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Marian's Christmas Wish Kindle Edition

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1599559536
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (September 1, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,138 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Stickley on October 2, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This would be their last Christmas in their ancestral home, and Marian Wynswich is determined that it will be a happy one despite the death of her father the previous Christmas Eve and the pressure her elder sister, Ariadne, is undergoing to marry for money to save the family home. Shortly before Christmas her diplomat brother, Percy, comes home with two men: a highly objectionable marital candidate for Ariadne (who is deeply in love with their vicar), and a friend in the diplomatic corps whom he has invited on the spur of the moment. On the same day, Marian's younger brother sneaks home to her having been kicked out of Eton. The prospects for a joyous Christmas are not promising.

Carla Kelly is currently my favorite novelist. Having read her recent stories, I have been tracking down her out-of-print books, like Marian's Christmas Wish. This story contains the qualities I like best about Kelly's work. Her protagonists have physical attraction; but they also have qualities that will wear well over the years: they have a shared integrity, are compassionate, responsible, and have shared interests as well as a genuine concern for one another's welfare. The problem that has to be overcome in her stories often revolves around a difference in age, class, or situation with a dash of past trauma. Her characters are rich and well-drawn, and she always manages to maintain the dramatic tension to the very last. Marian's Christmas Wish is no exception. At the same time, the male protagonist does some things near the end of the story which are nearly unforgivable and which caused this not to be a favorite Carla Kelly work, though it is a very fine story.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Christopher on July 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This review was originally posted on "The Historical Romance Critic" []

*Spoiler Alert* This review includes spoilers necessary for the explanation.

Let me start by stating that Carla Kelly is one of my favorite writers of historical romance. I'm not sure I've come across any other writer with quite the same talent of making the romance seem so wholehearted and realistic. If you haven't read her novel The Wedding Journey, I suggest you do so immediately.

That being said, Marian's Christmas Wish was a crushing disappointment for me. It was made worse by the fact that for about the first 60% of the book, I was more than ready to give it 5 stars. True to her reputation, Kelly initially weaves a deep friendship between the hero and heroine with just a hint of something more. The heroine is only 16, which fits her personality well. She is not above being outspoken or engaging in some well-meant mischief, but at the same time is shown to have a mature attitude of kindness and of trying to take care of her family. This kindness, coupled with a type of vibrancy, charms the 28-year old hero. The hero seems like a good guy, with both a charming personality and a desire to help the heroine's "christmas wishes" come true. By about the 60% mark he has kissed the heroine passionately and seems about ready to propose. Then, everything goes to the gutter with his trip to London. The hero could have saved the heroine a tremendous amount of anguish by simply being a little less mysterious about the trip, even if he couldn't have told her all the details of the mission. But no, all he offers are vague reassurances. Worse is the fact that we learn the hero not only courted the spy but but bedded her as well.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on December 8, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm conflicted about this book, because while I found it silly and even irritating at times, I stayed up way past bedtime to read it. That has to count for something.

My main issue with the book was 16-year-old Marian's age and immaturity. (And yes, she was immature, even for a 16-year-old.) Marian manages to engineer the most bizarre situations that no thinking person would ever take part in - like drugging the hero and putting him on his merry, sloppy way to Bath. I think her actions were supposed to make her cute, but I found her completely asinine. And about her age - I know it's historically accurate for a 16-year-old girl of that era to be contemplating marriage, but I'm not comfortable with that, especially when the hero is so much older.

On the other hand, I adored the hero - Gilbert Collinwood, Lord Ingraham. He's intelligent, funny, thoughtful, and wise, and he finds everything about Marian adorable. The main reason I stuck with the book until the end was because of Ingraham. I wanted him to have his own HEA (happily ever after) even if I don't think Marian was quite ready for her own. I was a bit peeved that he frequently called Marian "brat," but he meant it endearingly and well, she was a brat.

There was a subplot involving espionage, and some drama over the Wynswichs' future, but it didn't keep me interested. Marian's family was supposed to be charming and quirky, but they were really rather annoying - apparently it's a family trait.

I can't give this book a full thumbs down, though, because Lord Ingraham really is quite a marvelous hero. Kelly could have improved the book by giving us his perspective and sparing us from Marian's inanities. Glancing over Kelly's published works, I think this book is typical of her style, so Kelly fans may love this book. As for myself, though, without more Ingraham I'd be hesitant to read more.
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