Meagan Myhren-bennett's Reviews > Marian's Christmas Wish

Marian's Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly
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Nov 17, 11

bookshelves: christmas, family, friendship, mother-daughter-relationship, mystery, romance, secret-service
Recommended for: Young Adults, Romance Fans, Christmas story fans, adults
Read on November 01, 2011, read count: 1.5

MARIAN’S CHRISTMAS WISH

By Carla Kelly


Sixteen year old Marian Wynswich means to enjoy this Christmas as last year's had been one of mourning her father’s death. But her plans are soon undone when her mother, Lady Wynswich determines that Ariadne should marry soon and well to save the family from financial ruin! But Ariadne is in love with the local vicar Sam Beddoe who is poor. Marian is determined to save her sister from the fate of a love-less marriage!

When her brother Alastair is sent home from Eton in disgrace, Marian is determined to smooth the way for him. Marian hides Alastair in the second best guest room with a pregnant cat until she can explain Alastair’s situation to her oldest brother Percy. But Percy doesn’t arrive home until well after midnight and brings two guests instead of one! Marian’s secret is quickly discovered when Sir William (who is Ariadne's suitor) runs shrieking from the guest room and faints! Lord Ingraham finds the entire situation amusing and helps Marian remove the mother cat and kittens from the guest room.

When the time comes to make the traditional wish upon the Christmas pudding, Marian’s wish is for Lord Ingraham to have the best Christmas ever! What ensues is one hair-brained scheme after another.

Mariam is continually annoying Sir William with her comments and her appetite. It is only through Lord Ingraham’s assistance that she doesn’t find herself in trouble with Percy. Then Gilbert (Lord Ingraham) determines to grant Marian’s wish to save Ariadne from marriage to Sir William. Gilbert has Percy, Ariadne, Lady Wynswich summoned by the family’s solicitor and with Alastair’s help scares Sir William. The pair manages to convince Sir William that madness runs in the family so he promptly leaves the house! But as Sir William leaves he passes Percy and mentions something about the family’s “mad uncle”

Percy is beside himself, as is Lady Wynswich, when Sam Beddoe bursts into the room declaring his love for Ariadne. That night as the family celebrates the engagement of Ariadne and Sam, Marian tells Alastair that she wishes Gilbert would go home for Christmas. Alastair is determined to fulfill Marian’s wish so he drugs Gilbert!

The next morning with the family again visiting their solicitor, Alastair awakens Marian telling her what he has done. The two rush into Lord Ingraham's room where he is still alive but unconscious of his surroundings. So Marian and Alastair borrow money and load Sir Ingraham into the Mail Coach to Bath. But a snow storm waylays them so that they must spend the night beneath the stairs of an inn.

On the morning of Christmas Eve, Lord Ingraham is recovered and determines that the three of them can walk the 10 miles to Bath. The three-some arrive in Bath in time to go to the Christmas Eve service, which Lord Ingraham insists they all do.

Alastair and Marian spend Christmas with Lord Ingraham and his family. Gilbert’s sister and brother-in-law manage to make Marian feel like she and her brother are nothing and have no accomplishments to speak of. That night Gilbert challenges Marian to a chess match, which Marian vows to win. To the horror of his family they make a wager on it. If Marian wins she will get a rare book; if it is Gilbert he will get a kiss under the mistletoe! The match goes on for so long, everyone goes to bed before Marian wins. Gilbert asks for a consolation kiss and Marian agrees.

Gilbert then has to go to London and during his Marian realizes that she has fallen in love. But before she can act on her feelings Lady Ingraham tells her that Gilbert is engaged to Lady Amanda Calne! The engagement is expected to be announced at the New Year's Party Marian is helping Gilbert's mother arrange.

But all is not as it appears. Somehow Marian and Alastair have become entangled with spies and their very lives are endangered.

When Lord Ingraham tells Marian what she was longing to hear, will she say yes or will she deny her heart to keep it safe?

But when word reaches Lord Ingraham that Marian and Alastair were attacked by French sympathizers, he rushes to their home. He is determined to marry Marian and to help secure her “yes” Marian’s family aids Gilbert in his quest.

Overall Marian’s Christmas Wish is a delightfully lighthearted story. If you combine Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett and Molly Gibson of Wives and Daughter with a quick wit and a pinch of mirth and mischief and you would end up Marian Wynswich – an endearing heroine. Find a quiet spot with a cup of tea and settle in for a good weekend read!
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