Title: Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas
Author: Joanna Chambers
Length: 108 Pages
Category: Historical Romance, Holiday Romance
At a Glance: A little naughty and a little spice add to the sweet confessions and heartfelt moments of Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Lysander Winterbourne has been living happily at Edgeley Park for the last eighteen months. By day he is Adam Freeman’s estate manager, by night, his lover…but Adam never speaks of his feelings and Lysander has no idea whether their relationship is any more than a convenient arrangement for Adam.
When the two men are invited to Winterbourne Abbey for a family Christmas, matters quickly come to a head. Snowed in at the Abbey with a house full of guests, Lysander has to face up to shocking revelations, long-held secrets and a choice he never expected to have to make…
Review: Lysander Winterbourne and Adam Fletcher were introduced in Joanna Chambers’ short story, the aptly titled Introducing Mr. Winterbourne, which played out in a short day’s time but had lasting effects. Its brevity notwithstanding, it served not only to acquaint readers with Lysander and Adam but the author now delivers us here, to Christmas at Lysander’s family estate, Winterbourne Abbey, eighteen months later, where the couple are not necessarily together—for obvious reasons as the story is set in the year 1823—but they are at least in closer proximity to each other than they were the Christmas before. The only issue now is that while they each have what they want, namely not being separated for the holiday, neither man knows the depth of the other’s feelings, and that uncertainty breeds insecurity for the both of them.
As Adam’s estate manager, the job Lysander would have undertaken on his own family’s property, if his father had allowed it, Lysander is thriving, doing what he’s always wanted to do. But, embedded within his happiness is an underlying current of doubt that while he loves Adam without reservation, he himself may be nothing more than a convenient sexual diversion for the man who is, effectively, his employer. Unbeknownst to Lysander, however, is that Adam is experiencing his own doubts, wondering if the time Lysander spends in his bed is connected to a mere sense of gratitude towards Adam rather than being in correspondence with the deep sense of love and devotion he feels for Lysander.
A house full of family and guests, a snowstorm, little to no opportunity for a private moment, and a bit of scandal and romance—which causes a plan concocted by Lysander’s father, Lord Winterbourne, to save himself from financial hardship to fail spectacularly—altogether manages to deliver Adam and Lysander to a moment of sweet confession in the way one would expect from Joanna Chambers and her historical romance, genuine and heartfelt, the two men finally free of the doubts and fears that had held them in check.
One thing I appreciated about Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas is that it doesn’t focus on the holiday, as such, but rather, on the circumstances of togetherness and how it affects Adam and Lysander’s time at the Abbey. I enjoyed this aspect of the story for its authenticity (not that I’d have expected otherwise from this author), for what we picture as a traditional Christmas wasn’t celebrated at the time. A tree with all the trimmings would have been anachronistic, but that doesn’t mean a little mistletoe doesn’t do its intended job. And, it appears we’re going to be treated to another story involving Adam’s and Lysander’s dear friends Jonny and Perry, which I’m very much looking forward to.
Sweet, sexy and offering up a surprise or two as well, fans of the author and of historical romance should treat themselves to this short novel for the holidays.
You can buy Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas here:
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