Title: An Affair Before Christmas
Author: Eloisa James
Ideal Age Range: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 386 Pages
Copyright Date: 2007
Blurb: Magic under the mistletoe...
One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the ton... but behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.
Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride's delectable affections... and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.
My Rating: (★★★)
I was almost pulled away from An Affair Before Christmas because of The Hunger Games trailer that came out this past week made me want to re-read the books but I refused to let myself leave An Affair Before Christmas languish on my nightstand for a book I have already read. (However, now that I am finished I am now free to re-read! Yay!)
An Affair Before Christmas is the second book in Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses series of books, the first in the series is of the same name, Desperate Duchesses, which I reviewed earlier this year. Luckily I found An Affair Before Christmas at the newly opened Goodwill Thrift Store for only a few bucks, usually I would raid my mother's library shelves for the books since she collects romance novels.
In the first book there were two main story arcs, that of the Duchess Jemma and her husband, the Duke of Beaumont (and Villiers) and then the main characters, Reeve and Roberta. In the second book the story arc of Jemma and Beaumont (and Villiers) continues and there is a new couple, Perdita (Poppy) and Fletch who start the story completely in love and over the first four years of their marriage Poppy's mother's influence ruins any chance of sexual happiness the couple could have, but Fletch is not ready to give up which is refreshing when compared with "real life" where the divorce rate is so high.
We are also given more of an intricate introduction to Miss Charlotte Tatlock who embarks on a sort of relationship with the sickened Villiers, which I found intriguing and hope that one of the next books centers on those characters (I haven't checked yet though). I found Poppy's mother to be one of the easily hatable characters that I have ever read, and I found myself liking both the main characters, plus the continuation of the Jemma/Beaumont/Villiers story was great.
One of the things I wasn't as happy with was the missing tension between the main characters for most of the book. Then BAM! right near the end there was tons, and then the other thing was I expecting a bit more "Christmas" in the story, even though there was quite a bit of it near the end, I still wanted more. Oh! and one other thing, the guy on the cover? Not the description fitting with what Fletcher is supposed to look like, and that kind of bugs me.
Still, I liked it, and will be on the lookout to find the other books in the series, or I will borrow them from my mother.