Review: ‘Twas the Night After Christmas (Hellions of Halstead Hall #6) by Sabrina Jeffries

13547392Sabrina 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.

You can purchase ‘Twas the Night After Christmas on Amazon, B&N and Walmart.

-Romance Reader Girl

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Pre-Release Review: Beckman (Lonely Lords #4) by Grace Burrowes

Secrets, secrets, secrets is what Beckman by Grace Burrowes is about. Everyone has a secret to keep not just their secret but others as well.

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Sara Hunt is a master of secrets. She has had her fair share, but as long as she is a housekeeper of a run down estate no one will know her secrets. Sara is a strong independent woman who has to take control of ugly situations trying to make the best life for herself, daughter Allie and sister Polly. However, having these secrets weighs her down with guilt she wears daily.

Beckman Haddonfield is a troubled second son of an Earl. He spent his early twenties self-indulging after his young wife and child dies. He nearly kills himself as he feels he isn’t worth anything and no one cares about him. He finds his way back to the living (after big brother Nicholas rescues him) and will embrace the journey of doing what’s right. Luckily for him his step-grandmother has an estate that needs to be looked after, so to the country he goes to make things right.

When Beckman meets Sara he is intrigued by her resistance to say things, but see she wants to say them. He notices that there is a lot that isn’t being said around the house and it isn’t just Sara that is keeping her lips sealed. When he finds the bright light of Allie painting she tells Beckman she isn’t supposed to be paining and it’s a secret.  Secrets is the name of the game and they aren’t the only ones hiding secrets. Beckman  has his fair share, but a house of secrets is a lot like a house of cards… It only takes one secret to be reveled before they all tumble out…

I found this love story to be very romantic and sweet among all the secrets. The secrets that everyone are keeping are to help protect one another. It’s a circle of secrets to keep their love ones protected and happy. Beckman is a true Haddonfield (if you have followed this series Ethan and Nicholas are his brothers), romantic and truly loves to help and protect woman of all ages. He is a sweetheart with Sara encouraging her to trust him and believe in him. Also, Beckman is a good friend to Gabriel, who has his own sets of secrets. The secondary characters in this story I believe steal the show. They are fun and a great addition to the story. Waiting for the all the secretes to be revealed is fun and will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is a great story about trusting in people you care about to trust in yourself.

Beckman will be available on July 2, 2013, but you can pre-order now on Amazon.

You can read more books by Grace Burrowes by visiting Amazon or Barnes Noble.

Reach out to Grace via her website or Facebook.

Thanks to Netgalley for letting me read this book pre-release.

-Romance Reader Girl