Reviewed by May
From the author’s site:
Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas—an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which leaves the lovely widow with a slight problem. The last thing Camille wants is for the prince to meet her unconventional relatives. But with the aid of a troupe of actors, Camille intends to pull off a Christmas deception of massive proportions.
At least until Grayson Elliott shows up. A dozen years ago, he declared his love on the day before her marriage to another man, then vanished from her life. Now he’s back, gate-crashing Camille’s already chaotic house party, playing havoc with her scheme—and with her heart. Because for Grayson, losing Camille once was bad enough. Losing her twice? Unthinkable. And he’ll find a way to show her they belong together—for this season and every Christmas yet to come…
As I sit down to write this review not one week after reading the book, I struggle to remember much about the plot and that is probably because there isn’t much of one. Grayson and Camille clearly love each other – the old one who got away story. I made some predictions about how the plot would turn out and every single thing came true. It was really disappointing, and to be honest despite the circus-like atmosphere set up it was painfully boring for me.
The prince and his story just got in the way, though because this couple was clearly a missed love match from the past, he wasn’t in the way of much. This review is an incredibly short one because without revealing some spoilers I really can’t better explain my problems with the book. The bottom line is that it never really gripped me, I never found myself engaged in the story or the characters.
I had hoped to find the set-up amusing and fun, but it ended up feeling forced and the over the top idea of staging actors to play her family and make this prince want to marry her I just never could warm up to. Camille was so angry that Grayson didn’t do more to win her back when they were young, it really turned me off from her as a character. While I give credit to the author for painting her so vividly, she was really unlikeable for me.
On the upside, I really could see how with a different story I would more enjoy this author’s writing style. She really did set the scene beautifully, and while I wasn’t into her characters or story, I would definitely try her writing again.