Alexander Edgeware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…
Mischief Among Misses
Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…
Lord Xavier is a myth. The man has created a persona that he continues to live by that has kept him in good stead with the ton. He has a reputation for being quite the ladies man among other things and can’t pass a wager up to save his soul. His most regular betting partner is his cousin Lord Lockwood. One day they were sitting in their club and Lockwood came up with a bet concerning Xavier’s upcoming house party. Xavier was to invite a respectable single woman and she was to stay the full two weeks or Xavier would lose. Now Xavier’s house parties are not were respectable young women belong. They are hedonistic and could sometimes make a sailor blush. When the appointed woman, Louisa Oliver actually shows up both Lockwood and Xavier are a bit shocked.
Louisa Oliver has been hiding from life for the past nine months. She was engaged to a man who then fell in love with her step-sister and she’s been living with the scandal and whispers since then. She’s ready to live and to make some changes in her life…like, getting kissed, discovering some great new books, getting kissed some more. Well attending Lord Xavier’s house party is the first step in reaching her goals. What Louisa doesn’t expect is to discover that Xavier isn’t exactly who everyone thinks he is and when she finds the soft center under the crusty outer shell she’s quite happy with who he is inside.
Season for Surrender was a good Christmas novel. I very much liked the wit and poetry that was a huge part of the book as I thought it added a lot to the story (both characters loved Dante as well as others).
Louisa was such a great character. I really loved the fact that even though she had been a wallflower during her one horrible season she really wasn’t a shy, retiring miss. She was a book lover and a bit of a bluestocking and her intelligence rose up in every conversation. When she first starts talking to Xavier in his library he was only there to try to keep her at the party – trying to win the wager. But she soon showed him that there was much more to her than he thought and they were soon immersed in each other’s heads. Louisa was somewhat reluctant to believe that the man known as Xavier could be changed and could become who he truly was inside, Alex. Alex was amazing but he had lived his life as Lord Xavier for so long she wasn’t sure if he could cast off that persona in order to be with her.
Alex was wonderful. Xavier…not so much. I understood why Alex had created Xavier’s image as he had and it all came down to fear. Unfortunately as he got older I would have thought, being the smart man he was, he would have figured out that he could keep his reputation, be respected by the ton and still be the man he was inside. I did admire his determination to keep his cousin, Lockwood, from ruining Louisa’s reputation when things started to fall apart, that’s for sure.
In the end I thought it was a pretty darned good read. I will definitely be looking for more from this author in the future.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5