About the book:
Title: Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides #10)
Author: Valerie Bowman
Published: October 30th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Source: received from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review
A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .
Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…
Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?
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Looks like this Christmas I did read books with a theme. It is a great feeling, I liked that! Some were great, others were just good for the time. Unfortunately, “Kiss Me at Christmas” falls under the latter category. I liked the premises so much, but sadly the plot was not at all what I had expected.
This is Regina and Daffin’s story. She is a lady of the ton, he is a Bow street Runner. Their interaction starts before the action in “Kiss Me at Christmas” and those flirtatious moments are what brings Regina at his office, to strike a deal. She needs someone who can offer her a night of true passion before her official engagement with a man only interested in developing his fortune, by acquiring the lands promised as dowry for Regina. As tempting as it may be, Daffin cannot even imagine accepting such a scandalous proposal. Not only is she promised to another, but she is also his best friend’s cousin. With her dignity offended, by her own actions and his refusal, Regina returns to her cousin’s estate, hoping to avoid any further encounters with the Bow Street Runner.
When danger appears, Regina’s cousin knows just the perfect person who can best protect her and his wife and also investigate who is behind. From here on, the romance and mystery go in parallel, though one falls second to the other in terms of development.
I admired Regina’s courage to face the enemy and her determination to raise Daffin’s interest. He is a professional in how he does his job, but he is also a man, so cannot stay indifferent to the charms of a beautiful woman. I did not like the action at all. The negative characters were more like silly actors and very poor participants. The threats against Regina and Nicole (her cousin’s wife) felt superficial and not well developed.
Everything in regards to the romance was good, even if I may have my complaints in that regard as well (especially in the end). What starts as more of a necessity, more like a desperate need of passion before submitting to a loveless marriage, becomes more for Regina. It is up to our Bow Street Runner to see if his desires are physical or if they can amount to something else.
So as much as it pains me, I’ll give “Kiss Me at Christmas” 3 stars, just because of the ok romance and our main characters. The adventurous side of the story disappointed me. With all these in mind, I still liked it. It is a nice book to read, especially around Christmas. Happy Reading!
About the Author
Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels aka Racy Regency Romps!
Valerie’s debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.
Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally dogs. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.