Review – Betrothed by Christmas by Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex

About the Book:

A madcap plan to avoid marriages they do not desire, leads two women to romance and passion they don’t expect in a duet of novellas by bestselling authors Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex.

A Lady’s Gift for Seduction by Jess Michaels
Lady Evangeline is a Diamond of the First Water, but she fears her father will match her to his own advantage, not hers. She decides marrying a biddable groom is the only way to salvage her future and chooses her old friend, astronomer Henry Killam. But she soon realizes Henry isn’t quite as manageable as she first believed and her feelings for him are stronger than she ever imagined.

A Lady’s Gift for Scandal by Elizabeth Essex
Miss Tamsin Lesley desires above all else to be a bluestocking and lead an intellectual life. The only thing standing in her way is her father’s heir, who wants her along with her father’s estate. To foil him, Tamsin enlists the services of masculine wallflower Simon Cathcart to ruin her. But the road to ruination leads to far more pleasurable places than Tamsin could ever imagine, and her charming wallflower proves to have secrets of his own.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                                                      Betrothed by Christmas: A Holiday Duet


My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Lady Evangeline and Thomasina meet at a ball, and discover they share some untypical views of marriage.  As Christmas approaches, they each come up with a scheme which will hopefully allow them to avoid wedding unwanted suitors, a scheme that involves wallflowers of the male variety.


Lady Evangeline is the daughter of a duke, and her father has been hinting that it’s time for her to marry.  Knowing that the duke may well make the choice for her, Evangeline decides to propose marriage to her longtime friend, Henry.  For seven years, Evangeline and Henry have hid their mutual attraction behind their friendship.  Henry is studious, an astronomer, and the third son of a viscount.  Unfortunately, Henry’s father finds that Henry’s published work smacks of “trade” and orders Henry to abandon it, or he’ll be cut off.  Astronomy is a genuine passion of Henry’s, so Evangeline’s proposal seems like it’s a way for him to continue after the marriage is a done deal.  He only has to promise Evangeline to temporarily halt his studies, which he does.  But, sometimes, things happen.  Henry unwittingly breaks his promise, and seriously damages the fragile trust that had been developing between them.  Will Henry be able to regain the ground he lost with Evangeline?  Will she even go forward with the marriage?  Can they build a future on their long time friendship and the newly discovered passion that has flared?  A LADY’S GIFT FOR SEDUCTION has a lovable, glasses-wearing, sexy, wallflower hero, and a determined and wary heiress who fumble their way to genuine love in this steamy and satisfying story.   ~Rose


A LADY’S GIFT FOR SCANDAL by Elizabeth Essex

Thomasina, also known as Tamsin, has been forced to come to London by her mother, who hopes that she’ll snag a husband.  If that doesn’t happen, she’ll be coerced into marrying her dreadful cousin.  Tamsin’s only desire is to be a bluestocking, remain unmarried, and enjoy intellectual pursuits with like minded people.  Tamsin comes up with a plan to be “sort of” ruined, meaning she’ll be considered ruined, but won’t actually be.  She selects Simon as her potential ruiner, and confides her scheme to him.  Simon is a former soldier, who was injured, and came home a pacifist.  Now, he dutifully escorts his aunt to society events, then disappears to a quiet room to nap or read.  Simon created the persona of “Simple Simon,” giving the impression of having been injured enough to have suffered some mental damage, thus avoiding dancing, socializing, gambling, and marriage minded ladies.  He is amiable enough to want to help Tamsin, and their encounters lead to some steamy kisses, surprising both of them with their intensity.  Can two people with no interest in marriage make this attraction a forever romance?  I fell in love with Simon, this charming, kind, and, yes, sneaky, man, who only wanted a peaceful existence, but found love instead with a passionate would-be bluestocking.  A LADY’S GIFT FOR SCANDAL is another steamy story that is a pure delight to read.    ~Rose

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