With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.
Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.
Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever--on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can't let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.
Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.
When Merry’s friend, Charlotte, gives birth she asks Merry to find the father for her right before she dies. Charlotte had eloped but then her fiancé left her at her parents’ house and never returned. The father is the cousin of Viscount Wrotham. Merry had been engaged to Viscount Wrotham five years ago but had ended the engagement despite her love for him. She still loved him and it certainly made her anxious to have to go to his house to find baby Lottie’s father.
Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, never stopped loving Merry Parks. The note she’d left him ending their engagement was so vague he never truly figured out why she ended it. He’s been in Paris but now that he’s back in London he’s determined to find Merry and see if he can win her back. He certainly doesn’t think she’ll knock on his door with a newborn asking for his cousin! Alex is relieved when he finds out that the baby isn’t Merry’s, that’s for sure. They determine that the cousin, Will, is at the family estate as it’s right before Christmas and Merry and Alex end up traveling together to deliver the baby. Merry gets snowed in at Alex’s estate and can’t make it home for Christmas. Alex is thrilled as this just means he gets to spend more time with Merry and he takes his chances with winning her back.
With This Christmas Ring turned out to be a lovely little Christmas surprise for me. It was a sweet story that didn’t throw a lot drama into the story just for drama’s sake (although there was once part…). I enjoyed Merry and her character as well as Alex’s. The pair truly never stopped loving each other so it wasn’t all that difficult to get back together. Family interference had sent Merry away once and it looked for a bit like it would happen again but it all turned out well in the end.
The story of Charlotte and Alex’ cousin, Will, was quite sad and made my heart break a little. The situation was a tad distressing but had Charlotte not died then we wouldn’t have had a story so I had to keep reminding myself of that – despite the tragedy of it all.
In the end the story was a sweet, fast read and one I definitely enjoyed
Rating: 3.75 out of 5