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A Kiss for Midwinter Paperback – 8 Jan 2013
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This is a genre that is easily beaten to death and so to read an author who infuses such old stories with new life and sensitivity that is reinvigorating, heart-warming and thoughtful... well I happily salute the author.
This is a lovely short story and like most authors, Ms Milan has a formula. However, this is not a formula where each hero has been carved from the same stamp or each heroine, more or less the same character, barring a change in clothing and names.
Ms Milan's formula is such that I finish reading her stories having faith in the veracity and authenticity of her characters.
This is romantic fiction, but it is not foolish, typecast or trite.
It is sweet, thoughtful and in some places many would say improbable.
But in the end, it is a romance, a relationship where two people dare to step out of the typecast and reach for something more... higher... deeper.
Something that is true of us in our humanity...possibly.
It is certainly in my wee opinion, worth reading especially during Christmas.
Five years later Jonas returned to Leicester to take up his medical practise and look for a wife. Lydia may have been only the eleventh prettiest unmarried girl in the city, but he was interested enough for a closer look. Except Lydia wants none of him. Because she was that young woman, and she has no time for sarcastic, blunt doctors who think badly of her.
Only Jonas doesn't think badly of her. In fact, despite more than a year of contemptuous treatment, he's actually fallen in love with her. Now all he has to do is get her to like him, and perhaps win himself a kiss... It's worth a shot. After all, since his heart is already gone, he has nothing more to lose.
This gorgeous novella is a follow-up to The Duchess War, where Lydia was the cheerful best-friend of the heroine. Jonas played only a brief but intriguing part. While it might be useful to have read that first, I don't think it's essential. All the relevant points to Lydia and Jonas' relationship are here, so you won't miss anything vital.
Jonas is an unusual hero with his blunt, slightly gloomy style, but his pursuit of Lydia is touching and even heartbreaking at times. His sarcasm and social awkwardness mask a sweet heart, most clearly seen with his helplessness towards his father. Lydia is lovely too, if a little too accomplished at self-deception. She has excellent reasons though, which have nothing to do with stupidity. The way she comes to terms with her past is quite moving.
Tender, emotional, witty and fun this novella never feels rushed or too short. It's beautifully paced, skilfully detailed and the characters are wonderful. Whether writing in long or short form, Courtney Milan is one of the best writers in this genre today and this novella just proves that she's getting even better. Indulge yourself - you won't regret it.
A Kiss for Midwinter is the story of Lydia Charingford, Minerva Lane's (of The Duchess War best friend. We discover at last about the big secret she was carrying about her past. A few years have passed since a terrible event brought Lydia and Dr Jonas Grantham face to face. But Lydia has not learned yet how to let go of her past, even if she pretends to be happy and frivolous and she believes that Jonas judges her for her past mistake. She has a transfer of anger and every time she meets Jonas, she cannot help saying something to put him down or humiliate him. You have to feel sorry for the poor guy. He cannot say or do anything right.
A Kiss of Midwinter is packed with emotions and things left unsaid and anger unspent. Until Lydia learns to grieve totally for her past, until she let go of her anger, she will not realise that Jonas really loves her for who she is. He himself is a complex character. It is contradictory because he cares so much that he looks that he does not care.
I also loved the way he is enthusiastic about his profession and the new scientific discoveries.
Not bad for a little book of only 96 pages. Hence the 5 stars.
When I need something to cheer me up - bring a little balance back - I turn to this charming novella - and it never fails to make me smile.
A wonderful tale that touches on many themes - the fate of 'fallen women' in the 19th century and indeed the limited choices available to women in general; the frightening level of medical ignorance and familial love and sacrifice. Just brilliant.
Lovely little novella, and very, very raw and sincere as always with Courtney's writing. The bonus here is that it's very romantic and would be a perfect Christmas or Valentine's read. Jonas is an amazing hero who is skillfully and patiently coaxing Lydia from her shell. I especially loved his quirky father. A must read for any fan of the series.
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