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Unwrapping her talent for creating “scintillating wit and heart-stopping sensuality” (Library Journal ), Sabrina Jeffries gives readers a gift to cherish: a touching new novel of an unexpected Christmas reunion—sparked by a cunning ruse, family secrets, and the mysterious ways of the heart.
. . . I feel I should inform you that your mother is very ill. If you wish to see her before it is too late, you should come at once.
Mrs. Camilla Stuart
Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has led an unabashed rogue’s life, letting no woman near his heart. Inexplicably abandoned as a child to be raised by distant relatives, he never forgave his parents, refusing to read any of his mother’s letters after his father’s death. Then came a letter that shook his resolve. A Christmas visit to Montcliff might prove his last chance to discover the truth of his past, and come to terms with the stranger he calls “Mother.”
But two surprises await him at Montcliff. His mother is perfectly healthy, nowhere near a deathbed, as her meddling lady’s companion led him to believe. The second is Camilla Stuart herself, a lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce. Though she alone is reason enough to prolong his stay, he is soon faced with other tantalizing riddles: What secrets lie in his mother’s past to explain his childhood abandonment? Why is the captivating Mrs. Stuart so determined to mend the breach between mother and son? Meanwhile,
Camilla herself is caught up in love’s complications since the arrival of the irresistible earl. As his bold flirtation and suggestive whispers draw her dangerously close, can anything protect her vulnerable heart? If they are destined to share real happiness, there must be honesty between them—yet telling him the truth about her own life may shatter that chance.
None of them can predict the startling revelations to come. Or the secrets, both heartening and shocking, divulged between a mother and son, and between two lovers haunted by their respective pasts, that will make Christmas night at Montcliff one to remember—and the glorious night after, one to treasure for a lifetime.
Bestseller Jeffries (To Wed a Wild Lord) delivers a moving Regency with heart, soul, and holiday spirit. Asthmatic Pierce Waverly, heir to the earl of Devonmont, is just eight years old when his parents pack him off to boarding school and refuse to see him on holidays. As an adult, Pierce determinedly ignores his widowed mother until her paid companion, Camilla Stuart, sends word to his London home that Lady Devonmont is deathly ill. Arriving at the country estate, Pierce realizes he s been tricked by the good-hearted Camilla, who is hoping to effect a reconciliation between mother and son. In retaliation, he demands a carnal price from Camilla, almost out of spite. But Pierce doesn t expect what happens next: that he will fall in love with the feisty widow and bond with her six-year-old son. While Pierce tries hard to be a cold-hearted rake, his essential goodness is evident throughout, as is Camilla s irresistible optimism. The compelling, fast-paced, and lively tale wraps up with several surprising, tear-jerking twists.