A Christmas Surprise

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Lady Aleece, like all young debutantes, is enjoying her season while looking for a suitable husband.  Then she sees him - the man she wants.  Immediately he notices her, too and the rest is history... well, not quite.  There is the fact that he, Mr. Thomas, is a commoner and she an is aristocrat who must marry among the peerage.  Aleece is convinced that true love will not be thwarted, however, and determines to make the relationship work.  As their love grows, so does her parents' impatience.  Finally they take matters into their own hands and arrange a marriage for her.  Does Aleece have the courage to follow her heart?  Does love truly win in the end, even amidst so many struggles?

The premise for this sweet Christmas novella is not unique. The problem of marrying within one’s class has always been a conundrum readers love to explore.  The characters of Aleece and Mr. Thomas are wonderfully good and fun to follow but their characters consistently act against what is written. Aleece is supposed to be quite a handful.   Yet, when faced with an arranged marriage (while deeply in love with another) she immediately accepts her fate without even a questioning word.  There are many situations like this in the story that make no sense, leaving the reader frustrated and confused.   There is also a dearth of depth.  One reads of deep love but is never given to feel that emotion. It is merely surfacely stated. Still, if one wants a quick, feel good, Christmas read this story fits the bill.

Ruth Lynn Ritter