I wasn't too sure of the main point of this book (apart from it being a romance, of course). Raoul Charlebois is a notorious actor who has just retired from the stage. He's known as the bastard son of a lord and wants to find out what big secret his father was keeping that Raoul's tutor knew. So Raoul travels to Cheshire and his father's house, staying in a cottage on the estate whilst he tries to prise out the secret.
He discovers a rather attractive young woman on the estate, Sarah Jefferson, and finds himself attracted to her. She's the usual novel fare of beautiful, wonderful with children, an excellent cook, a spinster, etc etc. Raoul finds himself enchanted by her and sets out to seduce her. Once his father's secret is finally revealed there's a nice happy ending. But although there are plenty of pages in this book, there didn't seem to be a great deal more content than set out above.
Perhaps that's a little unfair, we have many scenes between Raoul and Sarah, as well as Raoul and his valet trying to get to the bottom of the secret, but overall I found the book rather lacking in depth. I didn't feel that either main character was particularly well drawn. The attraction seemed to be very much that of appearances between the two of them. It wasn't a bad read but I didn't find it entirely gripping and Sarah felt too remote to be a particularly engaging character. The Christmas theme, despite the title, is fairly minimal in this book.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2009