Format: .epub (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Certain individuals might consider Lady Amelia Pembroke a managing sort of female, but truly, most people would be lost without her help. Why, the latest on-dit is that rakish Viscount Sheffield is canceling the fête of the year because he hasn't time for silly soirees. He doesn't need time—he needs her!
When a flash of lightning destroys the venue for his family's annual Christmas ball, Lord Benedict Sheffield intends to enjoy a relaxing holiday for once. But after twelve days of beguiling Lady Amelia's guerrilla tactics, he's up to his cravat with tinsel . . . and tumbling head over heels in love.
Let the Christmas games begin!
Who knew that scheming could be so funny yet so romantic?
Lady Amelia Pembrooke has an unnatural yet highly useful set of skills: She is the most organized, well informed and prepared female that society has ever seen! She makes planning any sized ball look like a walk in the park, and her events practically run themselves. So when she learns that Benedict St. John, Viscount Sheffield, plans to cancel the most anticipated soiree of the year, she decides it’s time to apply her skills to make sure that the event of the year goes off without a hitch!
After lightning destroys the venue for his family’s annual Christmas ball, Benedict is left in a bind. On the one hand, he relishes the opportunity to have a quiet, relaxing holiday for once but on the other, he’s had to put up with Amelia’s managing ways for too many days to just let her walk away now, especially since he’s half in love with her already.
Ordinarily the word “managing” is a nice way of saying “annoyingly bossy” and usually means I won’t like the heroine but in this case, Amelia wasn’t a tyrant with control issues, she just pushed herself to her limits so that she could always exceed expectations. She lost her mother at a young age so naturally she had to take on the role of mistress of the house. Plenty of time to hone her skills as a hostess and party planner extraordinaire. She’s a problem solver by nature and unused to being idle. I liked how she took the initiative to solve her own problems as well as others’ lives without being too overbearing. In fact she came off more as an extremely considerate person who could anticipate the needs of others.
Benedict was the typical rake who just wants to enjoy life on his terms. Though he’s supposed to be this pleasure seeking, selfish character, I really didn’t see him as this total bad boy. He had his “hours” where he would be the very image of responsibility, he was Lord Sheffield at that time but when the night fell he became a different man. His ability to compartmentalize his life like that made him more interesting than he first appears. I wanted to know why he separated the two sides of himself and how he and Amelia would get along. They’re actually quite similar, both organized in their personal lives and they like to be in control of their lives as well.
One character that really interested me was Amelia's younger brother, the Duke of Ravenwood. He's had to be responsible at a young age, just like Amelia yet he seems to have a romantic's heart, instead of the jaded, cynical views of most of his peers. I think he might be a very interesting lead should he ever get his own book. Perhaps his heroine will be the jaded one? An intriguing mystery is his past with his childhood friends, the Dukes of War as he calls them, and why he seems to get a touch moody when they're mentioned.
The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation is a short story, only about 180 pages but it serves as a prequel to author Erica Ridley’s brand new Dukes of War series. It’s charming and delightful and will bring a bit of cheer to readers this holiday season.
Final Verdict: This novella was such fun that I really need to squeeze in the full length novels in this new series.