This is my first 2015 TBR Challenge Review, this month's theme is "We Love Short Shorts! (Category romance, novellas, short stories)". I read a couple of novellas and category length books off of my non-review TBR pile but none that I really loved or had much to say about till I read this one. I meant to read this novella when it was released back in early December. But for a variety of reasons it slid back a few pages on my kindle and I might have forgotten about as we got further from the holidays. I am glad the challenge reminded me to read something outside my "review" books.
Andrew Blackshear is sneaking in one last errand before heading home for Christmas was his family. On a desolate road on the way to see an eccentric Baron about a Falcon he nearly runs over a young woman. The young woman coolly turns aside both his offer of aid and his chastisement at being out alone in the rain. He drives on flustered by both her appearance and manner as they pique his sense of propriety, and awaken desires he has previously easily ignored.
Lucy Sharp is the only daughter of the falcon-raising widowed Baron. Her childhood has been far from ordinary and while she can easily converse about philosophy and falconry, she has little practical experience with society and house parties. When the family coachman is injured, threatening her plans to join her aunt and uncle for her first ever Christmas House Party, she doesn’t let a little thing like Mr. Blackshear refusal on the grounds that it would be highly improper for them to travel together without chaperone, stop her from successfully manipulating him into, into committing to deliver her to her aunt’s care for the long-awaited Christmas House Party.
Their slight deviation from propriety might have gone unnoticed if not for their near-fatal accident, which strands them in a remote community, having to pose as husband and wife, while they await the return of a wheel-wright.
I really enjoyed reading about these two. Andrew is so out of his element, dealing with Lucy. He might be fussy and uptight, but his love for his family, the earnestness of his desire to behave like a proper gentleman, does him credit. While he starts out scandalized and frustrated by Lucy, he very quickly recognizes her genuine and caring heart. He listens to her, and values her intelligence. I loved that Lucy values and appreciates him, recognizes that his precocupation with propiety does not have legalism at its heart but instead is out of a desire to not cause harm.
Both Andrew and Lucy’s lives have been shaped by the way their father’s have responded to grief. At heart they are not opposites, but instead two very well intentioned people, and out of that love and hope for a feature can be born, instead of resentment and frustration.
The book is comedic, tender and sweet, while providing great back-story for anyone who has read or might be interested in reading about the rest of the Blackshear family, whose roads to love are bit more tortured than Andrew and Lucy’s romance.