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Marian's Christmas Wish Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
*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.Read more ›
Marian is a bit too young (16) to fall in love with such an older man (he's 28), but she likes him a lot, tends his scars with ointment that she has made, and goes Christmas caroling with him. The family's financial concerns seem about to be resolved with the oldest daughter's impending proposal to a fat, old baronet, who only cares about material things, and looks down on the high-spirited Marian. The baronet's comeuppance is very funny and very thoroughly done.
Not so funny begins to happen shortly thereafter when Marian's younger brother decides to abduct Gil to take him to Bath to see his family for Christmas. He hasn't seen them in 2-3 years, and both the brother and Marian think he should visit them. Marian is aghast, however, to discover what her brother has done -- dosing him with laudanum so that he will be unconscious during his abduction. This abduction is not wholly unexpected because Gil and the younger brother had been instrumental in tricking the baronet. The high spirits gone bad theme continues after a bit when suddenly Gil has to leave his family and go to London on a mysterious mission. Marian and her brother have remained in Bath after delivering Gil to his family, who are very happy to see him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this story and have read it every Christmas since I bought the book long ago. I just bought the kindle version. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Sharon E. Oleskiewicz
Another gem from Carla Kelly. A wonderful read at Christmas time.Published 2 months ago by Elaine H.
Ms. Kelly has a way with words and a great sense for wonderful characters and Marian and her brother, Alistair are real "characters". Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jo Ellis
Carla Kelly's family Christmas entertainer is packed with interesting, amusing and intriguing characters. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Suchitra Raguraman
Years ago I read this in paperback, lost it but never forgot the hilarious story. It is my favorite regency ever! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Pamela
This lovely novel was a sleeper; looking at the covers, I didn't expect a Christmas story of such depth. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JJares
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it humorous and entertaining.
Carla Kelly is a favorite author and this read has become a new favorite.
I loved this book! It was heartwarming in all the right ways, a nice, sweet, clean Regency romance with storyline surprises that were unexpected. Well written!Published 16 months ago by tryintobealittlemoreecomama