Estara's Reviews > Marian's Christmas Wish

Marian's Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly
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's review
Dec 02, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ebook, read-in-2011
Recommended for: fans of the author and regency Christmas tales
Read from November 30 to December 01, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** This book was released in 89 and I can see some homage à Heyer very early in the story, but the interesting characters are very much a Kelly feature and they only get stronger as this category romance length went on.

We have an unconventional young girl, not 17 yet, who has been for a year the heart and soul of her family, ever since the somewhat irresponsible, but very beloved and loving father died. Her brother is in the diplomatic service and only is returning now for Christmas, with the father's irresponsible ways having driven the family to finally run out of credit and having to face selling their house or marrying off the older sister of the heroine in a way that will be beneficial to finances.

So we have the situation of the rest of the family at home (the younger scamp of a brother having been expelled from Eton) and a prospective bridegroom having been scouted by the diplomat brother. Unfortunately Adrienne, the family beauty, is in love with the vicar - a kind, but only well-off and fairly wishy-washy guy.

Marian, called Mare, is using her brains not only to deal with running the family, because her mother has fallen back on moaning and weeping since their father died, but would also prefer that her sister chose love and not duty, even if they lose the house.

A house party over Christmas is supposed to lead to a betrothal - but the prospective suitor may be rich but also encroaching and for some reason brother Percy has brought another friend from the diplomatic service along, heavily scarred Lord Ingharad (28) doesn't want his family to see him until his burn scars have somewhat faded.

The pleasure is seeing Marian and Gil fall in love, via all the machinations she tries to save her sister with - but what makes the story truly shine is the dramatic turn at the end (view spoiler)

The book is 200 pages on my reader, and if tautened could have worked at the category length of 150 pages even better, but then it's a pretty early work by the author and the characterisation is already much better than a lot of other category regencies I have read.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Sho (new)

Sho I have never read her books. They sound like fun and just my cup of tea!

message 2: by Estara (last edited Dec 03, 2011 07:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Estara She's very much her own voice. Just like you would always recognise a Mary Balogh or Edith Layton regency romance, you'd always recognise a Carla Kelly. I started with Beau Crusoe (having heard great things about her on which has a good example of ptsd after a real long-time ship wreck.

There's always some humor but times can get really grim - like that short novellette in the Christmas anthology I reviewed that plays behind French lines in Portugal as an escape toward friendly territory.

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