Published by Pocket Star on November 28th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
This upcoming release is a novella that was previously published in 2015 in the Christmas-themed anthology, What Happens Under the Mistletoe.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
With her diplomat father away to Constantinople, Georgie Trent has been left to host a Christmas party for his political friends. Sir Philip also mentioned that a letter of a sensitive nature has been stolen, and that he sent Lucas Godwin to retrieve said letter. Lucas is just about the last person Georgie wants to see. Two years ago in Vienna, Georgie fell in love with Lucas, and she thought the feeling reciprocated, but when he left without a word, her heart was broken. How could Georgie, a plain, bookish spinster, ever imagine the dashing diplomat on the rise would want with her. However, there were nefarious forces at work…
I had read SWEETEST REGRET in the 2015 anthology What Happens under the Mistletoe, and it’s still as wonderful the second time around. Ms. Duran paints wonderfully vivid Victorian Christmas scenes, and it feels like travelling back in time as we learn more about English Holiday customs, making SWEETEST REGRET a true Christmas story. This book is also an olfactory experience, which is quite the feat, as scents play a huge part, both in creating the atmosphere and driving the romance. The dialogues between Georgie and Lucas are particularly well-written, whether when sharp barbs are traded, truths are revealed, or sentiments expressed. SWEETEST REGRET has quite a complex story for a novella, as there are many turns of events, betrayals, heartbreaking occurrences of class snobbishness, and a declaration of love that will have the most cold-hearted of readers swooning.
Georgie and Lucas are both splendid characters, so well-defined that I had the impression of knowing them thoroughly, in spite of the limited amount of pages. Needless to say, the writing is very tight, and positively gorgeous, and there are some sublimely sensuous moments. There was the consequences of the mysterious missing letter that kept torturing me, as I was wondering how I should feel, how it would influence Georgie and Lucas’ futures. SWEETEST REGRET might be short in length, but the pages are filled with a marvellous romance, engaging characters; it is the sort of story that stays with you long after you have finished it.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.