His Christmas Pleasure

Release Date: 
January 1, 2012
Publisher/Imprint: 
Avon
Pages: 
300
Reviewed by: 

His Christmas Pleasure is several things: Well written, interesting, a story with strong characters who overcome obstacles to live the lives they want, together. It’s a story of triumph, of a scorned woman snaring the most handsome and dashing man available; a story of two people’s determination to prevail.

What it’s not, is a Christmas story.

There is a Christmas scene, but it’s not really a festive one.

Abby was jilted by one man, but she didn’t mind because she never wanted to marry him anyway. She fancied herself in love with Freddie, and is quite upset when he tells her he has decided to marry her cousin.

He loves her, it seems. But he’s marrying the cousin.

Andres, a hunk from Spain, overhears Freddie’s announcement to Abby. He gallantly tries to salvage Abby’s pride by dancing with her at the party. But one of Andres’ former one-night stands, a married woman, is quite jealous and causes quite a scene, further embarrassing Abby—who blames Andres.

After the humiliation, Abby’s well-meaning and doting father arranges a marriage between her and an older man—an older man with 13 children.

Meanwhile, the husband of the woman who so publicly declared her unrequited love and indiscretion with Andres offers the penniless Spaniard a deal he can’t refuse: A large estate in northern England in exchange for Andres leaving London and never returning.

Andres is thrilled to accept the deal. Problem is, he needs money. He remembers hearing Abby speak of a large dowry and inheritance.

What better reason to ask a woman you’ve known for about a day to marry you?

He does. She accepts to escape marriage to the man with 13 children. Knowing her father would forbid her marriage to Andres, she insists they elope.

With Abby’s father in pursuit, they hurry to Scotland and marry. The next morning, they discover Abby’s dad waiting for them—with bad news. He’s found a way to make Abby’s inheritance unavailable to the couple, and he revoked Abby’s dowry.

Andres and Abby’s wedded bliss dimmed a bit.

Then they get to their new estate.

Wedded bliss dimmed a lot.

But with determination to succeed despite the obstacles, Abby and Andres begin turning the ramshackle estate into a home and prized stables. As they do so, they become closer and a marriage of convenience turns into something more.

Then, it dims again.

Abby and Andres goes to a holiday party at a neighbor’s home, and Freddie (the man Abby once thought herself in love with) was there. He makes Andres jealous, and Andres hurts Abby’s feelings. Abby thinks Andres must not love her.

Since Freddie also told Abby that her mother wasn’t well, Abby leaves for London to visit mom, hoping Andres will chase her there.

Will Andres follow her, thereby proving his undying love and devotion? Or will he stay home, following the conditions set that allow him to keep the estate?

This, and more, is revealed in the final pages of His Christmas Pleasure—which really isn’t a holiday story at all.