Title: A Christmas Kiss
Author: Elizabeth Mansfield
Genre: Regency Romance
Published: Original 1970 – reprint October 4, 2016
Publisher: Open Road
My Rating: 4 stars
After defending her virtue by striking the besotted son of her employer, Miss Evalyn Pennington is discharged from her position under a cloud of scandal. With no place to go and no prospects for the coming year, the impoverished governess accepts an invitation from Jamie Everard, heir to an earldom, to spend the holidays at his family’s estate. But Evalyn has barely settled in at Gyllford Manor when she catches the eye of Philip Everard, the fourth Earl of Gyllford—and Jamie’s father.
After his wife died, Philip vowed to never marry again, despite his sister’s best efforts to reintroduce him to London society. Then, his son brings a guest home for Christmas. Is the lovely, intelligent Evalyn the woman to make his footloose son settle down at last? But why does Jamie treat Evalyn in such a cavalier manner? And what is Philip to do about the reigning beauty of London who has set her cap for him—and is about to set in motion a scheme that will have far-reaching consequences for them all?
Read on for my thoughts on A Christmas Kiss. No true spoilers, promise.
A Christmas Kiss is a delightful Regency romp, definitely a comedy of errors and misunderstandings… with interesting results. All the classic elements are in place – the impoverished, tossed out of her last position governess, the handsome nobleman who misunderstands the entire situation, and the cunning, beautiful society vixen out to make trouble for our couple. Honestly, the Cover Description gives a very good outline of this charming story.
This is a May-December style romance. And done very tastefully, and entirely suitable for the time. It wasn’t uncommon for an older man to marry a much younger woman, and in today’s world age matters very little for either partner. Philip was under the misinterpretation that Evalyn was his son’s intended, instead of a guest he and a friend were trying to help. This leads to many humorous encounters, since we readers had “inside” information. How they work their way to a happy ever after ending is a fun, enchanting journey.
I enjoyed A Christmas Kiss very much. It was a joy to once again read an old school styled Regency romance… unlike today’s Regency stories. Not that one is better than the other, but the styles are definitely different and each has or had it’s own charms and devoted readers. If you are a lover of Historical or Regency stories, especially ones centered around the Christmas time festivities and customs, then I believe you’d enjoy this story.
A Christmas Kiss is an old-fashioned, I might even say old school, Regency romance set at Christmas time. I’m very glad to see that Elizabeth Mansfield’s works are being reissued for another generation of readers, in a format that wasn’t available to us back when these stories first came out.
Elizabeth Mansfield is a pen name, one of many for the author Paula Schwartz. Ms Schwartz unfortunately lost her battle against ovarian cancer and passed in December of 2003. The world lost a great writer, more importantly her family lost a loved member. Her stories will live on, enchanting and entertaining readers everywhere.
*I received an e-ARC of A Christmas Kiss from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available in paperback and for the Kindle