The death of her husband has thrown Lady Maria Kersey’s future into doubt—and her heart into the arms of a man she cannot have. But Christmas with the Widows’ Club will bring choices—and surprises—that may change all her holidays to come…
Maria just gave birth to her first child, a beautiful daughter—but the event is shrouded in sorrow. A month earlier, Maria’s husband, Lord Kersey, was killed in a duel under compromising circumstances. Worse, Maria’s failure to provide a male heir has stripped her of any hope of an inheritance. Scorned by the ton, one of her few allies is her late husband’s steward, Hugh Granger. Hugh is everything her husband was not—warm, charming—and penniless…
Hugh has fallen desperately in love with Maria but has little to offer but comfort. As their attraction becomes impossible to resist, Maria flees to London to spend Christmas with her dearest friends, a group of widows who lost their own husbands in the Battle of Waterloo. Little does she know the holidays will reveal a twist of fate she never expected—proving that the greatest Christmas gift is the magic of true love.
Title: The Widow’s Christmas Surprise
Series: The Widow’s Club #5
Author: Jenna Jaxon
Genre: Regency Romance
Published: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Kensington Books
My Rating: 3.5 stars
The Widow’s Christmas Surprise was a story that, frankly, I wasn’t expecting from the title. And if like me, you were thinking of a lighthearted holiday romance – then no, that’s not what you’ll find with Maria and Hugh. There is darkness here, some heavy subjects even in the modern world that while providing an interesting backdrop to the romance still should have a bit of a warning attached (in my opinion). You will encounter conversations about suicide, violence, and definitely a cheating unfaithful husband who meets his end during a duel. And yes, he was indeed a nasty piece of work.
Although twice widowed, Maria is young and perhaps that explains why she so often seemed immature to me. As a widow, she should have known about several things that she seemed to have no clue about and her actions often took me away from truly being able to like or be on her side throughout this romance. I eventually liked Maria as she grew a bit through experience and Hugh’s presence, but I never felt like she deserved the man who loved her. And for that reaction, I am somewhat sorry, but nothing has changed my mind – not even a very satisfying ending.
Hugh had my attention and my heart from the very beginning. His devotion to Maria, even from afar and helping where he could, was precious to observe. Although he has his own troubles brewing his love for Maria never faltered. I liked Hugh, it’s just as simple as that.
I wish Maria’s daughter had made more appearances in this story. Perhaps seeing her cherish her little one, bond with her might have changed how I felt… but that happened only rarely.
I know it sounds like I hated this story which is far from the truth – I did enjoy The Widow’s Christmas Surprise, just not the way I expected to, and mostly through a few, select character’s actions. Not all Christmas centered Romances are going to be light and festive, some will be dark and brody and this was the case for me with Hugh and Maria’s tale.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Kensington Books via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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