On A Midnight Clear: A Regency Christmas Novel


REGENCY:  When the Battle of Toulouse left Major Cecil Mathew Stapleton with physical and psychological wounds, he did not know what life would look like. Covered with scars and bitterness, Cecil exited his life as a soldier to embark on a new adventure, one he hadn’t figured out yet. Arriving at his Buckinghamshire cottage, he finds that someone else had occupied the cottage. Mrs. Sarah Presley, a widow he had once had a one-night stand with, fears that his arrival at the cottage would make her and her seven-year-old son, Simon, homeless. They have the Christmastide season to figure out their next move in life. While major Cecil has to battle the demons of the Toulouse Battle, Mrs. Presley’s venomous enemy shows up with a bitter vengeance. They have to fight or perish.

The reader rides both the high and low tides of the main characters as they cruise through the stormy waters of their lives. Their unpredictability and utter vulnerability act as the magnet that draws the reader even closer to this plot-driven novel. One gets to appreciate the author’s ability to sculpt an engaging storyline, and enticingly so, especially due to her ability to sprinkle beautiful tiny bits of a child’s musings about the beauty of life throughout the book. On the flip side, the book could have used a round of fine editing to do away with some errors that crept into the book occasionally. Nonetheless, the book leaves the reader with a beautiful happily-ever-after story that is not easy to throw into the forgotten files of the reader’s mind. 

JM Lareen