The Scandal Before Christmas

Elizabeth Essex
The Scandal Before Christmas
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St. Martin's Press
Release Date
October 2013
Historical Romance

First in a'Tis the season for a new holiday novella from acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex! The Scandal Before Christmas is romance so good it's scandalous…

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can't afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea—all within a matter of days.

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant's hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for—laughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jan 11, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
106 people found the following review helpful
THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS is sweetly romantic. A great read!

When his elder brother was injured in a riding accident, with no hope of recovery, Ian Worth was pressured by his father to marry his brother's betrothed to protect the title. Having defied his father's unreasonable demands his whole life, Ian was not about to start obeying him now. So he resolved to find his own bride before Christmas, and he found a potential one in the eldest daughter of an old colleague. They each married for their own reasons, but may find they got much more than what they hoped for by the time Christmas rolled around.

The story started out slow, as it has to give us the backstory of how Ian found himself trapped, telling his father he was already married when he hasn't even met his prospective bride yet. Even when Ian and Anne meet, their interaction was slow-going, mainly because Anne was quiet and reserved, a behavior she learned at her father's house, which necessitated that she suppress her own wants in order to "survive" (of sorts). While this is a fresh and unique opening to a story (no instant attraction here), it does have the danger of making the reader give up and move on to another story. However, I'm glad I stuck it out with Ian and Anne (I would advise you do, too!), for what happens is a sweet, slow unfurling of friendship, understanding and attraction between the two, a believable romance in 110 pages.

A wonderful story to warm the heart in this cold season.
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