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What Happens At Christmas Hardcover – October 16, 2012

552 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Millworth Manor Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lady Camille Lydingham loves her family, but they are totally wrong for the part. The one thing Prince Nikolai of Greater Avalonia wishes above all else is to spend Christmas with a proper English family, and Camille’s relatives are anything but proper. So, to fulfill the prince’s holiday wish (and perhaps ensure her place as the next Princess of Greater Avalonia), Camille hires a troupe of actors to impersonate members of her immediate family and act as servants at Millworth Manor. Camille is all set to raise the curtains on her production of a good, old-fashioned English Christmas when a player not in the original script suddenly walks onstage. Eleven years earlier, Grayson Elliott and Camille were set to marry until she threw him over for another man. Now Gray returns to write a new part for himself in Camille’s life. With an extraordinary flair for creating delightfully entertaining characters and an impeccable sense of comic timing worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan, Alexander presents readers with a splendidly sexy holiday gift. --John Charles

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and has never looked back. Victoria grew up traveling the country as an Air Force brat and is now settled in a very old house in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two allegedly grown children and two bearded collies. She firmly believes housework is a four-letter word, there are no calories in anything eaten standing up, procrastination is an art form, and it’s never too soon to panic. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758255683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758255686
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (552 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.

Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written thirty-one full length novels and six novellas. Find a complete list on her website and chat with her on facebook

The Perfect Wife--originally published in 1996 and reissued in March 2008--hit #1 on the New York Times list. Sixteen of her books are bestsellers hitting the New York Times, USA Today and/or Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With books translated into more than a dozen different languages she has readers around the world and has twice been nominated for Romance's Writers of America prestigious RITA award. In 2009 she was given a Career Achievement Award from RT Bookclub and was named Historical Storyteller of the year in 2003. In 2008 she was the keynote speaker for the Romance Writers of American annual conference in San Francisco. Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a reporter.

Her years as a broadcast journalist were spent in two radically different areas of the country: Nebraska and West Virginia. In West Virginia, she covered both natural and manmade disasters. She was on the scene when a power plant construction accident in a small town left 52 men dead. She once spent the night on a mountain waiting to learn of the fate of coal miners trapped in a mine collapse. Victoria was producing a newscast when her husband (who worked at the same television station) and several other journalists were held hostage by a disturbed Vietnam veteran. In Nebraska, she reported on the farm crisis and watched people lose land that had been in their families for generations. She covered the story that was the basis of the movie BOYS DON'T CRY and once acted as the link between police and a gunman who had barricaded himself in his home. Her investigative work exposed the trucking of New York City garbage to a small town dump in rural Nebraska.

During her journalism career, Victoria covered every president from Ford to Clinton. She knows firsthand what it feels like to be surrounded by rising floodwaters and inside a burning building. She's interviewed movie stars including Kevin Costner, ridden an elephant and flown in a governor's helicopter. She's covered a national political convention and Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Denver as well as small town festivals celebrating everything from walnuts to Glen Miller. Her work was honored by numerous organizations including the Associated Press who called a feature about a firefighter's school "story telling genius". It was the encouragement she needed to turn from news to fiction. She's never looked back.

Victoria is a former president of the Omaha Press Club and in 2009 was named an OPC Face on the Barroom Floor. A caricature portrait of her joined previous faces including presidents, sports figures and politicians in a tradition that began in 1971.

Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character: Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination. And why not? He was extremely well drawn.

Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat. Today, she lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and her dogs. Victoria had two bearded collies, Sam and Louie (named from characters in one of her books). Sam (on the left), the best dog in the world for 13 ½ years, passed away in September 2010. Louie took on the position of loyal companion and did a fine job even though he doesn't understand that kitchen counter surfing is not allowed! Now he's been joined by Reggie, king of the lilacs.

They all live happily ever after in a house under constant renovation and the accompanying parade of men in tool belts. And never ending chaos. Victoria laughs a great deal--she has to.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Catalano, C on November 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
What a wonderful read!
Not normally a fan of Christmas stories, however this book will have to go on my list of all-time favorites. From the first page until the very end I was pulled into the setting, the lives of the characters and the events as they were unfolding.
The story centers around Camille who decides to hire actors to play the role of her family in order to impress a foreign prince who wants to experience an English Christmas. When a man from Camille's past knocks on her door her plans are thrown into utter chaos and that is only the beginning.
The characters were wonderfully developed and I can't remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a book.
Fun and lighthearted this book is a must read!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By C. Gruver on October 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Once again, the two sisters are meeting in the Ladies Tearoom at Fenwick and Sons, Booksellers. This would be Camille, Lady Lydingham and Beryl, Lady Dunwell--from My Wicked Little Lies--identical twins. Turns out Camille has met a prince and has decided that he will propose to her over Christmas. In order to bring this about, Camille has decided to have Christmas at Milton Manor. Since the prince really wants to experience an old-fashioned Dickens-like Christmas, Camille knows her family will never do since they are anything but proper--well except for her younger sister Delilah anyway. Once again, Camille leaps before thinking and has decided to hire a troupe of actors to play the parts of her family and the servants for the holidays and wants Beryl and her husband to join her at Milton Manor. After all, their uncle and mother and sister are planning on being out of town over the holidays so what could possibly go wrong? Reluctantly, Beryl agrees, but her husband won't join them until Christmas day.

Grayson Elliott left England the day after he told Camille how he felt about her. Even though Gray knew Camille didn't mean what she said, at that time, it hurt. So he left England to make his fortune. So now, eleven years later, he's back home. Of course, now he's obscenely rich, even if he doesn't have a title. In order to prove to his cousin that he no longer has any feelings for Camille, Grayson agrees to take a basket of baked goods to their neighbors at Milton Manor. Not surprisingly, when Grayson sees Camille, he realizes he still loves her and when finds out about her little Christmas charade, he inserts himself into the production as her cousin. This time, Grayson will not let Camille marry another man.

Will Camille's little Christmas production be a success?
Read more ›
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62 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Chyrl Kelley on November 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great, fun story. I would have given it five stars but then I read chapter 21 with the descriptive sex scene. A good author would have carried the plot out without having to resort to such crude tactics. It's a shame to ruin such a story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chelsey Lynn on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
How I laughed out loud with this book! I honestly do not think I have laughed so hard while reading a book in such a long time. I was so invested in this entire setting, as well as the lives of the characters, that I could not stop reading until I had finished. At first I got such a cozy feel right off the first page and then I started to realize the wit and spark that all of Victoria Alexander's characters carried; I was blown away with my first time reading this author, and it will most certainly not be the last.

Camille, Lady Lydingham, is recently widowed and has her sights set on a new man, a prince to beat all! At the start of Camille's story we are placed right in the middle of a scheme that she has devised in order to have Prince Nikolai fall right into her arms. Are you ready for her scheme? This is the best part. Lady Lydingham has hired a stage of actors to fill in for her family this holiday season. Yes, you heard right. The entire Christmas season will be carried out with people who are not her real family. Except for her twin sister, Beryl, who claims that she would not miss this event for anything in the world. So this is where our fun begins. Prince Nikolai is very fond of Charles Dickens and has requested a Christmas that rivals the ones in Dickens' beloved novels. And this, my lovely readers, is exactly what Camille seeks to give him.

What Camille doesn't expect is a visit from someone from her past. Enter Grayson Elliot. Oh, the romance and tension that was filling the air when these two shared any room or conversation. I loved Alexander's writing when it came to romance, what passion and intrigue! I fell in love with their back story and each of them.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Miranda Owen on October 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Camille, Lady Lydingham is a wealthy widow looking to marry again. She doesn't need to marry for money but is looking for romance. Her first husband, while a good man was older and she feels like she kind of missed the boat when it came to romantic love. She meets a Prince who is trying to sweep her off her feet. She decides to let him. She wants to charm him with a traditional English family Christmas. There is just one problem for Camille - her family is rather eccentric by the standards of the day. Luckily for her, they happen to be out of the country conveniently leaving her mother's ancestral home empty. She hatches a very ambitious and somewhat crazy plan. She gives all the servants, except for the trusted butler, paid vacations and hires a troupe of actors to fill in for servants as well as her family. If she can't naturally have the kind of family that would make for a traditional, picture perfect Christmas, then she'll pay for one. The only one she confides in is her married twin sister, Beryl. Her plan runs into the first snag when she runs into Grayson Elliott. She and Grayson have a tangled history. They grew up together and became good friends. She developed romantic feelings at some point but she felt that he only thought of her as a friend or a sister. It is not until the day of her wedding that he comes to her declaring that he loves her and asks her not to go through with it. She is dumbfounded. He had never given her any indication that he was interested in her that way. She is shocked and a little angry that he waited until that moment to tell her his feelings. From his point of view, he never realized how strong his feelings were until she was going to be married. When she reacts badly, he leaves her and goes abroad for several years earning his fortune.Read more ›
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