on December 5th 2016
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Have you ever dreamed of a Christmas wedding?
Spinsterhood has never looked so good, but unfortunately even that won’t save Lady Juliette Brooks. Her father’s arranged a betrothal for her to a brute of a man. She has one choice left—force the Duke of Kissinger to honor a long ago promise to save her.
Grayson Abbot, the Duke of Kissinger, does not want to marry Lady Juliette. He doesn’t want to marry anyone. But he did make her a promise, and he doesn’t go back on his word… So he reluctantly agrees to run away with her.
They set off on an adventure during the Christmastide season. As they race to Scotland they experience delays, cold weather, and a friendship they’d almost forgotten about. Will Juliette finally find out what it’s like to be kissed, and in return, win the duke’s heart?
Grayson sighed. She wasn’t going to be denied anything apparently. It was too late to save her from herself. Very well, he’d deal with her and then send her on her way. He turned and sucked in a breath momentarily stunned. A silhouette of pure beauty greeted him. Her midnight tresses were wound up and bound neatly into an elegant chignon. His fingers itched to unwind it and see it flow over her luscious curves. All of this and he’d still not seen her face. When she finally turned to meet his gaze he lost all ability to breathe. Those sea-green eyes kept him riveted in place. He should stand and greet her but his body refused to function. She was the last person he expected or wanted to enter his home.
“What no words?” She raised an eyebrow. “And I thought you were noted as the witty duke amongst the ton. I must say I’m rather disappointed.”
Grayson drank in the sight of her. He wanted to remember her as she stood before him for the rest of his days. She was glorious, proud, and fearless. “Didn’t your father teach you better than to enter the lion’s den?” He lifted a brow mockingly. “You could very well get eaten alive.”
Her lips tilted at the corner. “I rather like my chances.” She moved further into the room. “After all I tamed a lion before.”
“There’s a difference between a young cub, and a full grown male, Jules,” he explained. “One is more docile and willing to cuddle. The adult wants to be petted—in other ways.” He stood up and gazed directly into her eyes. “A bite can be pleasurable or….” Grayson crossed over to her side and leaned down, whispering in her ear, “painful depending on your preference.”
Juliette took a deep breath but remained where she stood. He’d give her that much. She’d always been a stubborn girl, and apparently she’d not grown out of that trait. If she didn’t take a step back soon he’d be forced to make a choice. Either he pulled her into his arms and kissed her the way he craved or he put distance between them respecting her innocence. It was a hard decision and warred deep inside him, but he did what was best for her. Turned out that some things were ingrained. Protecting her had always been his first instinct.
“If you’re done trying to intimidate me I have something I wish to discuss with you.”
You can follow the books by Dawn Brower on Goodreads.
In A Wallflower’s Christmas Kiss the heroine Lady Juliette has never been kissed. Everyone has a first real kiss and remember it in detail. Even if it was awful and we’d like to forget it. Luckily for Juliette it isn’t. My first kiss was when I was fifteen. We were living in Florida at the time and it was a couple weeks before my birthday. I had thought I’d never know what it is like to be kissed. I was watching Beverly Hills, 90210 on a small black and white television in my bedroom when one of my brother’s friends came in. Somehow he ended up watching it with me and before I realized what was happening he was kissing me. It was sweet and mortifying because my youngest brother jumped up from the side of my bed and yelled “I’m going to tell…” I had to bribe him to not go running around the house announcing it to the whole family.
A wish on a shooting star by a nine-year-old girl and the promise of a 12-year-old boy.
Fast forward 16 years and we meet up with Lady Juliette Brooks and she is finally panning her season in which to find a husband. There have been obstacles, neglect by her father-the Earl of Riverdale and a new stepmother that seems to rival Cinderella’s. Juliette has tried so very hard to stay in the background and wants desperately to make a match and start her own family. Suddenly she is not having her season and she is promised to a man that sees nothing wrong with beating women for sport.
We meet up with Grayson Abbot and he is now the Duke of Kissinger. While he is a duke and has responsibilities to his title, he refuses to marry. Over the last 16 years he has avoided Juliette because his father threatened her family and he does not know why, even now with his father dead. He had not wanted to end their friendship all those years ago, but was given no choice.
Gray agrees to fulfill his promise to Juliette and they are racing to Gretna Green. During the trip, there they reconnect and renew their friendship. The conversations are fast paced and witty, but not pithy. Ms. Brower has created deeply rich characters in a short time and you are rooting for them to reach their HEA. Being a novella the drama of the relationship and the trip to Scotland are shortened, but you do not feel cheated. Gray’s defense of Juliette against the brute was justified, but the result was glossed over and could have had a bit more explanation. There are several things at the end that, while appearing neatly tied up in a bow, were not explained to my satisfaction. Perhaps an addition three or four pages could have added that sense of finality, but I still enjoyed the afternoon read. Ms. Brower is a new to me author and I am looking forward to more historical romances from her.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.