She’s longing to be loved:
Lady Clarisse Falcot has only served one purpose to her loathsome father—to increase his power through a marriage to the future Duke of Billingsley. As such, she's built protective walls around herself. Journeying home from finishing school for the Christmas holidays, Clarisse’s carriage is stranded during a winter storm. She’s forced to tarry at at an inn, where she immediately antagonizes another patron—William.
He's avoiding his duty in favor of one last adventure:
William Hargrove, the Marquess of Grafton has wanted only one thing in life—to avoid the future match his parents would have him make to a cold, duke’s daughter. He’s returning home from a blissful eight years of traveling the world to see to his responsibilities. But when a winter storm interrupts his trip and lands him at an inn, he’s forced to share company with Lady Cara, a woman who reminds him exactly of the lady he so desperately wants to avoid.
A Christmas snowstorm ushers in the spirit of the season:
Despite the holiday time, these two people who despise each other due to first perceptions are offered renewed beginnings and fresh starts. As this gruff stranger breaks down the walls she’s built about herself, Cara has to determine whether she can truly open her heart to trusting that any man is capable of good and that she herself is capable of love. And William has to set aside all previous thoughts he’s carried of the polished ladies like Cara, to be the man to show her that love.
This is my first Christi Caldwell book and it won't be my last. I have to admit that at first I thought I was not going to like the book. It moved slow and I lost interest, but the more I read I got intrigued. Then of course when I should be in bed I got sucked headlong into it and could NOT put it down. I love a good Christmas romance they are usually light and cheerful stories. Will and Cara's story however had some lighter moments but at the heart of it was gut wrenching emotional story of a young girls loveless upbringing that turned her into what appeared as a unfeeling spiteful person. Will however saw below the surface to the real person. It was emotional to read as Cara began to become the person she'd buried so deep she never believed excited. Will is a very compassionate and insightful and honorable man. He saw the beautiful person Cara was and wanted more. Believe me when I say you will need tissues. A lot of tissues!