Review – The Widow’s Christmas Surprise by Jenna Jaxon

About the Book:

The death of her husband has thrown Lady Maria Kersey’s future into doubt—and her heart into the arms of a man she cannot have. But Christmas with the Widows’ Club will bring choices—and surprises—that may change all her holidays to come…

Maria just gave birth to her first child, a beautiful daughter—but the event is shrouded in sorrow. A month earlier, Maria’s husband, Lord Kersey, was killed in a duel under compromising circumstances. Worse, Maria’s failure to provide a male heir has stripped her of any hope of an inheritance. Scorned by the ton, one of her few allies is her late husband’s steward, Hugh Granger. Hugh is everything her husband was not—warm, charming—and penniless…

Hugh has fallen desperately in love with Maria, but has little to offer but comfort. As their attraction becomes impossible to resist, Maria flees to London to spend Christmas with her dearest friends, a group of widows who lost their own husbands in the Battle of Waterloo. Little does she know the holidays will reveal a twist of fate she never expected—proving that the greatest Christmas gift is the magic of true love…


My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Maria, Countess Kersey, is a month away from bearing her first child, but is about to be widowed for the second time in her young life.  Her husband, Alan, is a rake and philanderer, and has been challenged to a duel by a wronged husband.  Alan realizes too late the error of his ways, and prepares a last minute will, having it witnessed and messaged off to his attorney.  Alan’s premonition was correct, as he dies of his injury, leaving Maria to face an uncertain future.  When her child is born, it’s a girl, rather than the hoped for heir.  It also seems that the attorney has no knowledge of Alan’s last minute will, and Maria and her daughter will now be dependent upon the charity of the new earl, once he’s located.

Hugh Granger is the late earl’s steward, and has admired Maria from a respectful distance.  Though Maria has only recently given birth and been widowed, she seems to have become instantly smitten with Hugh, as well.  Maria’s cousin, Jane, has been her steadfast companion over the last months, putting her own romance on hold to guide Maria through this difficult time.  Jane is also determined to discourage any budding attraction between Maria and Hugh, feeling that he is entirely unsuitable.

THE WIDOW’S CHRISTMAS SURPRISE is not really a joyous holiday romance, though it does have a happy ever after.  There are also quite a number of dark elements such as infidelity, scheming relatives, deception, suicide, incompetence, and the unfortunate plight of women who are at the mercy of men and society.  Hugh is a lovely and honorable man, while Maria seems young and flighty, overly concerned about her position in society.  She actually spends very little time with her child, and it seems that there is much more interaction between Maria and Jane than between Maria and Hugh.  I wonder at their falling in love for not having spent that much time together.  The new heir and his son are despicable people, and I did enjoy the one instance when Maria finally showed some backbone and spoke her mind.  One character I was truly fond of was Jane’s neglected lover, who finally comes in search of her, tired of being put off time after time.  He showed exceptional intellect as well as having a vibrant and charming personality.  I think THE WIDOW’S CHRISTMAS SURPRISE is a story that will appeal to readers who enjoy multiple complicated situations with many hurdles for the main characters to overcome as they achieve their happy ending.    ~Rose


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