During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.
After her husband’s passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snowbank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them, for she is nine years older than he.
They return to London the following Season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love. . . .
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This is the fourth book in this series that I have read, and I fall more and more in love with these characters and this family with each new book. This book is about Elizabeth, who if have been following the series, is the last member of this family I expected to find love.
In all of the previous books she was such a secondary character and the little we knew of her made her seem to be quite busy taking care of her mother with little time for romance. But Mary Balogh has done a wonderful job of bringing her out of the shadows and into the spot light to find her true love where she least expected it. I really like reading stories where love and happily ever after happen for someone who would be considered an underdog and Elizabeth is the perfect leading lady for such a story.
Seeing this couple realize their feelings for one another and that they were both completely wrong in their judgments of their individual compatibility gave this story a playfulness and joy that is both heartwarming and refreshing. I love watching Elizabeth find her personal fortitude in the face of scandal and seeing her perseverance carry her through. I am excited to read the romantic adventures of the next member of this family.