Sabrina Jeffries is a master when connecting stories through characters and she has done it again in ‘Twas the Night After Christmas. This story is part of the Hellions of Halstead Hall series but it can be read as a standalone.
Hero: Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont is a man that is not connect to his immediate family. With no siblings he never speaks of or to his mother and his father has passed away. He spends a time with his cousins, the Waverly’s. Pierce is a known rake and does as he pleases when he pleases, with a wicked sense of humor. He doesn’t have many personal relationships and he is content with this kind of solitary life.
Heroine: Mrs. Camilla Stuart is a widow with a young son, Jasper. She is a ladies companion to the Dowager Countess of Devonmont. Camilla is a strong spirited young lady. She was raised an orphanage and has a strong sense of what makes a family whole. Her priority is her son and giving him the best life she can. Camilla is opinionated with a great sense of humor that wants to love and be loved.
Setup: Pierce receives an urgent message from his mother’s companion stating she is ill and needs to come to the estate as soon as possible. Pierce has been ignoring his mothers letters but since this has been sent by her companion he feels it is urgent enough that he rushes to the country to be her side. However, when he arrives he finds his mother in perfect health and no sense of urgency was needed. Pierce is not happy as he does not like being in the company of his mother but her companion, Mrs. Stuart (Camilla) strongly feels that mother and son need to be in the place especially at Christmas. Camilla knows there is a reason why Pierce and his mother are not talking and wants to help mend the bridge but sometimes secrets are meant to be left in the past. Pierce wants nothing to do with Camilla’s scheme but because he is a rake and she is a young beauty he strikes up a deal with widow that may be more than what he ever had bargained for.
Quote: “She’d never been kissed with such passion. How alarming to discover that she would very much like it to happen again. Like delicious desserts, kisses provoked cravings for more at odd hours. And she’d never been good at resisting dessert…”
My Thoughts: The banter between Pierce and Camilla is great. At first you would think Pierce is cold but when he is with Camilla their chemistry is fun and electric. Camilla has no problem giving the sarcastic comments right back to Pierce. It’s great to see a strong heroine hold her own and not back down from a man, especially her employer. There are secrets unfolding for all parties involved in this story. Pierce and his mother aren’t the only with secrets, Camilla has a few of her own that really made me just like her so much more. The secrets plaguing all parties are sad but uncovering them is part of the charm of this story. I enjoyed the twist and turns this story has. Bonus we meet a character that is in Ms. Jeffries’ new series (The Duke’s Men). Again, she is a master at connecting stories through characters.
-Romance Reader Girl