Nine Ladies Dancing (The Twelve Days of Christmas Book 4)

Emily E. K. Murdoch

HISTORICAL: Taking a chance at unrequited love? Olivia Fitzroy is the eldest of twelve female Fitzroy cousins. When nearly the entire Fitzroy family descends upon the family home in Chalcroft for Christmas, the house is filled with boisterous noise and joyful reunions. Olivia is thankful that it is an all-family affair, except for one “interloper.” Olivia has a crush on her childhood friend, the new Lord Luke Kingsley, whose late father was her father’s best friend. That she believes her attraction is one-sided on her part makes his presence at the Christmas gathering unbearable. She hasn’t seen him since Easter. Surely if he returned her interest, he would have visited sooner! Olivia is so vexed by his presence that she puts up barriers in self defense, but she fears that her family, and perhaps Luke, can see through her feigned indifference. 

Emily Murdoch’s charming holiday-themed romance authentically captures all the twinges and flutters of uncertain love. Every flush of self-doubt, each stolen glance of longing, and all the defensive snubs on Olivia’s part, are minutely documented to allow the reader to experience that fresh terror of falling in love with one who appears unaffected. Yet Luke is not unaffected at all, as he relentlessly pursues Olivia throughout the Chalcroft household, in a predatory cat and mouse game that is as amusing as it is titillating. Miscommunication and jumping to unfounded conclusions continue to plague their relationship even once their feelings are revealed to each other, resulting in a pairing that is both parts lustful and tentative. This is certainly a stimulating addition to the Fitzroy family saga!

Joan Lai