Every year for thirty years Lord Robert, the Viscount of Marchwood, throws a Christmas Ball. But this year the Marchwood Christmas Ball holds extra importance.
His daughter, Lady Audrey, has just turned eighteen, and it is time for her to be introduced into society. It is Audrey’s first, best, and potentially only chance of securing a husband. Especially seeing as there are rumours that the Marchwood money is running dry.
But headstrong Lady Audrey is not sure she wants a husband. Ever since her mother died she has been left to her own devices. Though she is very close to her father, it was often the servants she turned to for companionship, particularly Thomas, who, five years older than her, was always the person she depended on for conversation.
But with the ball centred around a masquerade theme, everyone is in disguise. And a handsome stranger threatens to steal Audrey’s heart. Could he hold the key to her heart? And when she unmasks him will it be a good, or bad, Christmas Surprise?
I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
Yes, I am aware that we are still 3 months away from Christmas, but I always start enjoying Christmas around this time! I’ve already had my first cup of hot chocolate for the season, binge listening to Michael Bublé’s holiday music, and now, I’ve read my first Christmas book of the year! *no judgey*
As for A Christmas Surprise in particular, it was cute. It was very short, I think I finished it in 45 minutes to an hour, and because of that, the story is very rushed. I didn’t have a lot of time to get to know Audrey or Thomas, and before I really knew what was happening, the book ended with an (extremely predictable) “happily ever after”. Also, the romance was a little odd to me. At the beginning of the week (the book takes place over the course of a week), Audrey didn’t even notice Thomas but by the end of the week, she goes to him with her *very personal* problem, regarding the stranger, and seeks out his council, thus blossoming into our predictable ending. The romance was just, nonexistent and then existing in all its passion and desire at once.
I did love the description of the masquerade ball however, and would have loved for that scene to have lasted so much longer than it did. It captured the spirit of Christmas that I love so much and was described so elegantly. I saw it just as if I had been watching it play before my eyes in a movie. Murdoch most definitely has a way with words.
The book is clean, with only a couple semi-passionate kisses. Though there is a scene in which a man tries to force himself on a woman, though the details are kept short. There is no cursing either.
So, overall, I give A Christmas Surprise 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it if you’re looking for a quick dose of Christmas!
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