Anne also writes books for adults just learning to read.
Anne spent her childhood and youth on the move, thanks to her father’s job which took them around the world. The gypsy life taught her that humor and love are universal languages and that favorite books can take you home, wherever you are.
She started her first novel while backpacking solo around the world, writing by hand in notebooks. That novel never made it out of the notebooks, but the writing bug had well and truly bitten. She’s worked as a teacher (secondary and tertiary) a kennel maid (dogs and cats) a postal sorter and a bee-keeper.
She now writes full-time but gives occasional talks, workshops and short courses about writing and popular fiction for organizations such as Writers Victoria, the NSW Writers Centre, Queensland Writers Centre, Katherine Susannah Pritchard Centre (in WA), Universities, TAFE colleges, libraries and bookshops. She’s been a keynote speaker and a frequent workshop conductor at national conferences in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, and has twice appeared at the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Anne lives in Melbourne, Australia.