My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/twas-the-night-after-christmas-by-sabrina-jeffries
Pierce Waverly, Earl of Devonmont, wants nothing to do with his mother. That being said, when his mother’s companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart, writes that his mother is gravely ill, Pierce returns to his childhood home. Within minutes of crossing the threshold, he realizes Camilla has tricked him in the hopes that she may arrange a Christmastime reconciliation between he and his mother. Pierce has no desire to stay, particularly with memories of his past haunting him at every turn. But the beautiful widow inspires Pierce to propose a bargain: he’ll stay so long as Camilla “entertains” him. What Pierce doesn’t expect is his rakish proposal to lead to something much more than passing pleasure. Will this Christmas bring with it a chance for love and happiness?
Love, forgiveness, and overcoming the past are at the heart of ‘Twas the Night After Christmas. Sabrina Jeffries blends these three elements with a healthy dose of Christmas cheer in the final Hellions of Halstead Hall book.
Pierce, who was a supporting character in the previous two Hellions of Halstead Hall books (To Wed a Wild Lord and A Lady Never Surrenders), gets his chance to shine in ‘Twas the Night After Christmas. It’s no surprise that Pierce’s roguish exterior hides a wounded heart. His mother hurt him — badly — as a child and seeing her again opens the wounds that have never healed. I, along with Pierce, yearned to know why he was abandoned as a child. The road to forgiveness isn’t uncomplicated in ‘Twas the Night After Christmas, but it’s a journey worth taking. Another obstacle-ridden path is the romance between Pierce and Camilla. For while the chemistry between them is palpable, Camilla doesn’t just give into her desire for Pierce. Speaking of Camilla, she’s a bright, sensible, likeable heroine who hasn’t had the easiest life but nevertheless makes the best of what she has. She’s a loving mother and a caring friend, but one of the joys of ‘Twas the Night After Christmas was seeing her get to explore who she is as a woman. Separately and as a pair, Pierce and Camilla are endearing characters, so it’s easy to be swept away by their story.
‘Twas the Night After Christmas is the sixth Hellions of Halstead Hall book, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Many of the Sharpe siblings and their spouses make a cameo and/or are mentioned, which will likely please fans of the Hellions of Halstead Hall series. As much as I like seeing the Sharpe clan again, what interested me most about ‘Twas the Night After Christmas was the introduction of the oh-so-intriguing investigator, Dominick Manton. Needless to say, within a few pages Ms. Jeffries had me hoping she’ll write a book for Manton.
Historical romance readers who like their books with a dash of warmth and Christmas cheer will be delighted by ‘Twas the Night After Christmas. Pierce and Camilla’s heartwarming story is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter day.