Reviewed by Francine.
A gloriously Romantic Novella set in and around a Christmas Theme.
This is a touching tale of first love and the enduring romanticism of what if. What if Lucy’s ideal hero (Andrew Livingston) would only look upon her as he might a woman he desires? Instead he sees Lucy as he always has, as merely his sister’s best friend. Already betrothed, Andrew is beyond her reach except within her dreams. She too has a suitor. Although Lord Bexley is far from her tastes in a romantic sense he has admirable qualities: albeit he’s a widower with children. But, to wed a viscount will not only enhance Lucy’s fortunes, the chance to secure marriages of relative status for her sibling sisters will also raise her family from the realms of impoverished finances.
While Lucy’s life seems on the up, such is not the case for Andrew Livingston. Recently returned from the Peninsular Wars, Andrew’s life has been scarred: physically and emotionally. Jilted by his bride to be, dark days surround him for he’s no longer the Andrew who went off to war a full-bodied man. And while seasonal festivities are schemed and set in motion, Lucy treats Andrew no differently than she had in the past. But, Andrew, aware of a child now blossomed to womanhood - a desirable and caring young woman at that – something within stirs the like he never thought to encounter. Dare he let his heart runaway with him, for if he does, can he outsmart Lord Bexley and declare his heart before it’s too late?
There’s a lot of story neatly packed and wrapped within “A Twelfth Night”. It’s not only beautifully crafted and sparing on wordiness, the author has seamlessly woven nuances of Lucy’s and Andrew’s past into the storyline without slowing the pace of a lively and enchanting plot. This is a sweet romance in the vein of Jane Austen, the latter being a woman of her time writing about her time, and Susana Ellis has captured that self same essence of family life and budding romances within Regency society. A lovely read.