This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins
Genres: Historical Fiction, Holiday Romance
Release Date: October 03, 2017
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ iBooks
A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.
Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.
Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever--on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can't let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.
Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.
With this Christmas Ring is a delightful story with a second chance romance. I do enjoy historical romances and this one was a good one. Merry Parks was a woman who was on “the shelf” so to speak and had accepted her place by her father’s side as his assistant. She once had a lifetime of promises, but she left that all behind one night as she fled her betrothed family estate. It was not until her close friend asked for Merry’s aid, to find her baby’s father, that Merry was put into a position to cross paths with Alex Ponsonby.
Alex was the love of Merry’s life but she had left him and he had never known why. For the first few years he didn’t care but after some shocking revelations about his past had come to light, Alex had begun to question why Merry had left at all. Maybe there was more to her disappearance that he had originally questioned? It was thoughts like those that were swirling in his mind the night that Merry appeared out of nowhere with a baby in tow. Confused as to why she was there and how she came to have a baby, Alex vowed to himself to get all the answers he was looking for and more.
Alex’s character just cracked me up. I loved that he had worked though most of his baggage before Merry came on the scene and it left the story to be a light and fun read. There of course is drama with Alex’s family with him being a Viscount and Merry being who she was. So, there was some dramatic tension in the story as it unfurled as well as some rivalry which led to some rather dangerous moments for a couple of characters. The romance itself was nicely done and swoony. I enjoyed the romance aspect from both Merry and Alex’s perspectives. Absolutely a page turner.
With this Christmas Ring was set during the Christmas season with a few Christmas traditions folded in but it is mostly focused on the romance between Alex and Merry. There is a small religious significance tied to this story as the characters come together for the sake of the newborn with analogies to Jesus Christ but that is really about it. Overall, With this Christmas Ring is a nice and uplifting Christmas themed romance that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
*Thank you to Netgalley & Swerve for this eARC of With this Christmas Ring*
Looking for an EXCLUSIVE excerpt? Check out this link from the Author’s website HERE!
Holiday Q&A with Author Manda Collins:
When do the holidays official start for you?
The first frosty morning when there’s a nip in the air and I can feel that winter is on the way. I love that feeling!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Getting together with family and friends is the best. We don’t necessarily see one another all that much during the year, but we all make time during the holidays.
Are there any holiday traditions you do every year without fail?
I listen to carols sung by the King’s College Choir every year and spend at least one day boiling cloves and spices on the stove to get the house smelling like Christmas.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
The Thin Man starring Myrna Loy and William Powell as Nick and Nora Charles. (Of course MY favorite holiday movie has witty repartee and murder in it!)
Do you have a favorite holiday book?
That would be Christmas Angel by Jo Beverley. It’s one of her early Company of Rogues books and I love the way Lucien and Beth and her children become a family over the course of the story.
What’s your all-time favorite holiday song?
The Holly and the Ivy.
What’s your favorite activity during fall or winter?
I’m not really the outdoor type (though I have been known to go outdoors) so I like to snuggle up inside with a cup of hot chocolate and read. Or knit.
What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever received or given?
My grandmother gave me the gift of the love of reading. It’s the best thing I’ve ever been given.
Do you have any items on your wish list this year?
I’m at an age now where the things I wish for aren’t material (though obviously there are some that I’d like–a new car, for instance) but stuff like health and for my family to be safe and happy. I wouldn’t turn down a pretty scarf, though!
Any resolutions or goals for next year?
Just to keep writing books that my audience enjoys reading!