Series: Seasons of the Heart #1
on 2012-10-23 Pages:
A childhood on the streets taught Mallory Phillips to never trust love again. Years later, she longs for a peaceful existence and a community to call home, only she can t quite settle into the picturesque, cozy world around her. When Polly Lombard sneaks into Mallory s house to look at her Christmas tree, Mallory connects with Polly and Polly s grieving father in wondrous ways, helping them heal. But when Mallory s past returns to haunt her, will she trust her new family to be there for her? Anna DeStefano s heartwarming and emotional tale of second chances is a testament to the healing power of love, and the incredible joy of Christmas miracles.
Teacher Mallory Phillips woke to find a student Polly Lombard in her home. Polly had lost her mom, and at night would sneak over to the next door neighbor’s home. It became a nighttime routine. As Mallory called Pete Lombard to pick up his daughter, they began the healing process. The Lombards helped Mallory stop hiding behind her work and jump into life again.
I had avoided this book because many reviews said it was heartbreaking. I guess what I saw was hope. The other side of tragedy when people start picking up the pieces of their lives. The book was written really well. It wasn’t overly sappy and it wasn’t too fluffy. It have a great flow and great pace. Once I started, I didn’t stop listening to it until it finished. I loved little Polly. Somehow she saw the capacity for love in Mallory and she grabbed onto it hard. It was so sweet watching the shell that both Mallory and Pete formed around themselves develop crack after crack, until the shells shattered. Love and acceptance is the ultimate Christmas gift and that is what this book was about. The second chance at happiness made this book heartwarming, not heartbreaking. It was a great book to read on New Year’s Eve. I felt like I was transported to Mimosa Lane and was a part of the story. I look forward to reading some more books in this series.
Series: Brothers Sinister, #1.5
on December 16th, 2012 Pages:
• Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can't forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him...or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.
Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He's been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he's determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss...
A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella (38,000 words) in the Brothers Sinister series. It follows The Duchess War. Each book stands on its own, but those who prefer to read in order might want to read that book first.
Miss Lydia Charingford was the best friend of Minerva Lane (now Minnie Blaidell, Duchess of Clairmont) from book 1. We had glimpses of Lydia’s past in book 1, The Duchess War, where Lydia and Minnie talked about Lydia’s miscarriage and secret shame.
In this book, we learn that 15 year old Lydia had been seen by a physician Dr. Parwine and a 21-yr old medical student Jonas Grantham, when the older doctor Parwine stated that Lydia would eventually perish due to her sin of moral decay. He prescribe prussic acid, something the medical student Grantham thought was more of poison, and sent them away.
Eventually miscarried the child, but Lydia chose to live her life full of cheer because she was living in direct contradiction to the prognosis given by that judgmental Dr. Parwine.
Years later when Jonas Grantham saw Lydia, he was amazed at how she was doing and her beautiful she was. He decided that he wanted to get to know her, but Lydia shunned him as he was one of the few witnesses to her secret shame. How can Jonas convince her that his interest in genuine and how can he get Lydia to give him a chance?
This was a Christmas story that showed us that Lydia had as much of an effect on Jonas’s career as he did on her determination to continue on despite her teenage pregnancy. I enjoyed Jonas courting Lydia because he obviously didn’t know that flowers and poetry were the way to a lady’s heart. Instead, he gave brutal honest at every opportunity. Jonas couldn’t be confused for a flattery because he didn’t even try. I think Jonas’ honesty was key because Lydia had been a victim of a cad who gave her all kinds of promises while stealing her virtue. Lydia needed a man she could completely trust and Jonas was that man.
One thing I must not forget to say is Lydia’s dad was such a caring man. I loved how supportive of his daughter he continued to be despite her secret pregnancy. He wasn’t the typical ton father and I think he was the real reason Lydia had a good outlook on life.