A Twelfth Night Tale

Susana Ellis
A Twelfth Night Tale
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Ellora's Cave
Release Date
November 2013
Book 7 of Cotillion Christmas Traditions
Historical Romance

Without dowries or the opportunity to meet eligible gentlemen, the five Barlow sisters stand little chance of making advantageous marriages. But when the eldest attracts the attention of a wealthy viscount, it seems as though Fate is smiling upon them.

Lucy knows that she owes it to her sisters to encourage Lord Bexley's attentions, since marriage to a peer will secure their futures as well as hers. The man of her dreams was Andrew Livingston, her best friend's brother. But he's always treated her like a child, and now he's betrothed to another. Perhaps the time has come to put away childhood dreams and accept reality--and Lord Bexley. Andrew has returned from the Peninsula War with emotional scars to deal, not just a lame arm. Surprisingly, it's his sister's friend "little Lucy" who shows him the way out of his melancholy when he can't help noticing that Lucy's grown up into a lovely young woman. But with an eligible viscount courting Lucy, Andrew will need a little Christmas magic to win her for himself.

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Dec 09, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
80 people found the following review helpful
Sweet memories and a vibrant young lady offer a chance at real happiness to a despondent casualty of war as the Christmas holidays ensue.

After losing the use of his right arm fighting the war against Napoleon, Mr. Andrew Livingston returned home to be callously jilted by his title-mongering fiancée, Cecelia Ashburton. Two such brutal blows sent the gentleman to seeking comfort in endless bottles of brandy until his sister's friend, Miss Lucy Barlow, happened upon Andrew venting his frustrations in his father's study.

Eighteen year-old Lucy didn't shy away from touching Andrew's useless arm, and her maturity and understanding soothed his battered psyche. Apparently, Miss Lucy Barlow, though of no wealth and little dowry, had grown into a superior young woman. The only rub was that Andrew might lose the opportunity to further renew their friendship due to the particular attentions of one Lord Bexley, a wealthy, older widower in need of an heir and a woman to care for his motherless daughters.

Miss Lucy Barlow had loved Andrew Livingston for years, but as he'd attained manhood long before she was old enough to be presented to local society, Lucy had no choice but to accept Andrew's betrothal to insincere social climber Cecelia Ashburton. But while the man she'd long loved was now free, Lucy's mother was relentlessly pushing her towards garnering a proposal of marriage from Lord Bexley.

With little dowry, no other marriage prospects, and four younger sisters that would eventually need to find husbands, Lucy knew she was expected to be a dutiful daughter and accept any forthcoming proposal from Lord Bexley. Yet, there could certainly be no harm in being neighborly towards her best friend's brother amidst the holiday celebrations within the neighborhood. After all, she and Andrew had known one another for years. And despite circumstances, Lucy's hopes for one day marrying for love, though now a fragile hope, still willfully endured.

Susana Ellis, with her characteristic warmth and charm, relates a pleasing Regency Christmas tale of renewed hope, holiday festivities with family, and sweet romance. Those dedicated to the traditional, sweet Regency format will find comfort and joy in this gem with a tried and true plot, ample attention to holiday details, and sigh-worthy and satisfying conclusion. Ms. Ellis never disappoints and is sure to please her devoted fans with this kisses only tale festooned with the delicious spirit of Christmas.
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