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The Secret Christmas Ciphers Paperback – May 22, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carolynn Carey is an award-winning author of both contemporary and historical romance novels. Her historical romances are set in the Regency period in England and include My Elusive Countess and Compromising Situations, winner of the National Readers' Choice Award in the Regency category. Carolynn was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee, and, not coincidentally, her contemporary romances are set in small towns, including the Barbourville series. Two of her contemporary romances--The Forgotten Christmas Tree and My Cupcake, My Love--won 2014 HOLT Medallions in their categories.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477498079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477498071
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,514,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Regency, Christmas, Romance. All great things, but I love this book for the rest of what it offers. A smart heroine, a childhood crush, an honorable man, a dash of intrigue, and a woman rewarded for doing what she knows she must. Ms. Carey's novels never disappoint, and The Secret Christmas Ciphers is no exception. I highly recommend The Secret Christmas Ciphers to all readers, even those who aren't normally inclined to read regency. This story moves fast, and the regency details add to the story but do not slow the pacing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Secret Christmas Ciphers is a Regency Christmas novella. It is a delightful and endearing tale of love lost and regained and is set in the fall of 1813. Ms. Carey can weave a wonderful story, with the right amount of description that draws the reader into the story. You are rooting for Abigail and Derek from the opening until the very end.

I enjoyed this one very much and I know you will too.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I did like the idea that they were both in love but his reasons for what he did was weak. ****SPOILER***** Offering marriage to another for a friend just b/c he was supposedly dead and the other girl was pregnant is no excuse to betray the woman you love...especially without ever offering an explanation other than to tell her she should have faith in him. He left her for years with a promise of marriage only to have to hear of him engaged to another. Did he care so little for her feelings and the fact that she would be without him her whole life and have a feeling of betrayal and loneliness all her years?? He met this friend in school and had known her and loved her longer but would have gave her up so that his friend's girl would not be ruined??? Top that off with the fact that she apologized for not having faith in him?? Urghhhhhh!!!! I am just annoyed that the heroine would have been made to suffer for others' actions and the hero was so willing to let her as long as he helped someone else out. If I was in love for that long with someone and had promised to wed them, I would not have gone to marry another just to allow her to save face. I would have helped her set up somewhere as a widow and pretended to be the friend of said husband to keep up pretenses but I would never allow the love of my life to be hurt and be without me forever.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this story. I wouldn't call it literary brilliance, but it's better than a lot of the romance novels and novellas that periodically appear for free on Amazon. The main characters behave in ways that make sense, given their characters and history, and at the end of the story I found that I liked them both - something that is not always the case!
I did think that the ending was a little odd... it just seemed extraneous, like the story would have been just as strong without it. Still, it was a good read and easily finished in an afternoon.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Regency romance novels, but this one left me feeling rather cold. Our heroine, Abigail, starts off angry at her new husband, and he with her. This didn't bother me. She had a reason to be angry with him, and I firmly understood that. He promised marriage to her and then turned around and proposed to another girl, nearly married other girl, and only came running back to Abigail when other girl died. She had every right to be angry. I was cheering for her in the first chapter. They marry, she keeps him at bay even though she's still in love with him, and that was all right. However, the next time they meet up at a party, she's forgiven him and decides they should now consumate their marriage. That took me by surprise. I actually had to flip back a few pages to make sure I hadn't missed something. Nope. They marry, part ways, she avoids him for a bit and then suddenly becomes the loving and adoring wife. And he continues with his secrets. He refuses to tell her the reason why he had to marry the other girl (he says it was for honor, and we all know what that is code for). However, when she discovers the ciphers he's working on, he blabs about his uber secret missions to her and lets her help. And, like that, they're in love and confess everything (except for his dark secret about why he needed to marry other girl) and all's happy. He even gets visited by his once-thought-dead friend who clears the air and they all live happily ever after. There's an epilogue in the future that didn't fit in at all.

The book is very short. It's only six chapters long. I've read Harliquen books that were longer. I felt it was very rushed and put together. The only plot was the relationship between the main characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Abigail had fallen in love with Derek, her friend's brother, and he seemed to feel the same about her. He left promising he would ask her father for her hand when he came home for Christmas. He didn't come home, and she was broken-hearted to learn he'd become engaged to another. That lady died right before the wedding, but Abigail still felt rejected and betrayed. When their two fathers plotted to have Abigail marry Derek, she wasn't sure why she didn't refuse. She told herself it was to make him pay for breaking his promise and her heart. The fact that he refused to tell her what had happened didn't help her feelings one bit. Like another reviewer, I couldn't understand why Derek kept his secret as long as he did. You'd think he'd tell the wife he trusted, but this didn't spoil the story for me.

I found this novella to be surprisingly good. It is an easy, quick, relaxing read that's light and entertaining. I could see it as a movie, especially with the epilogue. For a mainstream romance, it turned out to be cleaner than I expected, too.
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