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What Happens At Christmas

(Millworth Manor #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,994 ratings  ·  459 reviews
Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas — an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which leaves the lovely widow with a slight problem. The last thing Camille wants is for the prince to meet her unconventional relatives. But with the aid ...more
Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Zebra Books (first published October 16th 2012)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

3.5 delightfully farcical stars!

What Happens at Christmas is such a fresh, amusing story! The characters are quirky, the story is unique... I really enjoyed it. Elizabeth Wiley does the narration and she has a lovely voice, and while she gave a lively performance, I had trouble distinguishing between characters - including, at times, the men from the women.

I'm giving 4 stars to the story, 3 to the narration - bottom line: 3.5 stars.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine
Oct 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, christmas
It is with a heavy heart that I only give this an average rating. What Happens At Christmas had such promise: a silly but entertaining plot, easy going leads, and an interesting secondary cast. However, while I enjoyed this story up to the 70% mark, it then went downhill as the same arguments were repeated over and over and the silly plot went on for so long that it veered into the unbelievable and I just wanted everything to end.

I'm not going to rehash the plot (it really does happen as the
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
“Being willing to forgive is not the same as being weak. Indeed, it takes a great deal of strength to accept someone else’s acknowledgment of their mistakes.”

This was my first book that I picked up for my Christmas book marathon and I am so very glad I did! This was probably not only one of the sweetest and most adorable books I have ever read, but the humor was amazing as well, which was really nice because I wasn't expecting that!

I absolutely loved this book, will gladly read it again and
4.5 stars

This was a very amusing Christmas story.

Camille, Lady Lydingham, wanted the fairy tale life so when she met a prince who was travelling. Camille put a plan into motion designed to charm Prince Nikolai Pruzinksy of Greater Avalonia into proposing to her and making her a princess.

The problem was that she didn't feel that her family was the "right sort" to endear the prince to her, as they were quite eccentric. So Camille decided to hire a troupe of actors to portray a proper and
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caz by: Phoenix77
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read; filled with warmth, humour and quite accurately painted family relationships. I liked that the heroine was in her thirties rather than a debutante or ingenue, and also that she had been content in her first marriage to a man who was kind and decent.

The theme running throughout the novel is one of second chances - not just for Grayson and Camille, but also for Beryl and her husband, for their parents and the sisters' relationship with each other and their
Radd Reader
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Lady Camille Lydingham loves her family, but she wants to impress Prince Nikolai of Greater Avalonia and her family can't fulfill that role. So she hires actors to impersonate her family and the servants of the manor.

As Camille tries to impress and win over Nikolai, she doesn't anticipate the wrinkle that Grayson Elliott puts in her plan. Everything that can go wrong does.

This story brought quite a few LOL moments and I enjoyed it.
Terri Lynn
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Since I detest romance novels and don't read chick lit, it surprised even me to find myself ordering this from the library and enjoying it. The description of a 30 year old widow named Camille (Lady Lydingham) of 1886 England deciding to try to get a marriage proposal from a prince from an Eastern European country that no longer exists (unknown by Camille) but who is really an actor playing a part to try to get hold of her money left to her by her husband with the help of her twin sister Beryl ...more
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Review posted on Demon Lover's Books & More

I have come to look forward to Victoria Alexander’s Christmas novels. This year’s was just as fun and yet, I felt that it wasn’t quite as good as His Mistress by Christmas or My Wicked Little Lies (books 1 & 2 in Sinful Family Secrets series).

This one starts out with twin sisters Beryl and Camille talking about Camille’s ridiculous plot to ensure the man (a foreign prince) who’s courting her both has the perfect English Christmas and proposes
Chelsey Wolford
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How I laughed out loud with this book! I honestly do not think I have laughed so hard while reading a book in such a long time. I was so invested in this entire setting, as well as the lives of the characters, that I could not stop reading until I had finished. At first I got such a cozy feel right off the first page and then I started to realize the wit and spark that all of Victoria Alexander’s characters carried; I was blown away with my first time reading this author, and it will most ...more
Charlene Intriago
I usually don't read Romance (and this definitely falls into the Christmas Romance category), but this was a thoroughly charming, and funny, funny, funny read!
Lover of Romance
Camille has given up in find love for herself. Once eleven years ago, she had love, but the man she loved never fought for her when it mattered. So now a widow, she is determined to snatch up a prince. So she organizes a house party, to show the Prince a traditional Christmas family gathering, hires actors to act as servants and some family members, with only herself and her sister as real members of the family. Then all her dreams to marry a prince may go down the drain when Grey, the man she ...more
Very fun book, with a theme of second chances. Camille is well known in her family for her impulsiveness and the fact that it usually gets her in trouble. This one has the potential to do the same. Camille is very stubborn once she makes up her mind and nothing is going to stop her. She has the chance to land a prince as her next husband. The catch is that he wants to experience an old fashioned English Christmas. Most of her family is away, and they're rather unconventional anyway, so she hires ...more
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
Camille, Lady Lydingham needs to impress a Prince, and she has the perfect plan. She will create a picturesque Christmas for him, just as he has read in Mr Dicken's novels, including the perfect family, some ice skating and a few carols, surely he will propose to her after that and she will finally be a Princess and have the Prince of her dreams. All she needs to do is a hire some actors to play her family...what could possibly go wrong?

I can hear what you are all thinking...why is she reading
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Quick, light and funny. I was pleasantly surprised by this new-to-me author. There was so much in this book, it makes me wonder how one could keep the pace like this in each book one writes - are all of Victoria Alexander’s books stuffed with so much story?

Camille, Lady Lydingham, is throwing a traditional Dickens English Christmas for a Prince that she plans to garner a proposal from. The problem is that her family is somewhat eccentric, and in an effort to be "normal", she hires actors in
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love holiday themed books, and this is the first I have read by Victoria Alexander, but I can assure you it will not be my last. What Happens At Christmas was a deliciously, hysterical, heart-warming tale that quickly put me in the holiday mood. I adored the characters the author brought to life in 1886 London and would love to meet them all again.

We first meet Camille, Lady Lydingham and her twin sister Beryl, Lady Dunwell in the Ladies Tearoom at Fenwick and Sons, Bookseller. While they were
Connie Fischer
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victoria Alexander has penned a delightful novel that mirrors a Charles Dickens type English Christmas. Camille, who has been widowed for a number of years, has met a man calling himself Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky of the Kingdom of Greater Avalonia located somewhere in Central Europe. He is traveling incognito and has dreamed of a true English Christmas. So, Camille, who is smitten by the Prince, decides to give him that perfect English Christmas. As her mother and sister are out of town for ...more
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christmas historical romantic farce. This was the first book I read in my annual Christmas romance reading marathon. It was quite entertaining. I could not really like the heroine or her family much as they seemed to be very shallow. But, as it was a farce, I would guess the characters need to be silly for it to actually be humorous. The heroine set up quite a tangled web of deception, and it got more tangled as it went along. I could not respect the intelligence of the heroine, nor the morals ...more
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nov-12
What a wonderful read!
Not normally a fan of Christmas stories, however this book will have to go on my list of all-time favorites. From the first page until the very end I was pulled into the setting, the lives of the characters and the events as they were unfolding.
The story centers around Camille who decides to hire actors to play the role of her family in order to impress a foreign prince who wants to experience an English Christmas. When a man from Camille's past knocks on her door her
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A jolly English Christmas in the country...only this one is a farcical romp starring Camille as she sets her sights on winning the hand of a mysterious (phony, perhaps?) prince and in order to do so she hires a cast of characters to impersonate her family ensuring her prince an authentic English Christmas. All goes awry when the long absent (eleven years) childhood chum Grayson arrives from America and decides he will play the part of Camille's cousin.
More mayhem ensues to make for a most
The farce was mostly well-done but a bit too over-the-top. I had a hard time with the romance, they were both idiots and Camille was unreasonable. They're an interesting family for sure; I may try another book in the series.
A cute Christmas romance.
Despite witty and funny dialog/banter, most of this book was boring boring boring. I just couldn't get into it and skimmed my way through. I am glad it's over.
Nancy Ellis
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to give this five stars, because it was such a pleasant surprise amid my stack of Christmas books. I still find myself smiling about it two days after finishing. It's a delightful story set in 1895 in an English country manor. The characters are endearing and enjoyable, and combined with the plot and setting, brought to mind a lighthearted version of Downton Abbey and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt characters of Anne Perry's novels. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much! I highly recommend it ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Start by suspending judgement. This is a book to enjoy without serious reflection or thought. The high rating is because in doing that it is a really fun book for its complete ridiculousness. And I say that not like my other terrible chick lit (with an embarrassing hint of romance) books, but rather as one that is genuinely entertaining for its funny premise. It leans into its ridiculousness in a very charming way.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A comedy of errors - fake family meets real family. Second chance romance. I loved this madcap Christmas story!
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2012
This review can be found on my blog:

I was so excited when I received my ARC of What Happens At Christmas from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Victoria Alexander has long been one of my favorite romance authors. Her book, Her Highness, My Wife is my #1 favorite romance. Alexander writes about princes and princesses, far off places and wealthy artistocratic families with a penchant for twins and trouble. I love them. So you can imagine the fan-girl screaming that
Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
Review available on Mina's Bookshelf
Rating 4.5 stars out of 5

Young widow Camille, Lady Lydingham, had grown up thinking that there wasn’t much use for true love in a practical world. Grayson Elliott, her first and only genuine love, had come forward with an ill-timed declaration, right on the eve of her arranged marriage to an older and much wealthier man. After revealing his feelings, Grayson had vanished, disappointing Camille’s hope to be rescued at
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Historical Romanc...: BR - What Happens At Christmas - Victoria Alexander 32 16 Nov 19, 2019 06:52AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.

Since the publication of her first book in 1995,

Other books in the series

Millworth Manor (5 books)
  • The Importance of Being Wicked (Wicked Family Secrets, #3; Millworth Manor, #2)
  • The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride (Millworth Manor, #3)
  • The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding (Millworth Manor, #4)
  • The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress (Millworth Manor, #5)
“Being willing to forgive is not the same as being weak. Indeed, it takes a great deal of strength to accept someone else’s acknowledgment of their mistakes.” 0 likes
“and even at Christmas, there is nothing to be gained by wishing for what one can’t possibly have.” 0 likes
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