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His Mistress by Christmas

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For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow --- and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him. Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks --- For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow --- and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him. Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks --- if his family deems him responsible enough. There's no better way to prove his maturity than with a wife. But though Veronica will share his bed, she refuses to marry. However, Sebastian has a plan: An intimate sojourn at his new country house will surely change Veronica's mind. For Sebastian never takes no for an answer. And he intends to persuade his Christmas mistress that they belong together --- in this, and every season to come ...


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For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow --- and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him. Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks --- For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow --- and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him. Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks --- if his family deems him responsible enough. There's no better way to prove his maturity than with a wife. But though Veronica will share his bed, she refuses to marry. However, Sebastian has a plan: An intimate sojourn at his new country house will surely change Veronica's mind. For Sebastian never takes no for an answer. And he intends to persuade his Christmas mistress that they belong together --- in this, and every season to come ...

30 review for His Mistress by Christmas

  1. 5 out of 5

    UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

    He wants a wife – she wants a lover. Can spending time together during the Christmas holidays help them reach a compromise? He hopes not because he’d rather she give him more than her body; he wants her heart and soul - after all, she’s stolen his! Such a fun historical romance! No angst, no contrived drama… just a feel good, delightful holiday tale! Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine He wants a wife – she wants a lover. Can spending time together during the Christmas holidays help them reach a compromise? He hopes not because he’d rather she give him more than her body; he wants her heart and soul - after all, she’s stolen his! Such a fun historical romance! No angst, no contrived drama… just a feel good, delightful holiday tale! Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine

  2. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    *4.5 Stars* Looking for angst? Looking for brooding characters who have a hard time letting themselves be happy? Looking for a shy heroine who hasn’t enjoyed sex to date and needs to be shown the power of the mighty orgasm? If you answered yes to any of those, it’s probably best to keep on walking, because this book is completely unlike any of those things. It is light and happy and is filled with farcical situations that had me laughing out loud. I know that whenever I pick up an Alexander there *4.5 Stars* Looking for angst? Looking for brooding characters who have a hard time letting themselves be happy? Looking for a shy heroine who hasn’t enjoyed sex to date and needs to be shown the power of the mighty orgasm? If you answered yes to any of those, it’s probably best to keep on walking, because this book is completely unlike any of those things. It is light and happy and is filled with farcical situations that had me laughing out loud. I know that whenever I pick up an Alexander there’s a good chance that I’ll get a dose of happy. This was no exception. I closed the book grinning from ear to ear. Veronica is that rarely seen Romance heroine who actually loved her previous husband and enjoyed sex. She enjoyed it so much that three years later she is starting to feel the lack. She doesn’t want to bounce around from lover to lover, but she’s not interested in marriage again. She didn’t have a bad first marriage, but she knows that she has grown from that girl she used to be and has become too independent to easily give up the reins. So what’s a girl to do in a situation like this? Well, her solution is to become the mistress of a man of her choosing—leaving out the money part of the equation. She wants all the benefits of a husband without actually having one. Sebastian finds himself in quite an opposite position. He has been off exploring and adventuring for years, but now that the time to decide his inheritance is approaching he finds himself in search of the trappings of a responsible man. He buys a house—because all serious, responsible men own houses—and finds himself starting to lean toward finding a wife as well. He’s been quite the ladies man to date, but he’s ready for a new stage in his life. He sets his sights on Veronica just as she sets her sights on him. It’s their bad luck that they’re at cross purposes. Veronica and Sebastian are pretty happy people and their upbeat attitude makes it easy to fall into their characters. That’s not to say that they don’t have insecurities and regrets, because they do. They just don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it and angsting. When one of them does something stupid or they end up miscommunicating and getting angry, they’re able to solve their issues pretty easily. They are at heart quite logical and are more willing to look for the best in each other rather than the worst. There are quite a few friends and family members running around this book, complicating Veronica and Sebastian’s lives with the best of intentions. Although many of them weren’t focused on exclusively, I still felt that I got to know them well. Obviously, the two best friends, Portia and Sinclair, had more of a focus on them, but I never felt slighted on the rest. They all managed to make their mark in one way or another. The humor in this book doesn’t come from one liners, although there is some of that, so much as it does from the hysterical situations they find themselves in. Their Christmas getaway descends into a farce of epic proportions. It was hilarious to watch them panic and scramble to try to manage the situation, all the while being broadsided by another wrench in the gears. I loved that Veronica and Sebastian’s scheming to manipulate each other into falling in line with their plans never had a malicious vibe to it. Just like most everything else, it had an edge of humor to it that made it fun to watch. The only thing that didn’t work for me about this book was believing when the characters fell in love with each other. It was way too soon, especially on the hero’s part. I could clearly see, as I read on, why they would fall for each other and how absolutely perfect they seemed together, but that was after they had already had the I’m in love realization in their minds. It wasn’t a huge thing for me since the rest of the book was so fun, but it bothered me. I would have preferred there be some kind of realization that the beginning emotions were puppy love and the end emotions that the puppy love grew into were the real deal. I guess we’re still doing well if that’s my only complaint. ;) Favorite Quotes: Sebastian is a man of courage and intelligence and, for the most part, honesty. He's certainly not perfect--" Someone, Sebastian wasn't sure who, choked back a laugh. "--but then few of us are. I wouldn't want a man who was perfect. I would certainly not fare well in comparison. And yes, he can be most annoying, and he is certainly one of the most arrogant--" Sebastian leaned toward her and lowered his voice. "Are you defending me?" "Yes, darling, I am," she said firmly. "Interesting way to go about it,"Diana murmured. "I say seduce her, seduce her tonight. Break the door down if you have to. Tell her all those things you said to me about her. You will love her more tomorrow than today and how you want to die with her hand in yours--which is an excellent line, by the way, that I fully intend to borrow when the time comes." Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen. For a sneak peek, check out my Tempting Teaser.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This was a fun, quick read that had me smiling throughout the whole book. Veronica is happy as a widow, but one who misses having a man in her bed. So she decides to take a lover. She doesn’t want a husband, though, as she enjoys her freedom and control over her own life. As she attends a lecture of her dear friend’s cousin, she sees the man she wants. He is brilliant, attractive, and has the reputation of being quite the rake. He's perfect for her. Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater can’t take his ey This was a fun, quick read that had me smiling throughout the whole book. Veronica is happy as a widow, but one who misses having a man in her bed. So she decides to take a lover. She doesn’t want a husband, though, as she enjoys her freedom and control over her own life. As she attends a lecture of her dear friend’s cousin, she sees the man she wants. He is brilliant, attractive, and has the reputation of being quite the rake. He's perfect for her. Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater can’t take his eyes off the lovely redhead sitting next to his cousin. When she approaches him and she is intelligent, witty, and interested in him, he thinks “I must have her.” But he wants more than a mistress. He wants her as his wife. This was a fun story and I loved watching their courtship. At one point, Sebastian convinces Veronica to spend Christmas with him in his new home. Unfortunately he had mentioned to his sister that he would be married to her by Christmas, y’know, because he’s hot and a catch and totally self-assured---plus it’s not like she would say no, right? Riight... So his sisters hear of Veronica spending Christmas with their brother, and tell the family that Sebastian and his new bride will be at his new home. And the family shows up en masse. Including some family who heard about it all the way in Paris! Sebastian's solution was to just pretend he was married to her. Without telling Veronica. The pretending to be married was hysterical (remember no one told Veronica), so Sebastian and his sisters were trying to pull it off without letting on that they knew she was his mistress...which she really wasn’t...yet. Just in theory, not in deed. By the end of Christmas, once everyone has figured everything out, and Veronica finally realizes she was being silly about not marrying Sebastian, since she loved him, and he loved her and they wanted children, another little bomb was dropped on Veronica. Sebastian was about to come into his inheritance, but only if his brothers approved it. Being an adventurer and explorer, he’d always felt like the black sheep of the family, so having a house, and a new wife, it looked really bad to Veronica. It looked as if he only wanted to marry her for the inheritance. I won’t spoil the inheritance because it was such a grand scene, with a little twist, but I will say that if all of Ms. Alexander's books are this fun and witty, I can’t wait for the next one! ***Thank you to Kensington for the ARC http://www.demonloversbooksandmore.co...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    This is my first book by Victoria Alexander. If all of her books are this fun, I can’t wait to read more!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    3.5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    ☕️Kimberly

    4.5 Author Victoria Alexander delighted me with this tale, its colorful characters, humor and twists. I quickly consumed this and closed the book with a smile. This is the perfect Regency romance to get you in the mood for the holidays. The tale begins when we meet the widowed Lady Veronica Smithson. She and her friend Portia are watching a speech presented by the dashingly handsome Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater. He is a renowned explorer, published writer and a reported rogue. While Veronica is 4.5 Author Victoria Alexander delighted me with this tale, its colorful characters, humor and twists. I quickly consumed this and closed the book with a smile. This is the perfect Regency romance to get you in the mood for the holidays. The tale begins when we meet the widowed Lady Veronica Smithson. She and her friend Portia are watching a speech presented by the dashingly handsome Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater. He is a renowned explorer, published writer and a reported rogue. While Veronica is financially independent and enjoys her freedom and collecting hats something is missing from her life. She misses the passion one experiences with a man, and decides upon meeting Sebastian that she will offer to be his mistress. Sebastian cannot help but noticing the striking redhead in attendance with his sister and is quite taken with her. While Veronica plots to become his mistress by Christmas, Sebastian is determined to have her as his wife by Christmas and the tale that unfolds is hilarious, heartwarming, romantic and captivating. I love a good strong, feisty, witty heroine who thinks she knows her own mind, but hasn't a clue when it comes to matters of the heart. Veronica was positively delightful and I laughed and giggled at the outlandish things she did. Sebastian is gifted when it comes to words and his novels and speeches have men’s admiration and woman swooning. Yet he muddles things with Veronica, she completely throws him off his game and I loved it. As she peeled back his layers I feel more in love with this poetic man. The banter between them was positively delicious and at times humorous. As they each plot their next move, they find their families tossed into the mix and it was all quite smashing. Even the secondary characters added to the tale and had me in stitches. I adored Portia and Julia the three of them together were a hoot. I liked Sebastian’s American friend Sinclair and so want to read his story. *hint* The tale Alexander spun was such fun and the characters brought the tale to life for me. I truly became wrapped up in this fast paced tale and could not put it down. I loved all the complications and family meddling and loved sharing their holiday with them. Even the servants made me laugh. The romance was filled with sexual tension, wicked banter and sweetness. There is only one sexual encounter but it’s detailed and spicy. The tale is heartwarming and leaves you filled with that gooey-mushy-Christmassy kind of happy as you close the book. Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    Victorian Christmas II, by Thomas Kincaid ★★★★½ Yes, yes! I know Christmas is over with; nonetheless, I put this audiobook on request at the public library and didn’t receive it until after the holiday. So, I stayed up on New Year’s working on all my lovely new 2012 challenges and – lo and behold – I’m delighted to say I’ve found a charming new author! I’m pretty sure I tried one of her books before and it didn’t grab me, but Susan Duerden narrated this one to near perfection. There is nothing Victorian Christmas II, by Thomas Kincaid ★★★★½ Yes, yes! I know Christmas is over with; nonetheless, I put this audiobook on request at the public library and didn’t receive it until after the holiday. So, I stayed up on New Year’s working on all my lovely new 2012 challenges and – lo and behold – I’m delighted to say I’ve found a charming new author! I’m pretty sure I tried one of her books before and it didn’t grab me, but Susan Duerden narrated this one to near perfection. There is nothing new here in the first of Ms. Alexander’s Sinful Family Secrets series, but it is light and breezy and well done. What happens when an independent widow is set on her first seduction and the target of her desire is determined to convince her to become his wife instead – then his family pushes their way into the mix? There is a gradual, subtle build up that is pure fun. It helped that I didn’t know if I was listening to a “one-foot-on-the-floor” type of sexual tension or not. Looking forward to the second in the series, My Wicked Little Lies, coming out at the end of January.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    3.5 stars, because at times the clever dialogue made me smile. I didn't laugh out loud, but definitely appreciated how witty some of the characters were. There were a few things that made this book tedious, but my two biggest beefs with the story are: A) The characters were head over heels in love with each other by their third encounter. It was a little too sappy for my tastes. And B) There were quite a few public make-out scenes (and by public, I mean in front of both of their rather large famili 3.5 stars, because at times the clever dialogue made me smile. I didn't laugh out loud, but definitely appreciated how witty some of the characters were. There were a few things that made this book tedious, but my two biggest beefs with the story are: A) The characters were head over heels in love with each other by their third encounter. It was a little too sappy for my tastes. And B) There were quite a few public make-out scenes (and by public, I mean in front of both of their rather large families). This is something that would be awkward nowadays, so I can't imagine it actually happening in the 1800's. Really, the whole story was a bit far fetched for its time period.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*

    "Do try not to be shocked. I want a man, darling, not a husband. I've had a husband, and while I have no regrets on that score, I have no desire to have another. I want adventure, not routine. I prefer not to do what's expected of me." Victoria Alexander is rapidly rising to be one of my favorite romance authors. Not only does she know how to spin a delightfully wonderful story, but she does it with grace and humor and intelligence. A wonderful combination! This was a fantastic book, especially fo "Do try not to be shocked. I want a man, darling, not a husband. I've had a husband, and while I have no regrets on that score, I have no desire to have another. I want adventure, not routine. I prefer not to do what's expected of me." Victoria Alexander is rapidly rising to be one of my favorite romance authors. Not only does she know how to spin a delightfully wonderful story, but she does it with grace and humor and intelligence. A wonderful combination! This was a fantastic book, especially for the holidays!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    What a fun book. Both Veronica and Sebastian find themselves at crossroads in their lives. They meet at the intersection and decide that they'd like to continue together. The problem is that they are looking down different roads. Both of them are accustomed to getting what they want and seeing them each try to convince the other makes for a really fun time. Veronica has been a widow for three years. She had loved her husband and they had a good life together, but she's ready to move on. She's got What a fun book. Both Veronica and Sebastian find themselves at crossroads in their lives. They meet at the intersection and decide that they'd like to continue together. The problem is that they are looking down different roads. Both of them are accustomed to getting what they want and seeing them each try to convince the other makes for a really fun time. Veronica has been a widow for three years. She had loved her husband and they had a good life together, but she's ready to move on. She's gotten used to being independent and having control of her own life. She's not interested in marrying and turning that control over to a man. But she admits to being lonely for the company of a man and decides to look for one that can provide what she wants. When she meets Sebastian, she thinks he would be perfect for her. After all, he's known as quite the ladies' man and has shown no signs of wanting to settle down. Sebastian is almost thirty-three years old. He has been traveling the world for quite a few years and has made quite a name for himself with his explorations and the books he has written, is good looking and wealthy too. But he's getting a little tired of living out of his trunks and is looking to spend more time at home. He has bought a house and is thinking that it might also be time to start looking for a wife. When he sees Veronica at one of his lectures he is lost. She is exactly what he is looking for. Besides being beautiful, she is intelligent and has a sense of humor to match his own. He also senses that she is just as interested in him. He's so sure of where they are that he tells his sisters he expects to be married by Christmas. But things don't quite go as he planned. When he proposes to Veronica he is stunned to find out she doesn't want to marry him, only be his mistress. That's not what he wants and he refuses to accept defeat. So he invites her to spend Christmas at his new home, as his mistress, but has every intention of convincing her to be his wife instead. I loved the two of them together. They are smart, they like many of the same things, and they both have a great sense of fun. Some of their conversations are hilariously funny as are their observations of the people and events around them. Sebastian loves Veronica just the way she is, independence and direct speech and all. He doesn't understand why she is so against marriage. Veronica enjoys being able to be herself. She fears that by marrying that sense of self would be lost under the expectations of what a wife should be. She intends that as a mistress she would have all the benefits of being a wife without the pitfalls. And she doesn't intend to allow herself to fall in love with Sebastian as she sees that as the first step to that loss of self. When they get to his home and start to settle in things are looking good for them to start working on their differences. Then things get really complicated. Sebastian's two sisters show up, uninvited, to spend Christmas with Sebastian and his new wife, only to discover they aren't married. They are horrified, not just because of the circumstances, but also because they told the rest of the family about his "marriage" and they are ALL coming for Christmas. Sebastian has been trying to show his older brothers that he has changed and become a mature and responsible man. He has always felt that he was a disappointment to his family because he has not led a more traditional life. Now, thanks to his sisters, he's going to look even worse. He and his sisters try to keep them from finding out, but don't tell Veronica that the family thinks they are married. When she finds out the truth she isn't happy, but she cares for Sebastian (still doesn't admit to herself that she loves him) so she goes along with the deception for now. Things get even crazier when her family shows up. In the midst of all the family togetherness, as she is treated as Sebastian's wife, Veronica begins to realize that all that independence also has a downside. It means that she could still end up alone. It means giving up on the idea of having children. It means that she could lose Sebastian to someone else. A long conversation with her father, aunt and grandmother shows her that independence can also mean great loneliness and she starts to reconsider her stance on marriage. Just as it looks like things will finally work out for them, there is a great misunderstanding about Sebastian's inheritance, which sends Veronica running back to London. Though initially both are hurt and angry, I loved that their heads and their hearts soon show them that they belong together. I loved the final scene at the birthday dinner and Veronica's passionate defense of Sebastian to his family and the resulting clearing up of many misconceptions among them all. Some of my favorite things in the book are the situations that the characters get into. The scene at the beginning when Sebastian has been cornered by Veronica's aunt about allowing women in the Explorer's Club was fun, as he tried to be polite in his disagreement, and then to sneak away as she got involved in the argument with another member. His encounter with Veronica there was the beginning of their fascination with each other. The entire Christmas event, with all the efforts to keep the secret was at times hilariously funny or totally sweet. The whole scene with Veronica and her family was heartwarming as so many things became clear to her, and her family's love and support boosted her up. One of my favorite scenes was Christmas Eve when Sebastian goes knocking on her door after spending the evening drinking. He was so funny and so adorable. There are also some great scenes with Veronica's friend Portia and also with Sebastian's friend Sinclair. I really hope that there will be books for them and also Sebastian's sister Bianca.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Desiree M ~*~*~ LiveReadCollect

    1.5-2 stars. I wasn't that impressed with this book. This is the second Victoria Alexander book I've read or tried to read because I didn't finish the first one I tried. In this novel I liked the idea of Veronica wanting to be Sebastian's mistress and Sebastian wanting her to be his wife but the execution was lacking. The main characters didn't seem to have much or any sexual chemistry, even their disagreements didn't spark, they were just dull. I was bored for most of this book and the main reas 1.5-2 stars. I wasn't that impressed with this book. This is the second Victoria Alexander book I've read or tried to read because I didn't finish the first one I tried. In this novel I liked the idea of Veronica wanting to be Sebastian's mistress and Sebastian wanting her to be his wife but the execution was lacking. The main characters didn't seem to have much or any sexual chemistry, even their disagreements didn't spark, they were just dull. I was bored for most of this book and the main reason why this book is rated a 2 instead of a 1 was because I really liked Aunt Lotte and was more interested in her story. Unfortunately there is something about VA's writing style that doesn't connect with me. I might try one more sometime in the future but right now I'm going to avoid her books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    BJ Rose

    I wavered between 3*/4* for a while, but finally decided that the premise of the love story moved it up for me - I love it when the guy knows he's in love & wants marriage, but has to convince the reluctant gal that it's really more than just lust for his beautiful body! And it includes a country house party, which I always like. I wavered between 3*/4* for a while, but finally decided that the premise of the love story moved it up for me - I love it when the guy knows he's in love & wants marriage, but has to convince the reluctant gal that it's really more than just lust for his beautiful body! And it includes a country house party, which I always like.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    What a fun book. Both Veronica and Sebastian find themselves at crossroads in their lives. They meet at the intersection and decide that they'd like to continue together. The problem is that they are looking down different roads. Both of them are accustomed to getting what they want and seeing them each try to convince the other makes for a really fun time. Veronica has been a widow for three years. She had loved her husband and they had a good life together, but she's ready to move on. She's got What a fun book. Both Veronica and Sebastian find themselves at crossroads in their lives. They meet at the intersection and decide that they'd like to continue together. The problem is that they are looking down different roads. Both of them are accustomed to getting what they want and seeing them each try to convince the other makes for a really fun time. Veronica has been a widow for three years. She had loved her husband and they had a good life together, but she's ready to move on. She's gotten used to being independent and having control of her own life. She's not interested in marrying and turning that control over to a man. But she admits to being lonely for the company of a man and decides to look for one that can provide what she wants. When she meets Sebastian, she thinks he would be perfect for her. After all, he's known as quite the ladies' man and has shown no signs of wanting to settle down. Sebastian is almost thirty-three years old. He has been traveling the world for quite a few years and has made quite a name for himself with his explorations and the books he has written, is good looking and wealthy too. But he's getting a little tired of living out of his trunks and is looking to spend more time at home. He has bought a house and is thinking that it might also be time to start looking for a wife. When he sees Veronica at one of his lectures he is lost. She is exactly what he is looking for. Besides being beautiful, she is intelligent and has a sense of humor to match his own. He also senses that she is just as interested in him. He's so sure of where they are that he tells his sisters he expects to be married by Christmas. But things don't quite go as he planned. When he proposes to Veronica he is stunned to find out she doesn't want to marry him, only be his mistress. That's not what he wants and he refuses to accept defeat. So he invites her to spend Christmas at his new home, as his mistress, but has every intention of convincing her to be his wife instead.  I loved the two of them together. They are smart, they like many of the same things, and they both have a great sense of fun. Some of their conversations are hilariously funny as are their observations of the people and events around them. Sebastian loves Veronica just the way she is, independence and direct speech and all. He doesn't understand why she is so against marriage. Veronica enjoys being able to be herself. She fears that by marrying that sense of self would be lost under the expectations of what a wife should be. She intends that as a mistress she would have all the benefits of being a wife without the pitfalls. And she doesn't intend to allow herself to fall in love with Sebastian as she sees that as the first step to that loss of self.  When they get to his home and start to settle in things are looking good for them to start working on their differences. Then things get really complicated. Sebastian's two sisters show up, uninvited, to spend Christmas with Sebastian and his new wife, only to discover they aren't married. They are horrified, not just because of the circumstances, but also because they told the rest of the family about his "marriage" and they are ALL coming for Christmas. Sebastian has been trying to show his older brothers that he has changed and become a mature and responsible man. He has always felt that he was a disappointment to his family because he has not led a more traditional life. Now, thanks to his sisters, he's going to look even worse. He and his sisters try to keep them from finding out, but don't tell Veronica that the family thinks they are married. When she finds out the truth she isn't happy, but she cares for Sebastian (still doesn't admit to herself that she loves him) so she goes along with the deception for now. Things get even crazier when her family shows up. In the midst of all the family togetherness, as she is treated as Sebastian's wife, Veronica begins to realize that all that independence also has a downside. It means that she could still end up alone. It means giving up on the idea of having children. It means that she could lose Sebastian to someone else. A long conversation with her father, aunt and grandmother shows her that independence can also mean great loneliness and she starts to reconsider her stance on marriage. Just as it looks like things will finally work out for them, there is a great misunderstanding about Sebastian's inheritance, which sends Veronica running back to London. Though initially both are hurt and angry, I loved that their heads and their hearts soon show them that they belong together. I loved the final scene at the birthday dinner and Veronica's passionate defense of Sebastian to his family and the resulting clearing up of many misconceptions among them all. Some of my favorite things in the book are the situations that the characters get into. The scene at the beginning when Sebastian has been cornered by Veronica's aunt about allowing women in the Explorer's Club was fun, as he tried to be polite in his disagreement, and then to sneak away as she got involved in the argument with another member. His encounter with Veronica there was the beginning of their fascination with each other. The entire Christmas event, with all the efforts to keep the secret was at times hilariously funny or totally sweet. The whole scene with Veronica and her family was heartwarming as so many things became clear to her, and her family's love and support boosted her up. One of my favorite scenes was Christmas Eve when Sebastian goes knocking on her door after spending the evening drinking. He was so funny and so adorable. There are also some great scenes with Veronica's friend Portia and also with Sebastian's friend Sinclair. I really hope that there will be books for them and also Sebastian's sister Bianca.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lady Delacour

    What FUN! Predictable yes, but you just didn't care. Reminiscent of the old black and white comedic movies. Narrator Susan Duerden was great. Only one embarrassing part, easily skipped over. Not Clean, One mild foul word. What FUN! Predictable yes, but you just didn't care. Reminiscent of the old black and white comedic movies. Narrator Susan Duerden was great. Only one embarrassing part, easily skipped over. Not Clean, One mild foul word.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Veronica Smithson has decided that she wants to be a mistress, and never a wife. She had been married, happily too, but since she was widowed a few years back and got a taste of true independence she refuses to let a man control anything about her life again. She sets her eyes on Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, her friend’s cousin, at a lecture he was speaking at and decides that she wants to be his mistress. Sebastian is an author and a world traveler. It is rumored that he has been with many women Veronica Smithson has decided that she wants to be a mistress, and never a wife. She had been married, happily too, but since she was widowed a few years back and got a taste of true independence she refuses to let a man control anything about her life again. She sets her eyes on Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, her friend’s cousin, at a lecture he was speaking at and decides that she wants to be his mistress. Sebastian is an author and a world traveler. It is rumored that he has been with many women during his travels. Will Veronica be able to convince Sebastian to let her be his mistress or will Sebastian have other plans instead? My thoughts: Ugh, this book. So Veronica decides she wants to be a mistress and doesn’t think ahead about what that would really mean in regards to her feelings. Such as what if she falls in love? What if it’s not forever, etc? She also announces how she wants to be a mistress to her friend, Sebastian’s cousin, at the beginning of the book, saying how she decided that Sebastian is who her conquest will be. She was just…annoying. I thought she would be more mature in her thinking, especially because she is not naïve; she has been married before. I felt like Sebastian was blah too. Yeah, he definitely had his own plans for Veronica, and yes, he used have a reputation because of his traveling, but none of that is evident in the book because he changed his ways and just like that he wants to settle down. His character was a bore, sorry Sebastian. He just isn’t that memorable to me. The story definitely was not for me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    The second of three widowed friends finds her match in this book. Lady Veronica Smithsonhas been widowed for three years and she's decided that is long enough to wait for grand adventure; she's ready to take a lover. When her friend Poppy's cousin returns from gallivanting all over the globe, Veronica decides that he is the perfect man to take as her lover. Hugh has a different idea however. He finds Veronica delectable but he's ready for respectability and marriage. Also, he has to prove to his The second of three widowed friends finds her match in this book. Lady Veronica Smithsonhas been widowed for three years and she's decided that is long enough to wait for grand adventure; she's ready to take a lover. When her friend Poppy's cousin returns from gallivanting all over the globe, Veronica decides that he is the perfect man to take as her lover. Hugh has a different idea however. He finds Veronica delectable but he's ready for respectability and marriage. Also, he has to prove to his brothers that he is worthy of receiving his inheritance. Hugh agrees to Veronica's plan, but he retains the right to ask her for her hand in marriage. A series of misunderstandings lead to Verinica and Hugh being trapped at his house at Christmas (view spoiler)[with his family who already believe them to be married (hide spoiler)] . This book started off so well and I was enjoying it immensely but the ending was sort of a letdown for me. Too many misunderstandings are introduced and little things trying to be wrapped up too quickly at the end. Overall, I enjoyed watching Hugh and Veronica get together.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sharyn

    So I am still trying to get through the "A's" on my bookshelf. I had actually read this before, but it was so much fun I read it again!!Veronica and Sebastien banter so wonderfully, I just smiled throughout. I can't wait to read more of his family, but right now I am on a search for Portia's book, which none of my libraries have!! And I have to fill in all her other series' that I only have partially filled on my bookshelf. It is already almost August and I will not fulfill my summer wish of red So I am still trying to get through the "A's" on my bookshelf. I had actually read this before, but it was so much fun I read it again!!Veronica and Sebastien banter so wonderfully, I just smiled throughout. I can't wait to read more of his family, but right now I am on a search for Portia's book, which none of my libraries have!! And I have to fill in all her other series' that I only have partially filled on my bookshelf. It is already almost August and I will not fulfill my summer wish of redoing my bookshelves! I think it will be a life journey. Oh well, I look forward to many more of Victoria Alexander books in the near future!! So I seem to have lost track of this review, so just read this book!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Nesbit-comer

    meh this could have been better. It certainly had a good start, but then all they do is talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. Seriously, 95% of the book is dialog. Nothing really happens except for a few misunderstandings that are resolved too easily and then one that isn't any worse than the others causes the heroine to over-react and run off. Then they have to talk, talk, talk some more and of course they were all just misunderstandings to begin with so really there were no problems at all ... meh this could have been better. It certainly had a good start, but then all they do is talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. Seriously, 95% of the book is dialog. Nothing really happens except for a few misunderstandings that are resolved too easily and then one that isn't any worse than the others causes the heroine to over-react and run off. Then they have to talk, talk, talk some more and of course they were all just misunderstandings to begin with so really there were no problems at all ......

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lynetta

    This book carries a promise of much more than it deliveres. It builds on seduction but fails in its delivery. I did not like reading through so much dialogue . There was too much talk and not entertaining o ugh action. If there is a historical romance novel that falls short of my expectations, this is one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I wanted to throttle the heroine.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tarra

    Very endearing and sweet romance. No big villains or complications, just a lovely, funny story about finding the greatest adventure of your life when you find someone you can truly love and trust. I just noticed that this book is subtitled "Sinful Family Secrets." That is very misleading to me. Makes this book sound like there is something dark and sinister going on. Not the case. (Most people would probably not even consider the "secret" in the story to be that "sinful.") So if you're looking f Very endearing and sweet romance. No big villains or complications, just a lovely, funny story about finding the greatest adventure of your life when you find someone you can truly love and trust. I just noticed that this book is subtitled "Sinful Family Secrets." That is very misleading to me. Makes this book sound like there is something dark and sinister going on. Not the case. (Most people would probably not even consider the "secret" in the story to be that "sinful.") So if you're looking for a little darker romance, this is not the one. This was a sweet book, full of charm and humor. I enjoyed it. I liked that we got to see so many family members involved, everyone was really entertaining and the (eventual) epitome of one big happy family. We were introduced to Veronica's friends at the beginning, I wish they had reappeared at the end. Perhaps they are getting their own books? I liked Sebastian and Veronica. Sebastian was an adventurer who finally found, in Veronica, a woman not to settle down with, but to continue life's adventures. I'm sure I'm supposed to think of him as a rogue, but he really seemed like a good guy, even from the beginning. Veronica had an interesting back story. She was widowed, but instead of hating her dead husband or being abused and carrying baggage (like so many of these heroines that need saving), Veronica loved her first husband and missed him dearly. Neither Sebastian nor Veronica need saving. They both just needed each other. Good book, light holiday read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Romancing the Book

    Reviewed By~Desere Review Copy Provided By~Publisher From one of the most brilliant historical authors of our time comes the tale of Lady Victoria and Sebastian, two people who each want and crave a little certain something in life and both will not stop to get it. Lady Veronica wants to taste the forbidden passion she craves and still be seen as a true lady. However she does not bet on her target for passion being so forceful in getting what he wants. Sebastian does not back down. The fun really Reviewed By~Desere Review Copy Provided By~Publisher From one of the most brilliant historical authors of our time comes the tale of Lady Victoria and Sebastian, two people who each want and crave a little certain something in life and both will not stop to get it. Lady Veronica wants to taste the forbidden passion she craves and still be seen as a true lady. However she does not bet on her target for passion being so forceful in getting what he wants. Sebastian does not back down. The fun really starts in this book as she gets more than what she bargains for in Sebastian; this is a tale of a true battle of wills. The author had me so captivated and entranced that I could not wait to get to the end of the book just to see the outcome. I loved every character and the way the author describes every single detail had me wishing I could be Lady Victoria so I could just grab Sebastian for myself. I loved how he was the ultimate historical to die for hero. He really crept into my heart and I loved how he showed Lady Victoria that she has indeed met her match. With the author's beautiful writing style you get taken back to a time where being a Lady and getting what and who you want with all the benefits and none of the complications prove to be very tempting indeed. Favorite Quote: "It's a persuasive invitation".

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tory Michaels

    My problem with this book, as with almost all of Ms. Alexander's books is the preponderance (yes, I probably misspelled that word) of "said under his/her breath" and "murmured". There are multiple times when someone mutters under their breath twice in two pages. I didn't count them, but easily 50+ instances of both in this book. Good, sweet story, lower-level heat levels, but that's grand in a Regency. I like her stories. But someone needs to shoot her editor (metaphorically, not literally, pleas My problem with this book, as with almost all of Ms. Alexander's books is the preponderance (yes, I probably misspelled that word) of "said under his/her breath" and "murmured". There are multiple times when someone mutters under their breath twice in two pages. I didn't count them, but easily 50+ instances of both in this book. Good, sweet story, lower-level heat levels, but that's grand in a Regency. I like her stories. But someone needs to shoot her editor (metaphorically, not literally, please) for not catching these constant repetitions.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Positive: I love that the hero's an explorer and the heroine toes the line of propriety. Negative: I COULD NOT stand the heroine by fifty pages in. She wants to be a mistress even though this guy will obviously not domineer as a husband and her last marriage was amazing. Hearing her talk was infuriating. The only good part was that everyone else in the book also thought she was acting like an idiot. I do however want to read about the rest of the family, because those stories sound interesting. Positive: I love that the hero's an explorer and the heroine toes the line of propriety. Negative: I COULD NOT stand the heroine by fifty pages in. She wants to be a mistress even though this guy will obviously not domineer as a husband and her last marriage was amazing. Hearing her talk was infuriating. The only good part was that everyone else in the book also thought she was acting like an idiot. I do however want to read about the rest of the family, because those stories sound interesting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caro

    A fun farce of a read. I enjoyed the characters, the story, emotions, family, and pretty much the whole thing. The ending was great and the strategies and wit getting there was definitely a roller coaster. I shook my head plenty, laughed to myself a little, smiled and pretty much had a good time. It was like watching a train wreck. Overall a good read for cuddling up with in a comfy spot and diving in. Enjoy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

    I am really enjoying Alexander's later historical romances! I find that compared to her earlier works, her writing has matured. Her humor, story lines, and characters have become far more developed, realistic, and fun. This story is no exception. Quite a farce, the two main characters are mature, with none of the histrionics I find endemic in romances, and the subplots and intrigues of various characters are vastly amusing. I am really enjoying Alexander's later historical romances! I find that compared to her earlier works, her writing has matured. Her humor, story lines, and characters have become far more developed, realistic, and fun. This story is no exception. Quite a farce, the two main characters are mature, with none of the histrionics I find endemic in romances, and the subplots and intrigues of various characters are vastly amusing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    PoligirlReads

    Just okay-- not bad, but not great, either. Certainly not a keeper. Both hero and heroine were dull, and you could see where the plot was headed from the outset. Secondary characters Aunt Lotte and Bianca were much more interesting. The back of the book has a quote from USA Today saying it has "delectably clever dialogue on every page." We must have very different ideas of delectable and clever, because there was very little of this on *any* page, let alone every page. Just okay-- not bad, but not great, either. Certainly not a keeper. Both hero and heroine were dull, and you could see where the plot was headed from the outset. Secondary characters Aunt Lotte and Bianca were much more interesting. The back of the book has a quote from USA Today saying it has "delectably clever dialogue on every page." We must have very different ideas of delectable and clever, because there was very little of this on *any* page, let alone every page.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Diana Francis

    I really wanted this book to be better than it was. I'm not saying it was bad, because it wasn't. But it just was a bit flat too me. There were a lot of characters that had a lot of potential, and maybe they'll play out in later books in this series, as there seems there will be more. But it just wasn't enough over all. It felt a bit like eating diet chocolate. Just wasn't robust enough. I really wanted this book to be better than it was. I'm not saying it was bad, because it wasn't. But it just was a bit flat too me. There were a lot of characters that had a lot of potential, and maybe they'll play out in later books in this series, as there seems there will be more. But it just wasn't enough over all. It felt a bit like eating diet chocolate. Just wasn't robust enough.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This was a fun seasonal read, with a cast of wonderful characters, and minimal heartache. I'm a softie, and I dislike when the h/h are at odds for most of the book. Here, obstacles must be overcome, but never so much that they are estranged or fighting. Looking forward to the others in this series! This was a fun seasonal read, with a cast of wonderful characters, and minimal heartache. I'm a softie, and I dislike when the h/h are at odds for most of the book. Here, obstacles must be overcome, but never so much that they are estranged or fighting. Looking forward to the others in this series!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Tull

    Too much back and forth with individual introspection. Then, when they got together and were still in their own head hashing everything over again. There was also a lot of filler educating me on the Victorian Christmas traditions. Not my favorite of this series. Of course, this is only the second one I have read.

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