A Christmas Reunion by Susanna Fraser
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 24th 2014
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Gabriel Shepherd has never forgotten his humble origins. So when he discovers a war orphan at Christmastime, he resolves to find a home for her—even if that means asking help from the very family who found and raised him, only to cast him out for daring to love the wrong woman.
Lady Catherine Trevilian has spent five years poring over the British Army's casualty list, dreading the day she sees Gabe's name. She's never forgotten him, and she's never forgiven herself for not running away with him when she had the chance, though she's agreed to a marriage of convenience with a more suitable man.
When Gabe returns home on Christmas leave just days before Cat's wedding, a forbidden kiss confirms their feelings haven't been dimmed by distance or time. But Cat is honor-bound to another, and Gabe believes she deserves better than a penniless soldier with an orphan in tow. How can Cat reconcile love and duty? She must convince Gabe she'd rather have him than the richest lord in all of England…
When Cat was 18 years old she was caught kissing – and a bit more – with Gabe, her cousin’s cousin. Her uncle, who was her guardian at the time, found the two together and immediately sent Gabe off to join the British Army. Now it’s five years later and Gabe finds himself back on British soil. He has a toddler in his care that he’s trying to find a home for so writes to his cousin Richard for assistance (Richard has now become the Earl). Richard immediately tells Gabe that he must come home for Christmas and they’ll deal with the child then.
Cat is so excited to have Gabe returning home but it’s a bit bittersweet as she’s to be married on New Year’s Eve to a man who she considers friend. The minute that she sees Gabe again she knows that the feelings she’s tried to squash are still in full force but she also knows that she can’t jilt her fiancé, Anthony, as he’s been jilted before and it would just cause too much of a scandal.
Gabe is still in love with Cat but is resigned to the fact that she’s to marry another. He knows that he’s not good enough for her as he’s baseborn but that doesn’t stop him from longing for her.
When certain details come to light Cat and Gabe find that they may have a chance to be together after all.
A Christmas Reunion was a very short sweet tale of reunited love. It was an enjoyable read and I liked seeing Gabe and Cat get together after such a long separation. Strangely I didn’t feel the pull or intensity between them that I’ve felt in Fraser’s other couples in previous books. They had been separated for a long darned time and frankly I expected that they’d fall upon each other at the first chance but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I appreciated the honor that Cat showed to her betrothed by NOT falling on Gabe at her first opportunity but I admit that I would have loved to have seen a bit more excitement when did finally kiss the first time.
Ellen is the little girl that Gabe has found himself in charge of. He was taken in at Christmas and felt that when the little girls mother died he couldn’t leave her to be taken to a foundling home. While he initially thought to find a good home for her he got attached to the little one (who was about 18 months old) and I found that incredibly sweet. Gabe was so sweet with the child and she seemed to have latched on to him with both hands and heart. I really liked Gabe all the more because he ended up attached to her as well.
In the end I found the book to be a pleasant holiday romance.
Rating: 3 out of 5