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121 pages, ebook
First published December 16, 2012
A Kiss for Midwinter is Miss Lydia Charingford's story, a sometimes sweet, sometimes heartbreaking novella from the Brothers Sinister series.Dr. Jonas Grantham
Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can't forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him...or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.Well, I guess honesty is the best policy, right? Then I have to admit that I wasn't a fan of Lydia's when we met her in The Duchess War, but I also have to admit that she won me over, totally, in this story. Her heartbreaking tale is... well... heartbreaking, and so her treatment of Minnie in The Duchess War was, in my opinion, forgivable. Part of her problem is that she's a woman who believes she has no chance for a happy life - especially when Jonas Grantham, the most annoying man she's ever met, decides that it's time for him to take a wife, and Lydia is the one he wants.
Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He's been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he's determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss...
...breathing in her old hurts, and exhaling the emotions he had not yet managed to voice.
Her kiss didn't sweep away the dark anguish he felt in his heart. Instead, it embraced it. It acknowledged it.
He wanted her to lift her head at this moment. He wanted her to look him in the eyes and realize that he loved her. He wanted her to love him back.Wow. Just ... wow. Loved it!!! It's rare to be able to pull out a great story with well-drawn characters in a novella, but Ms. Milan managed to do that beautifully.
A friend had once told him that he was like bitter coffee---positively habit-forming, once one acquired a taste for the beverage, but off-putting on the first few sips.
For so long, she hadn't let herself feel anything at all. She'd smiled and laughed and ignored the harm that had been done. But deep inside, she hadn't stopped wanting, and no matter how she'd tried, no matter what lies she told herself, she had still hurt.
"I don't know why you're doing this," she sniffed as he dabbed at her cheeks. "You're being kind, but you always make fun of me."
He ran his hand down her shoulder. "I never make fun of you."
"You say such horrid things about me."
"I never say horrid things about you," he contradicted. "I tell you exactly what I think of you, and you never believe me."
"You're sarcastic and contradictory."
He sighed and breathed in the smell of her, sweet and uncomplicated. "Well, yes. That, I must admit to. But half the things I say to you in sarcasm, Lydia, I really mean. I just can't bear to leave them unsaid."
"But if you don't think badly of me ..."
He didn't answer.
‘When Lydia Charingford was around, though, he felt like a smiling dark little raincloud.’
‘It was a kiss like chocolate, a heade mif of cacao and sugar, each ingredient imperfect on its own, but breathtaking when mixed together.
And when he tasted her, when he nippet at her lips and she opened up to him, she was sweet and tart, like cherries in brandy.’
He let out a shaky breath and looked over at her. Her eyes were dark, dark. She reached up and pulled two pins from her hair, and her curls tumbled over her shoulders. Ever so slowly, he held out his hand to her.