His Mistletoe Wager by Virginia Heath

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“Five berries equal the five separate kisses I challenge you to steal.”

Notorious rake Henry “Hal” Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, is certain he’ll win his Christmas bet— until he learns he’ll be stealing Lady Elizabeth Wilding’s kisses. A woman who refuses to be charmed! Once jilted, Lizzie must guard her heart, because the ton is unaware of her scandalous secret— her son!

Despite their increasing attraction, she can’t risk the persistent Hal bringing down her defenses. But when her former fiancé returns, Lizzie realizes that perhaps Hal’s the one man she can trust— with her heart and her son…

Frankie’s View

This is my first Christmas book of the year and it is a doozy, and it can’t be kept just for Christmas “His Mistletoe Wager” should be read now and then again and again and then at Christmas and then again…

Five years earlier Elizabeth (Lizzie) Wilding is waiting in the church for the love of her life, only to be horrible jilted by only to be told by a note hastely scribbled. She is broken this man was suppose to be her happy ever after, she had given him everything even her innocence only for him to jilt her. Leaving her facing scandal and censor, not only that but leaving her pregnant.

Now she is five years older she has sworn off men for the rest of her life, she has built a wall around her heart and no man will ever broach it again, the only man she wants in her life is her son; George. She has decided that now her son is getting older she is to leave her aristocratic life and move to Yorkshire in peace where her and her cute as button son, George can live without all the cloak and dagger, creeping around as what happens now. She has planned to live her life as a widow, which is entirely proper and also she knows that as a widow her son will be accepted. But unfortunately for lizzie her father has yet again decided that she needs to get herself back on the marriage market and it would be in her best interest to find a gent and get married.

To not only complicate things and make matters worse for her, she has caught the attention of the rakish and womanizing Henry Stuart, the new Earl of Redbridge, for whatever reason he has suddenly decided that she is exactly what he needs to get through this Christmas. He makes her a bargain that she cannot possibly pass up, but in dealing with the devil himself will she be able to fulfil her dream of living independently? Or will she succumb to his charms?

The initial meeting between her and Hal is really very funny, he forces himself in to her little bubble and she is just so irritated by him. She literally think of him as a pesky wasp that first needs swatting with a good old fashioned barbed, tongue lashing. When that doesn’t work she decided that the only way to make the wasp go away is to ignore it, which is highly amusing.

Hal has got to the point in his life where he is bored of the rakish behaviour, he want’s something more to fill his days. Not just a quick tryst with a willing widow, he finds that since gaining the title he has found an whole new love of books and politics and how things are run.

He has spent his life going against the grain and flaunting his rakish ways for all and sundry to see but now that he has taken his rightful place in parliament he finds that he enjoys the debates. He is growing into the Earl we know deep down he is and, we as readers can see what he’s missing in his life and why he isn’t as bothered with bed hopping as he used to be. But as ever with our heroes it does take them a while to get to the conclusion that; Yes, he needs a woman! A good, strong woman who can put him in his place…….

do love a Christmas story and this is such a sweet, festive tale that can be read at any time. For me Lizzie’s personal struggle and trials that she has to face and what she has gone through is the centre stone of the book, and that’s what Heath is particularly very good at. She brings the character’s alive and as always Heath transports you to another time and place with her charming and enigmatic writing, which is as ever spot on.

Full Review can be found at Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s Blog

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