Christmas Bliss by A.S. Fenichel-a 4/5 Star Review!

John is a very serious Earl of Compton, who tirelessly spends his days arguing in the House of Lords.   Women seem to only be after his status and fortune rather than his intelligence and determination.  Until he meets Emma.

Emma is on the run from her abusive uncle, Drake, who is hell-bent on taking away her much younger brother Oliver’s inheritance.  Protective of her young brother, she runs away with him while he is sleeping yet only makes it across the street to the Earl of Compton’s residence before she is struggling to carry her brother’s sleeping body.  That short distance is enough to change both of their entire lives.

Where I live, we have been fortunate to have a fairly warm winter.  Then we hit a cold snap around the same time that I had just finished Foolish Bride, also by A. S. Fenichel.  I loved Foolish Bride and was aching to read another one of A.S. Fenichel’s books.  It so happened that I came across Christmas Bliss and, despite it being mid-March, it was a fun book to curl up with on a cold night.  The holiday is only briefly mentioned a time or two and I found myself wishing there was more of the holiday spirit.

The story is brief in length yet deep in complexity.  Both John and Emma have spent their days fighting others.  John arguing in the House of Lords and Emma fighting her uncle to protect her brother.  Both John and Emma had missed out on seasons in the ton and even each other.  They were practically strangers to each other despite living across the street.

Very quickly, John and Emma are taken with one another yet hesitant to go all in.  John proposes a solution to Emma’s situation of protecting her brother and his inheritance from her greedy uncle: marriage.  What I enjoyed most was the focus on the trepidation before deciding to go forward with the engagement.  It helped the brief romance because both of their doubts were explained thoroughly.

Little Oliver was my favorite character.  He was enthusiastic, well-mannered, and optimistic for one who has endured so much in his youth.  I liked that the villain was very present rather than a concept that loomed around.  I also liked how selfless John became when it came to Emma and Oliver.

I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy romance and brief engagements.  However, I would not recommend this book for readers uncomfortable with graphic violence.  I do not recall reading any foul language.  The romantic interactions are not sexually explicit, in my opinion.

BONUS! A New York Christmas Story by Sarah Morgan-5/5 Star Review!

It might have been clear by now, given that the last few posts have been about it, but I have become a huge fan of Sarah Morgan!  As mentioned before, I received Midnight At Tiffany’s for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review a few months ago (Thanks NetGalley!).  After I finished reading  it, I discovered that it was actually the third book in the series From Manhattan With love.  To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement.  I found Sleepless in Manhattan (From Manhattan With Love #1 my review:Sleepless in Manhattan (From Manhattan With Love #1) by Sarah Morgan-5/5 Star Review! ) in paperback and bought it along with Sunset in Central Park (From Manhattan With Love #2  my review: Sunset In Central Park (From Manhattan With Love #2) by Sarah Morgan- A 5/5 Star Review!).

Sunset in Central Park focused on Matt and Frankie’s developing relationship, however, it also had another romantic storyline intertwined: James and Roxy’s.  A couple of scenes hinted at their crushes on one another and left me begging for more of their story.  So desperately that I tweeted author Sarah Morgan ( @SarahMorgan_ ) semi-politely requesting a book based on their romance.  She graciously tweeted me back and, after I recovered from the extreme excitement of the fact that she replied, gave me the link to the story, A New York Christmas Fairy Tale, on Harlequin’s website where it can be read for FREE.

Roxy is a single mom recovering from an abusive relationship trying to get her independence back.  She works as many hours as possible to give her daughter Mia the best life.  She takes on another part-time job so that Mia can get the dollhouse she wants and have the best “kissmass” of her little toddler life.  She does not like asking for help and refuses to be pitied.

James remembers the first day that Roxy started working with him very well and has not been able to get her out of his mind since.  He gave up his career as a lawyer and now works for Matt at his garden architecture business.  He loves pretending to be a pony and give little Mia pony rides but cannot pretend he does not have feelings for Roxy.  He just has to figure out the right way to tell her.

It exceeded my expectations just like the other three books did, despite its’ short length.  I read it in one sitting and basically fawned over it.  It is perfectly sweet and left me just short of giddy.  It can be read as a standalone but I enjoyed reading it after Sunset In Central Park because the other characters play into this storyline so well.

P.S. The website is here: A New York Christmas Fairy Tale