Valerie Bowman’s Kiss Me at Christmas is a fascinating and lovable mix of sweet and spicy, with a heroine who on one hand, blushes frequently and is a model lady, and who on the other, propositions a Bow Street Runner of her acquaintance and offers herself as bait in order to solve an attempted-murder mystery.
But let’s not get ahead ourselves.
Kiss Me at Christmas opens in London, December 1818, with the aforementioned heroine, Lady Regina Haversham, contemplating her impending engagement to the respectable—but boring—Earl of Dryden. Lady Regina won’t marry for love, but she decides she can decide who she wants to lose her virginity to, and the answer is the handsome and virile Bow Street Runner, Daffin Oakleaf.
Daffin is taken aback by Regina’s awkwardly forward offer, and says no. But he can’t deny his attraction to Regina, despite the fact that she is related to one of his closest friends and also of a higher class. Then a mysterious series of attacks against Regina’s family brings Daffin closely into her orbit as her bodyguard (sigh).
Who is behind the attacks and why? And more important for the romance-minded, will Regina and Daffin act on the chemistry between them, even if it won’t—can’t—be anything more?
There were times when I wished that Regina wouldn’t make her infatuation with Daffin quite so obvious—particularly when he was doing such a fine job of keeping his own feelings contained. But that is part of Regina’s appeal: she’s honest and open, and willing to make herself vulnerable in pursuit of a greater purpose (like losing her virginity before she’s 30 *wink) . She’s also resourceful and brave, and more than one scene had me cheering for her.
Regina is one of several characters in Kiss Me at Christmas who is largely unconventional, even though those characters also navigate through elite society with aplomb. This balance between convention and rebellion kept me engaged in Regina and Daffin’s story and invested in the outcome of their romance: whether it would lead to a HEA, or whether the social chasm between them—and Daffin’s insecurity over it—was too great to overcome.
Also keeping me invested was the action-filled plot, specifically the nefarious attacks against someone in Regina’s family, and Regina and Daffin’s subsequent investigation, which reveals their best qualities and the lengths they’ll go to keep others safe.
Kiss Me at Christmas is a delight—a steamy romance that reminds readers of the joys of the season and of chasing happiness—and one person who enters the giveaway below will win a copy for their very own. Lucky you.
**I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley but all opinions provided are my own.
*1 U.S. only winner will be randomly selected on Monday. Answer the question provided in the Rafflecopter graphic below.
About the Author
When my toddler and infant sleep--or are otherwise engaged--I write, read, and eat lots of chocolate.