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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2012
I loved this book, but it was over in a flash, or so it seemed. That would probably be my only complaint, that there could have been a little more of the 'will they or won't they?'

The Duke of Penrose 'inherits' his best friend's two daughters and their brash,young, American governess, Miss Merry Chambers, who he thinks is incapable of raising his two young wards into proper English women when his friend and his wife are killed in an accident. So he decides to hire a more proper governess.

Years ago, his friend and the duke had both wooed the same woman,but Elinor chose his friend and the duke swore never to marry.

When Miss Merry enters his life, all he can see is a woman who will not accept orders from anyone, including a duke. What his mother,the Dowager Duchess of Penrose sees is a woman who brings out another side to her son, a side she feared was long gone, a more playful less stodgy side.

Her son is determined to hire a new governess to raise his young wards though and Miss Merry's days in the duke's residence seem numbered, so his mother decides to hire her as her companion.

Soon the duke realizes that perhaps his decision to never wed may have been a bit too harsh.

Sparks fly from the start. Merry & David are charming, as is this Christmas tale.

Enjoy!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2013
This book has one very long, graphic sex scene (which I skipped over). I really don't like a lot of sex with a Regency Romance. Throbbing loins and melting insides just don't quite fit the genre started by Jane Austin and perfected by Georgette Heyer! But overall it was otherwise a sweet, feel-good Christmas story. The other quibble I had with the author was that the age of the children and their behavior did not quite jive. Eight and twelve year olds just don't hide in an adult's skirt, suck their thumbs or twirl their hair. Had they been four and six, it would have felt more realistic. No problems with the grammar, spelling or punctuation - which is a plus for an indie book. If you enjoy your romances with a lot of sex and aren't too fussy about a proper Regency feel, then you will probably enjoy the book. Otherwise do as I did and skip over the offending parts and enjoy a cute story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Take one arrogant, stiff-necked Duke with an inner, sensitive core, and pair him with a modern-thinking miss who speaks her mind and doesn't kow-tow easily, and you have the backbone of the romance in MISS MERRY'S CHRISTMAS. Once again, Callie Hutton has written a nicely-paced, romantic Regency read, with all the elements Regency fans like best. A prune-faced, cold-as-ice governess who has her eye on being the next Mrs. Duke of Penrose, :) and a Dowager Duchess who knows Merry Chambers would make her son a wonderful wife, are secondary characters who add to the general mix and mayhem of this lovely holiday story.

Bravo, Ms. Hutton!

Char Chaffin, Author of UNSAFE HAVEN
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
This stood out for me because you really got to know the characters and it wasn't your typical plot. A very sweet, independent but fun loving American governess delivers her two little charges to the very proper Duke who will now become their guardian since their parents, the Dukes best friend and ex love interest had been killed the month before. Of course, the Duke immediately decides this very improper American cannot possibly be a fitting governess to teach these two young minxes how to be proper English ladies and replaces her immediately with a proper English governess. Watching from the background, his mother likes his reaction to Merry and likes the possibilities she sees from the reactions of her sworn bachelor son around this lively young lady. She decides to hire her as her companion, sits back to watch the sparks fly and the love develop. It really is an excellent story. The only reason I gave it 3 stars instead of five was that for me, there was more about the sexual attractions, desires and fairly descriptive sexual consummation than I personally enjoy. I would have enjoyed much more of the romantic and fun interaction between the two in the storyline than the sexual content. Reading two or three books a week, it gets old to find so many authors giving their graphic description of the constant sexual thoughts, reactions and sometimes even crude graphics of how it should be done. This book could have been exceptional if we were just led to the joining of the two and allowed to use own imagination of the pleasures they enjoy. As a grown woman I prefer when the author leads us to a certain point and allows us to fill in those areas for ourselves That's the only thing I truly disliked about the book. With unnecessary things left out, this would have definitely gone in my favorites!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
At this time of year I love all the novellas with a Christmas theme, nothing is worst then getting involved in a good story and life interrupts. Ms. Hutton is not someone that I have read before but this plot captured me because as someone who reads a lot of regency period historicals and romances, I was intrigued with her heroine. Merry didn't disappoint, why haven't we seen more American heroines like this?

Basic Plot:
Ms. Hutton's heroine is an American governess, Merry, who has been charged with the duty of bringing her two delightful charges (young girls) to their new guardian, the Duke of Penrose. To make matters more compelling one of the girls is on the cusp of young womanhood. The Duke of Penrose is a rigidly uptight peer who was in love with the girls' mother and is charged with raising daughters who could have been his own. The Duke is appalled by the young girls' behavior blaming their governess who he deems lacking in the social graces needed for a proper English lady.

What makes this atypical for a regency, is our Ms. Merry is not meek miss, she gives as good as she gets and the sparks fly between her and the Duke, which created a very satisfying read. Furthermore she wasn't portrayed like many historical romance American misses are as a hoyden but had the interest of her charges at the forefront of her disputes with the Duke.

If I can say one thing that was a drawback, the story was too short. Yes, I know it was a novella but the characters were so well developed, the plot unique and Ms Hutton voice to create the potential for a full-length story. Though within the framework of a novella she didn't rush to the HEA and there was believable growth by the Duke something often lacking in novellas.

A four and half star read and one of this best this holiday season.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
When I pick up a novella this time of year, I expect a satisfying escape from all the holiday stress. Callie Hutton's novella, MISS MERRY'S CHRISTMAS, did not disappoint. A stuffy duke, an independent (and, Heaven forbid, American!) governess, a too-starched nanny, an alcoholic-poached younger brother, a wise dowager duchess, and two, delightful little girls populate this rich holiday story.

Ms. Hutton mentions that she thought of this story in her sleep and by morning, the story was ready to put on paper. Would that all Regency writers were this talented. Please treat yourself to a gift this season and pick up a copy of MISS MERRY'S CHRISTMAS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
What a sweet and fun twist to Jane Eyre! This time the heroine is American; Meredith Chambers, Merry. She is full of compassion for the two girls she's been caring for, as well as Merry is not the kind of women who could be steamrolled over by the Duke of Penrose, who is quite used to being obeyed--so similar to Mr. Edward Rochester! Like the great classic characters, Penrose is won over by Merry's integrity, grit, and spirit, and don't worry. Penrose isn't all pompous arrogance dressed sharply by aristocracy. Underneath his title is a very sweet, considerate, and romantic man, who has delicious dreams of true love.

This lovely book, all wrapped in sparkling Christmas paper, makes it a perfect quick read for the Holidays!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
Take a pompous, much too serious, duke and pair him with a perky, precocious American governess and you have the makings for a delightful Regency read. Add a sour-faced condescending governess, a mischievous, a meddling dowager mother and things get very interesting, very fast.

From the moment they set eyes on one another, sparks fly between Penrose and Miss Merry. Mutual disapproval and censure slips into mutual attraction.

A fun, fast holiday read that had me grinning throughout.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
Are you pending a Calgon moment? Looking for something short and sweet to read while you relax? Look no further. This is an absolutely delightful story about a handsome pokered up duke who meets a mouthy American governess and man-oh-man is he a goner. Throw in his mother, the dowager duchess and his brother, the heir apparent as co-conspirators, and her starchy governess replacement (shh!) and you will love it. I won't give any of it away, but *Spoiler Alert* the guy gets his girl in the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
Callie Hutton presents a lovely story of instant attraction in Miss Merry's Christmas, with all the belly-flutters and characters fighting the attraction that go into such a story of growth and love. In a time when it was wrong to show those emotions to one another, and therefore to readers, showing their growth through thought and action, as well as dialogue between others, was done wonderfully well, in my opinion, to give me a full experienced read.
The single, tasteful--as is Ms. Hutton's creative style-- love scene is so well written I smiled all the way through. I felt this couple's love even before either of them were ready to acknowledge it themselves, yet there was still a sense of 'will they make it?' to keep me turning the pages. That is a rare talent to find and done so well in a novella that reveals the main characters thoroughly. It had a hint of the old sense that historicals had long ago that I used to read and brought back fond memories for me.

I loved the children, Miss Charlotte and Miss Clare were a delightful addition to the story. Because I'm not a regular reader of Regency these days this may be wrong on my part, and it may have been the way in those times, I felt the girls were portrayed as much younger than they are written, but that didn't stop me from enjoying them. I didn't like Miss Jennings (as I suspect was the author's intent with the uppity stuffed-chemised woman) and kept rooting for Miss Merry to 'box her ears.' Yes, even I know that would be unacceptable behavior, but as a country girl from Oklahoma... :) I admired Miss Merry's restraint.

His Grace, Duke of Penrose was a mess from the moment he faced off with the governess and I was completely entertained by his downfall into love. He is a hero to fall in love with, while his mother the Dowager was a simply insightful and wise woman from the get-go whom I adored.

Lord Brandon...just needs to grow up. Maybe next Christmas he'll get his own story? LOL

Thank you for a wonderful respite, Ms. Hutton.
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