Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady's wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl's kisses. And not only her dreams—her diary, too.
But when Cam discovers the maiden's not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages . . . or in his arms?
Jacqueline is plain and she knows it. She describes herself as…just not quite. She is a princess though so though the London ton ignore her, her brother is determined to marry her off. She meets the Earl of Bedwyr on holiday and is entranced – so entranced that she starts writing about him in her diary. At first she just writes about him as any girl with a crush would but she soon realizes that as she’ll never have him for herself that she will make up their romance on the pages of her diary. She writes sensual and sexual scenes in her diary and hides it away.
Cam, the Earl of Bedwyr, is looking for a deck of cards when he comes across a book hidden in a drawer. He pulls it out and upon reading the description of the lady that is written he realizes it’s the princess’s diary. When he reads further and sees the description of the man that she is writing about he realizes it is him. He reads just a bit and then puts it down but he keeps going back to the diary and reads more as he’s so intrigued. When the scenes in the book start to become sexual he starts to see Jacqueline in a new light. He sees the feisty woman that she is inside that she shows no one on the outside.
When everyone decamps to London Cam makes it a point to befriend Jacqueline. He has started writing poetry and he finds that in reading her diary he has found his muse. Without Jacqueline in his life he is completely blocked for words and that is unacceptable. At first he spends time with her for the poetry but he finds himself falling in love with her. He, however, must marry the woman his great aunt has picked out for him so that he can get the one family estate he loves from her and Jacqueline is being made to marry the man of her brothers choosing. With his reputation and her brother in the way being together is an impossibility. Or is it?
Oh I love Ashe’s novella’s. They are always so romantic and though they are short they always pack a punch. In this story I loved that Cam fell in love with Jacqueline – first through the pages of her diary and then by getting to know her. He really had ulterior motives for befriending her but he soon found he couldn’t stand to be away from her for long – passing up all his previous pastimes (drinking, gambling – being a rake) in order to spend time with Jacqueline. *sigh* It was just great to read
Jacqueline was a very strong person. She had to be in order to withstand London’s snobbish society. She knew she was plain but seeing how everyone ignored her as if she didn’t exist hurt me and I wasn’t even there. She was a lovely person on the inside and Cam saw her inner light. By the end he thought her beautiful.
Now not all romances run smoothly – as we romance readers well know. Cam and Jacqueline had their issues – when Jacqueline finds out that Cam was reading her diary – but she found out in a very public way. This shouldn’t have mattered to either as they were made to marry others but Cam finally put on his big boy pants and went to get what he wanted. Again…*sigh*. The man screwed up royally but he fixed it in such a way that made it lovely to read about. Such a good story.
I really liked this one, as you can tell, and think it’s a definite must read for fans of historical romance.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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