|Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh, 1991, Regency Romance|
ROR Winter Challenge
1000 Regency Challenge
2011 Reading from My Shelves Project
His Vengeance Was Sweet
Judith Easton knew that even the spirit of Christmas wouldn't stop the Marquess of Denhigh from settling the score with her. For the beautiful young widow had injured Denhigh's rigid pride years ago by jilting him for another man.
Now that Judith was free from her nightmare marriage to that other man, the bold and handsome Marquess made no secret that he had her in his sights and wanted her in his arms.
But how could she trust the tender words on his lips when she could sense the hardness of his heart? And after she had made so grievous a mistake in love once, how could she ever trust her own heart's desire again?
Christmas Beau is one of Balogh's earlier Regencies with a storyline that normally I dislike: the "revenge" or "enemies" storyline. But, since I had to read a "enemies" storyline for the ROR Challenge, and I already owned this book (a thrift shop score from several years back-a whole 10 cents!) I thought I'd give it a whirl.
Christmas Beau started out slow for me-while the characters are in London the story is very unemotional and frankly, both characters were for the most part unlikable. But then they go to the Marquess' Christmas house party at his estate and the storyline suddenly blossomed.
All of Balogh's hallmarks are here-internal conflict, passion, vibrant, three dimensional secondary characters that have their own wonderful storyline, and lot's and lot's of conflict with seemingly no resolution. Max is a terrific hero-a very jaded, dark, brooding man who's lust for revenge of Judith has overpowered his life for eight long years. Now that Judith is a widow with two small children, his vengeance is at hand, or is it?
Judith's spinster sister in law Amy is just lovely and her own story is enough for me to recommend this book. But Judith and Max's story is so very moving and motional-I'll admit that I pretty much cried the last 50 pages of the book:)
A five star book and one of my favorite Balogh's-highly recommended!