England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.
Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.
I enjoyed this quick holiday read! I love anything historical with a bit of mystery thrown in, so this was right up my ally. My description of the feel of this book would be a blending of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Clue, and A Christmas Carol. I enjoyed that there was enough mystery to keep me intrigued and guessing, but it was done in a way that did not make the story dark or depressing. The setting of the manor house gave the story interest and was perfect for creating that mysterious atmosphere needed to draw the reader in to the story. I thought the plot twists were well done, and the conclusion was surprising, but a satisfying end to this story. Clara and Ben were great characters. Ben particularly, was very funny, which I really enjoyed. I really enjoyed this book, it seemed to be the perfect length for the story that was told. I also really love that the paperback copy pages are made to look like torn parchment. It is such a small, but fun detail, but honestly makes me even more fond of this book! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction and/or Christmas themed stories. Curl up by the fire with a nice cup of tea and read this!
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