Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

A Christmas Dance

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Christmas Dance (2014) Alissa Johnson

Set in London in an indeterminate historical time.

William Renwick, Earl of Casslebury has decided it’s time for him to find a wife.

It was his sense of responsibility that had necessitated his most recently constructed plan. He would marry a young lady of good blood, excellent reputation, pleasant nature and appealing physical appearance. He was four-and-thirty, and it was time he did his duty to the title by producing an heir. Never mind he hadn’t expected to outlive two cousins and an older brother to inherit the title, it was his now, and he would plan accordingly.

Miss Patience Byerly has been enjoying the season far more than the normal young woman, for it’s an unexpected gift from friends of her father’s, as she gets to act as friend and companion to Miss Caroline Meldrin.

As with all her books, I love that all the characters–even (or perhaps especially) the secondary characters–are interesting.

And the dialog.

Dodging children with sticky fingers and wet heads. Eating–”

“Why should their heads be wet?”

“The children? From playing Bob-Apple, of course.”

“Oh.” She thought about that. “Does it really require a complete dunking?”

“It does if one has an older sister who takes it upon herself to assist.”

“You’ve no Christmas traditions, then? No Yule log, no wassail, no silly games?”

“Not as of yet,” she replied, before giving a decisive nod of her head. “But I shall. There are plenty to choose from. Last year in Belgium, Caroline and I met a lovely family who brings an entire tree into their house and covers it with candles. And we met a gentleman from Sweden who said in his village a young woman puts a wreath of candles upon her head and goes about with a procession—“

“Are there any traditions you’d care to try that aren’t likely to set home and person aflame?”

“Does this gown make me appear plain,” she asked in a nervous whisper. “Or perhaps plainer would be a more accurate description.”

Caroline rolled her eyes as she dug through her reticule for something. “I’ve told you no twice all ready tonight.”

“That was for the green gown.”

Caroline looked up. “Oh. . .so it was.” She gave Patience a thorough, if brief inspection. “You look lovely in the blue as well, but out of curiosity, what were you planning on doing if I said you looked dreadful? We’re nearly to the party.”

The only thing that fell flat for me was the boinking bits. And not for my normal reasons, but because it’s a short story / novella, and the boinking bits felt rushed and unnecessary. And they didn’t feel especially true to the characters.

But aside from that I very much enjoyed it.

Published by the author
Rating: 7.5/10

Categories: British, Historical, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    

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