I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10) by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #10
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 30, 2018
FINAL DECISION: The romance was the highlight here. There is a danger/threat story that was just okay for me, but the characters and their relationship was sweet and intelligent and quite enjoyable. I especially like these cross-class stories and this one had good intelligent characters.
THE STORY: Lady Regina is facing a marriage to a man who she doesn’t love. She decides that she wants something for herself since it appears that the love of her life isn’t going to arrive. She decides to settle for making the decision of who to give her virginity to. And Regina has decided on Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf with whom she has a flirtation while he was investigating a murder. When someone seems to be threatening Regina, Daffin is hired to help protect her allowing the two to get closer.
OPINION: I enjoyed this book primarily because of the interactions between Regina and Daffin.
Regina is a woman challenged by the times she lives in. She would rather be a spinster, but her family wants her to be settled and married to an aristocrat. She is about to give in to her uncle’s choice but wants to experience her own rebellion first. Regina is intelligent and thoughtful and willing to take responsibility for herself. Her acceding to her family’s wishes comes from a place of love and caring and responsibility rather than weakness. I liked that she is lively and clever.
Daffin is a good man with a past that makes him feel unworthy of Regina even as the two get closer. He is accomplished in his profession and has good friends, but Daffin only can see the past. And part of his past is his dislike for Christmas. As he spends time with Regina, however, Daffin begins to recognize that Regina is not anything like the stereotype his has about aristocratic women. And that makes things even more complicated for him.
I really liked that Daffin and Regina’s relationship is built upon talking and friendship. Their connection was obvious from the beginning of the story. The only things really keeping them apart are Daffin’s doubts and the difference in their social status.
What didn’t work as well for me was the danger aspect of the story. The villain didn’t feel as necessary as the pages it took up. Fortunately, Regina and Daffin were wonderful and I ended up only being vaguely interested in the other parts of the story. Thankfully this is a romance and I much prefer that the romance be great!
WORTH MENTIONING: We get a small glimpse into the final book in the series towards the end.
CONNECTED BOOKS: KISS ME AT CHRISTMAS is the tenth book in the Playful Brides series. This book can be read as a standalone although there are characters from prior books in the series. The romance here is self-contained.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to help prepare this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.