Grace Burrowes creates each book with interesting believable characters true to the Regency period. She leaves you longing for more about each person that figures in her books and also more on the ones only mentioned.
Sophie, the heroine, has a kind heart and wishes to meet a man who has character and is not shallow. Wim's,the hero, youthful disappointments and scandal make him distrustful of women and people in general. Both heroine and hero have had sorrow during Christmas Seasons past so would prefer to avoid this time of year.
A crying baby brings them together. The relationship develops between Sophie, and Vim, as they begin to see the virtues of each other. As the story proceeds the secrets of the past are discovered and bring a very satisfactory present and future. The book's ending personifies the meaning of Christmas.
Minor characters in Grace's books leave the reader with a desire for more about them. When I finish one of her books I find myself longing for the next.
My criteria for an outstanding books is when the character become alive, in my mind, and I cannot stop thinking of their story and their future lives, I have to remind myself they are part of the author's imagination Not people I can read about in the Britannica and discover their future.