Title: 'Twas the Night after Christmas
Written by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Hellions of Halstead Hall #6, The Duke's Men #0.5
Published by Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 30th 2012
Genres: Historical Romance
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Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has been estranged from his mother for most of his life. When his mother’s new companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart, writes to tell him that his mother is seriously ill, he goes home. But when he learns that the lovely widow tricked him in order to effect a holiday reconciliation, he refuses to stay—unless she meets his “terms.” Somewhere between trying to seduce the beautiful Camilla and struggling with the cruel memories of his childhood Christmases, Pierce discovers that not only does forgiveness go two ways, but that love can blossom even in the coldest of winters.
This is the second time that I read this story and I am amazed at how touched I still am with it. In fact, certain parts of the book have brought me to tears. Normally, I am not a fan of reading about children in the books that I read but the presence of the child actually enhances the story and I think Lord Devonmont would not find his redemption without the child.
This story was the right choice to release in hardbound last year. The story is typical Sabrina Jeffries style with lots of emotion and family angst, with a sprinkling of mystery. I love the pacing of the story and despite reading it a second time, I could not put it down. Although, there were parts where I wanted to shake them and tell them to divulge the secrets already and not draw it out as long as it was. However, I do understand that it had to be that way for Pierce to finally forgive his mother and learn to love.
Pierce is an amazing hero perfect for Camilla, a widow who was raised in an orphanage. I love how she took it upon herself to try to fix the rift between Pierce and his mother and in the end, helped Pierce discover love. We first meet Pierce in To Wed a Wild Lord where he was proposing to his cousin Virginia Waverley. I did not like him then and I did not realize what an emotional baggage he had hanging over him. In his own story, Pierce is desperate for love and to find answers as to why his mother abandoned him to relatives, never seeing him for over 20 years. When we find out the real reason why this was so, we find that we are cheering for both of them to finally forget the past and start anew. It was hard to hate Lady Devonmont at all despite what she did to her son Pierce when he was 8 and when he went back to see his parents when he turned 21.
Another thing that I loved about this story is that I get to revisit some of the Hellions and in a way take a peek at their lives after they had their own HEA. Plus, we are also introduced to Dominic Manton, one of the heroes in Sabrina’s new series The Duke’s Men.
Oh and before I forget, I love the new paperback cover! Don’t you think it is better than the first one?
This is the book for you if you love: emotionally tortured heroes, emotional Christmas love story, a strong heroine, family mystery.