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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

A Christmas Surprise by Emily Murdoch

A Christmas Surprise - Emily Murdoch

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lady Audrey is eighteen and about to have her coming out Christmas Ball. With rumors swirling that her father is having some financial trouble, she hopes to meet her future husband on the same night. A late decision to make the Ball a mask sets up a night full of intrigue and magic. Thomas has been the valet to Audrey's father for the last five years and developed a close relationship with Audrey. With her turning eighteen and beginning the search for a husband, he feels the urgency to examine his feelings. The Christmas Ball will be a night neither will forget.
 
At fewer than one hundred pages, A Christmas Surprise is a short novella that will require you to be very forgiving with its regency period setting. I was curious how the daughter of a viscount would/could be set-up with her father's valet, the story for the most part decided to not address it and went with "luv". Audrey's father had no objections as Thomas must really love Audrey because he still wanted to marry her even when he thought she was poor. Having characters with these roles was an intriguing idea and to have the author flake out on providing the meat of this situation was disappointing.
 
Audrey and her father were the most fleshed out characters with Audrey coming off a little flighty. Thomas was disappointingly missing; he was a pencil sketch of a character. There is talk of how Thomas and Audrey grew close because of their conversations but we are never shown any of them. I was left bereft of any reasoning as to why these two cared for one another.
 
The language used by the characters felt off but the overall writing flowed well, you'd have no problem finishing this in an hour. I was looking for a shorter story with a holiday feel, this was both but it also read more as a pitch for a story, rather than an actual story. I needed more depth of character from Thomas and for him and Audrey to have more interactions and evidence of feelings between them.