I really like Cecilia Grant’s Regency romances, so I snapped up this novella over Christmas. She is a very strong writer and I buy or borrow everything she writes. In particular, she has a facility for changing tone and style according to the story she is telling. In this case, that means a light and droll spirit for a Yuletide sliding awry. A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong is a prequel novella for Grant’s Blackshear Family series. I read the books out of order and would recommend each of them.
Uptight and cautious Andrew Blackshear is traveling at Christmas to buy a gift for his engaged sister. Stopping by a gentleman falconer’s home to purchase a pet, he is taken aback to discover himself overwhelmingly attracted to the delightful daughter of the house, Lucy Sharp. Eager to attend a house party, Lucy overrides Andrew’s stuffy objections to the unseemliness of traveling alone together and they head out, falcon on hand, to drop Lucy off at the event on the way to Andrew’s family holiday. As is the way of things with road trips in romance novels, anything that can go wrong does. Stranded by weather and carriage trouble, Andrew and Lucy find themselves spending more time together and in much closer quarters than they had expected as they rely on the kindness of strangers for accommodations. Lucy uses logic and savvy to quickly and quietly dismantle Andrew’s priggish tendencies. He had unknowingly been on his way to a happier future from the very start.
Each of the siblings in the Blackshear books wrestles with expectations of their own behaviour and the restrictions society has taught them. Theirs is a fractured family and it is only by standing up individually that they are able to come back together. A Christmas Gone Perfectly wrong predates the family scandal which is crucial to the other books in the series and allows another view of their starchy eldest brother. Andrew and Lucy made a lovely pairing and Grant shows, as she does in the other books in the series, how a good match can help people find a balance in their lives. Grant also does very well in creating the historical atmosphere that some of these books take more seriously than others. Her Regency feels real.
The Blackshear Family series:
Book .5 – A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong
Book 1 – A Lady Awakened
Book 2 – A Gentleman Undone
Book 3 – A Woman Entangled – I write about romance novel sex in this one.