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Marian's Christmas Wish by [Kelly, Carla ]
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Marian's Christmas Wish Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A well-known veteran of the romance writing field, Carla Kelly is the author of thirty-four novels and three non-fiction works, as well as numerous short stories and articles for various publications. She is the recipient of two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America for Best Regency of the Year; two Spur Awards from Western Writers of America; three Whitney Awards, 2011, 2012, and 2013; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times. Carla's interest in historical fiction is a byproduct of her lifelong study of history. She's held a variety of jobs, including public relations work for major hospitals and hospices, feature writer and columnist for a North Dakota daily newspaper, and ranger in the National Park Service (her favorite job) at Fort Laramie National Historic Site and Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. She has worked for the North Dakota Historical Society as a contract researcher. Interest in the Napoleonic Wars at sea led to a recent series of novels about the British Channel Fleet during that conflict. Of late, Carla has written two novels set in southeast Wyoming in 1910 that focus on her Mormon background and her interest in ranching. You can find Carla on the Web at: CarlaKellyAuthor.com.

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 LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UGSUCE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,981 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This review was originally posted on "The Historical Romance Critic" [thehrcritic.com]

*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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big Carla Kelly fan and have enjoyed all the locations and characters I've met in her books. Marian's Christmas Wish starts out as a rambunctious family Christmas story, tinged with sadness because it is the last Christmas the family can have at their home because they have fallen upon hard financial times. The oldest son comes back from the talks in Vienna in 1814 with an somewhat older diplomat, an Earl, who is completely unstuffy and falls in love not only with the second oldest daughter in the house, Marian, but with the entire family.

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.
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