What Happens At Christmas by Victoria Alexander

December 19th, 2012 Kimberly Review 30 Comments

19th Dec
What Happens At Christmas by Victoria Alexander
What Happens At Christmas
by Victoria Alexander
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A blazing fire, an English country house … and the ultimate game of charades. In this charming holiday novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander, a beautiful widow finds her plan for a Christmas proposal going perfectly awry …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 of a troupe of actors, Camille intends to pull off a Christmas deception of massive proportions. At least until Grayson Elliot shows up. A dozen years ago, he declared his love on the day before her marriage to another man, then vanished from her life. Now he’s back, gate-crashing Camille’s already chaotic house party, playing absolute havoc with her scheme—and with her heart. Because for Grayson, losing Camille once was quite bad enough. Losing her twice? Unthinkable. And he’ll find a way to show her they belong together—for this season, and every Christmas yet to come …

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 not drinking coffee my beverage of choice I was so delighted that woman even then knew the coolest place to hang out was in a bookstore that serves hot beverages! Camille is a wealthy widow who is scheming to have a prince from an obscure country propose to her. Both she and her sister married the first time for financial security and this time she wants to marry for adventure. She is plotting to create the perfect Dickens’s Christmas to host the prince at their country home. Beryl sees this as yet another one of Camille’s clever plots that always seem to go awry, but none the less she finds herself assisting. In their discussion, Beryl confesses that she and her husband are smitten with each other and that maybe this time Camille should marry for love. The events that take place between December 21 and Christmas day had me laughing and turning the pages as one complication after another arouse. The biggest complication of all occurs when a man whom she once loved shows up on her doorstep after eleven years…

I adored Camille; she really does not know what she wants and has to figure everything out the hard way. She is oh so clever and the trouble this girl creates was brilliant. Long ago her heart was broken and she has never truly forgiven the man. Beryl is snarky and I loved her remarks and fierce loyalty to her sister. Gray, an orphan raised by his uncle as the second son, took off to the Americas after the woman he loved rejected him. He has made his way and is quite successful but has never forgotten the woman who broke his heart. I loved the interaction between Camille and Gray and at times wanted to shoot them both. While the prince was also vying for Camille’s hand he became a secondary character. The cast of characters who appear at Camille’s country estate were all unique and I enjoyed their mannerisms and the complications they added. Alexander takes the time to add depth to even the secondary characters and I so appreciate that about her.

What Happens at Christmas had a very clever plot and the twists the author added at every turn had me completely enthralled. It was so much fun to see what event would occur next, and I quickly connected with the characters right down to the butler. I have always loved feisty, strong heroines who seem to get themselves in a pickle and Camille was remarkable. There was not as much sexual tension as I would have liked, and we are only treated to a mildly steamy scene. I loved the romance and the race to get my happily-ever-after.

If you love historical romance and holiday-themed novels with feisty heroines and lovable heroes then What Happened At Christmas is definitely for you. Victoria Alexander has been added to my must read holiday books authors list.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

30 Responses to “What Happens At Christmas by Victoria Alexander”

  1. Rachael

    I ended up quitting this book 45 pages in when I discovered I just didn’t like the historical aspect.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, there is no getting around this being a historical especially since this is the Victorian era. You may fair better with a Regency romance which are my personal favorites. 🙂

  2. Rachael

    I ended up quitting this book 45 pages into when I discovered that I didn’t like the historical fiction aspect.

  3. Blodeuedd

    It sounds fun 😀 Though I think she should go with the prince..the prince! But then I do not know him, lol

  4. Julie H.

    Your reviews really have gotten me in the Christmas spirit 🙂

  5. A Voracious Reader

    When this came up at Kensington a few months ago I gave it a pass. Then again and again in each month’s email. The blurb just didn’t do it for me though I’ve enjoyed other books by Alexander. I may need to give it a whirl though after reading your review. 🙂

  6. Jenny

    I haven’t read anything by Victoria Alexander either, but I’m in the mood for a great historical romance. Plus, HUGE bonus that the heroine is feisty, I always gravitate toward those types of women! Thanks for the holiday recommendation:)

  7. Heidi

    Hey characters that drink hot beverages in a book store are okay in my book. I am glad the characters were all good including the butler.

  8. Dee

    I love reading Christmas books and this one sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Nick

    The main character sounds like so much fun. I like that she’s troublesome. The hero too seems very loveable! I need to stop coming on your blog these days. My to-read list seems to increase on a daily basis! -_-

  10. A Voracious Reader

    Kensington is awesome! I’m glad you’re enjoying them and that I pointed you in their direction. 🙂

  11. Michelle

    Haha! as soon as this post showed up in my email, I read the summary and said, “I love holiday themed books” and then the first sentence of your review was just that 🙂 I love that you say this has a clever plot. I won’t be able to read it before the holidays but maybe when I am in a mid year christmas slump.

    Thanks for the great review. Hope all is well

  12. Aurian

    Lovely review, thank you. That blurb has me putting it on my wishlist immediately, as it sounds like a fun read. It has been years since I read one of Victoria’s books, but I still buy them and will read them someday.

  13. Debbie Haupt

    Kimba, I’m just now reading this too. It’s a hoot.
    Great review