CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT
HELEN DICKSON & MICHELLE STYLES
ISBN# (10): 0-263-86600-9/ (13):978-0-263-86600-1
November 1, 2007
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Limited
Eton House, 18-24 Paradise Road, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1SR
$9.53 USD / £4.63
Rating: 4 Cups
Wicked Pleasures by Helen Dickson
Christmas at Westwood Hall does not look bright for the handsome and dashing Grant Leighton. His mother would like for him to finally settle down but first he wishes to find the woman of his choice. Then again, becoming friendly with Adeline could cause a hint of scandal.
Adeline is demure and prim, and unfortunately engaged to Paul Marlowe, a widower who is twenty years her senior. She has no desire to become his next wife. Wealth or luxury, she could care less, seeking only true love. For her, the holiday season shows no sign of being filled with any happiness until she meets Grant.
After Grant's mother hears that Rosehill is on the market, she wants him to buy it back for her. It was her family home for generations but when her husband died, she had to sell to pay his debts. She would like for him to regain it into their possession. One little misrepresentation behind closed doors allows Adeline and Grant to mistakenly share a night of passion. When the rumors spread like wildfire of the indiscretion, one possessive person sets out to keep anyone from standing in her way for Grant, which makes the couple wonder will they find any holiday cheer for this season, or any season.
Wicked Pleasures was an enchanting read. The lovely characters, often brisk at times with their banter, exhibit a believable side when they are up against some poor options. Neither Adeline, nor Grant, is perfect which makes the story more genuine by showing their flaws. The part with the mistletoe and berries is sure to delight. This gem of a read is magnificent. Ms. Dickson’s prose has a way of making her characters sincere and heartwarming, as they explode into action, springing forth from the pages.
A Christmas Wedding Wager by Michelle Styles
Miss Emma Harrison puts romance on the backburner and enlists a helping hand to her father when he suddenly becomes ill. Emma assumes the role of her father’s business after he falls ill. There is no explanation for his sudden illness and nothing seems to be helping his condition. He hates the thought of giving up his responsibilities but Emma assures she will not allow his dream or company to tumble. She takes over as the overseer at the construction site, able to read a survey as well as any man. Just when she believes she has her life settled, the unforgettable Jack returns, turning her life upside down.
Seven years ago, Jack Stanton walked away from Emma. He put everything into his work. When he returns he is a changed man and proceeds to let Emma know. He soon learns he is not the only one who has changed.
Throughout the years, Emma had heard about Jack’s reputation. He had been her father’s junior civil engineer, only to rise to be a wealthy and respected railwayman. When he arrives two days late to conduct business with her father, she is displeased. She informs that he will go through her now. Jack has not forgotten the lovely Emma and how he tried to win her affections, only to have her not answer his letter, so he walked away. As they work together, he believes Emma’s life to be in danger and intends on finding out who is making the threats. While the building of bridges and railways gets underway, the more Emma and Jack work together, they wonder can they rekindle what they lost seven years ago.
A Christmas Wedding Wager is a delightful read. Emma and Jack both have been dealt an unhappy hand in life but once they get past their obstacles, it is like they find love in triple-fold. I loved the idea of getting a Christmas tree and party for her dad. The characters are stunning, and the sensual scenes wonderfully created. Emma and Jack have a chemistry that just never stops. Michelle Styles sketches a romance that transports the reader to another time and place. With a touch of mystery and intrigue, along with some surprises along the way, she makes this story an engaging piece of art.
Christmas by Candlelight contains two sensational stories. Both are enriching reads that I could read over and over and never tire of them. The season is a little brighter with tales so captivating. Both tales continue to build and never lose the readers interest. Paring Ms. Dickson and Ms. Styles together to create two magnificent holiday stories was brilliant.
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