Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Review: Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

Title: Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish (Windham Series, Book 3)
Author: Grace Burrowes
Release Date: October 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Category: Historical Romance
Type: Kindle/Paperback


Book Blurb:

All she wants is peace and anonymity...

Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

But Sophie's holiday is about to heat up...

With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

It seems Sophie's been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true...

Book Excerpt:

“I beg your pardon, madam. May I be of assistance?” He tipped his hat and had to fist his hands at his sides, so strong was the urge to pluck the offending infant from her arms. “The child appears distressed.”

She bobbed a curtsey while holding the child. “I’ve explained to him that such a tantrum is hardly seemly and I do apologize for the noise.” She focused her gaze on the child. “You are a naughty fellow, young Kit, banging your tankard and shouting down the rafters...”

She went on softly remonstrating the baby while Vim recovered from the prettiest pair of green eyes he’d ever beheld. She wasn’t a pretty woman—she had a full though solemn mouth in the usual location underscored by a definite chin and a nose somewhat lacking in subtlety. Her hair was dark brown and pulled back into a positively boring bun at her nape. But those eyes...

And her voice. It was the voice of a pretty lady, soft and luminous with good breeding and gentility, though she was using it to try to gently scold the child into better behavior.

“May I?” He held out his arms, meeting those green eyes when she looked faintly puzzled. “I have some experience with children.”

She passed him the child, moving close enough to Vim that he realized she was not particularly tall. She had a dignity about her though, even holding a bellowing baby.

“His mama should be right back. She just went around to the back for a moment.” The lady cast a hopeful look at the door—a hopeful, anxious look

Vim took the child, who appeared distracted by the change in venue—though likely only temporarily.

“You will hush,” he said to the baby, which earned him a blinking blue-eyed stare from his burden. “This good woman is tired of your fretting, as is the entire room and likely half the block. Behave your little self or we’ll call the beadle to haul you off to gaol. That’s better.”

He put the baby to his shoulder and began to gently pat and rub the small back. “He just finished his luncheon, didn’t he?”

The woman colored slightly. “I believe he did.”

Still on the breast then, which was going to be a problem. 

“I don’t believe his mother will be returning.” He said it calmly, an observation about the weather, nothing more.

Favorite Dialogue:

“You look a bit fatigued, Sophie.” St. Just studied her with a brooding frown, all hint of teasing gone. His brows knit further as his gaze went to the hearth. “Is that a pair of my favorite socks set out to dry? They’re a bit large for you, aren’t they?”

Westhaven emerged from the back hallway, a small box in his hand. “Somebody has decimated my stash of marzipan. If His Grace has given up crème cakes for German chocolate, I’ll be naming my seconds.”

Valentine returned from the corridor. “Somebody left my favorite mug in the linen closet. I thought you favored more delicate crockery, Sophie.”

In the ensuing moment of silence, Sophie was casting around desperately for plausible reasons why all of this evidence of Vim’s presence in the house was yet on hand, when the back door opened and slammed shut.

“Sophie, love! I’m back. Come here and let me kiss you senseless, and then, by God, we’re going to talk!”

Oh dear.

Oh, good heavens.

Vim emerged from the darkness looking weary, handsome, and very pleased – until his gaze traveled to each of the three men glowering at him.

“Who the hell are you?” Westhaven’s voice was soft, but he did not sound sensible in the least.

“And what makes you think you’re going to be kissing my sister?” St. Just added, hands on his hips.

“And what on earth could you have to speak with Lady Sophia about?” Valentine asked, crossing his arms.


Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish was a first for me reading Grace Burrowes. I am an all-time sucker for historical romance and have been craving a good historical read for some time. I got side-tracked by paranormal romance for a while and am currently reading urban fantasy. Weeee! What a jump I have made from my historical romance comfort zone. But … I was so happy with Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish. And it came at a terrific time, blending in with the holiday season all around.

Sophie is one of five daughters of a Duke with a few older brothers thrown into the mix. She is known as the family peace-maker of sorts and is constantly giving to others; rescuing them you might say. She generally receives little in return aside from her own altruistic feelings. But she definitely wishes for more. Sophie longs for a great love, happiness, and a family of her own. Sounds within reach, yes? Not so much when you have suffered loss like Sophie has. She has safeguarded her own heart from protection to the point that she may well let the greatest possibility of love walk out of her life without a fight. And Sophie has a secret she has not confessed to Vim – she is in fact a Lady, something Vim has not yet deduced. The problem is that Sophie is enjoying living outside the realm of restrictions a “Lady” is generally bound by.

Vim (we won’t get into his full name - it is a rather large mouthful *snicker*) runs into Sophie somewhat accidentally and ends up switching roles with her – he is now rescuing her in a way. Sophie has found herself with an infant to care for after his mother runs off and leaves him. Vim cannot in good conscience leave Sophie with her young charge and literally no idea what to do in the way of caring for the baby. Vim has pressing business he must attend to, but finds the lure of staying with Sophie and the baby much more to his liking. Time and again he leaves … and returns. But Vim also has been wronged in the past and he too may ultimately lose Sophie if he does not fight for her and make it perfectly clear that he wants her in his life as much more than a passing fling.

Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish is … errr … I am not sure what to call it. It is Book 3 of the Windham Series and book 1 of the sub-series The Duke’s Daughters. I, unfortunately had no idea about this when I started the book. I despise reading out of order, but given that the book is also a first in a series, I was not left feeling too badly from my error. The thing about this book is that it could serve as a stand-alone as well. As I read it, I did have a feeling that I was missing more detail. For example, the short recaps of the brothers and their wives: I felt that there was much more to the stories. I was right. Had I read the first two books in the Windham Series, I would have understood better. But this in not to say that I was confused. The best comparison would be to explain reading Johanna Lindsey’s Malory Novels out of order. For those of you Lindsey fans, I am sure you know exactly what I mean. It can be done, but it is so much better when read in order. I enjoyed the brothers as secondary characters to the point that I know I would very much enjoy their full novels. *whispers* I do intend to correct this folly and read all of the books in the series.

What I disliked about the book was that Vim and Sophie obviously had a strong connection from the beginning. I was a little annoyed that they took so long deciding to be together. At one point I thought Vim had another plan in mind concerning Sophie and the baby, but I was wrong. When my prediction failed to thrive, I nearly gave up hope that the two would wake the heck up and see what was right in front of them. There are some good frustrations when reading, but this was not the case. I think a large portion of the frustration was the unwillingness of the characters to see where they had made mistakes. Had they not been so dang stubborn, they could have been together that much sooner. But hey, HEAs aren’t supposed to be easy, right? I just prefer the conflict to generate from sources other than the character’s own obstinacy.

Overall, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish was a fun read that did wonders in satisfying my craving for a good historical romance that I could lose myself within. The brothers are a rough and rowdy crowd. And we also meet one of the sisters to some degree who has her own novel. The brief glimpse of the family members as secondary characters was enough to make me want to know more about them. Those looking for a good historical romance series should definitely check out the Windham Series. And to make it easier for you, I have included a list of the books available.

The Windham Series

The Duke’s Obsession             The Duke’s Daughters
The Heir                                     Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish
The Soldier                                 Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal (May 2012)
The Virtuoso                               Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight (Oct 2012)
                                                   Lady Eve’s Book (Spring 2013)
                                                   Lady Jenny’s Book (Oct 2013)

View more including the family tree at Grace Burrowes web site linked at top.
(Paperback won from author via Sourcebooks Author’s Blog)

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