Marian's Christmas Wish - Just a simple Christmas Wish -- but not simple when Love is at Stake

Marian's Christmas Wish - Just a simple Christmas Wish -- but not simple when Love is at Stake

by Carla Kelly

She plays chess, reads Greek, and is as educated as any young man.

But everything changes when she receives a Christmas visit from someone unexpected--a young and handsome English lord.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Romance
  • Rating: 4.04
  • Pages: 298
  • Publish Date: September 8th 2011 by Sweetwater Books
  • Isbn10: 1599559536
  • Isbn13: 9781599559537

What People Think about "Marian's Christmas Wish - Just a simple Christmas Wish -- but not simple when Love is at Stake"

In the hope that Marian's older sister, Ariadne, will marry well and save the family home, their brother Percy brings home two friends for Christmas: Sir William and Gilbert Collinwood, Lord Ingraham. But Marian refuses to let things go and ends up getting embroiled in a dangerous scheme as a result, and Gil discovers he has to rethink his notions of how he's living his life.

Marian's Christmas Wish is one of Carla Kelly's gems. Carla Kelly's novels never feel stale or unmoving, with the plot flying by as Marian and Gil starts to learn about one another, while trying not to get into to much trouble along the way. The whole cast from Marians family and friends werent just background characters or cardboard cutouts, but just as living and breathing as both main leads I love all of Kelly's female leads, they have a great personalities along with hidden strengths were women weren't meant to have, only look pretty. Gil was open to all, but narrow in his own views, which causes much heartache later for Marian and his family.

Percy brings home two gentleman friends for the Christmas holiday, one is Lord William Clinghorn who is to be Ariadne's fiance if all goes well.... Ariadne is the very proper Lady of the time, willing to sacrifice, and a little boring. Lord Ingram was witty, humorous, chivalrous, sweet, flawed and endearing.

I fell in love with her style when I read Marrying the Captain, and the other two books in her Channel Fleet trilogy, The Surgeon's Lady and Marrying the Royal Marine. This one is a re-issued traditional Regency romance from earlier in her career, originally published in 1989, and it has the same feeling of a storyline which really moves, interesting, but accessible characters and pure entertainment, in common with those of her early books I've actually been able to get my hands on. My understanding is that this is somewhat experimental for this author - she is selectively allowing ebook publication of those books which exchange hands on ebay for ridiculously over-inflated prices, so that she can actually benefit from her work, and also more people can enjoy it. I got the impression he is a rather unhappy individual, and spending time with the heroine and her family is something of a rude awakening for him, to what life can be like. He probably could have been older, and even with the age difference, the romance would still have worked IMO. There is very little lying around on sofas and contemplating dresses in this one, and this is very much like the other older romances by this author.

She loves her family dearly, but they dont make life all that easy for Marian or for themselves. Marian and Ingraham very quickly strike up a friendship and he begins to show an understanding and sympathy towards her that she has not so far received from any of her family. It is quickly clear to the reader (if not to Marian) that Gil is attracted to her, although he does nothing overtly to take things in a more romantic direction between them. Marian, however, sees this clearly, and following a terrible experience, takes a rather extreme step in order to force Gil to stop and think.

I am feeling, as my Mother always says, tired and emotional, so have turned to super CK for comfort and to keep me feeling Christmassy for a bit longer. Like so many of CK's heroines she's a fixer, a yes woman. He's older (29) and injured (catnip), a diplomat and it's apparent that Marian's whimsy and care and her brains do it for him pretty much straight away. What didn't work for me was the turn the plot took at the 75% mark.

I read Marian's Christmas Wish not knowing what to expect and ended up spending the next three days reading three Carla Kelly books because I couldn't get enough of her writing. Marian's Christmas Wish begins as a sweet, light-hearted holiday tale with lots of silly escapades and laughs, but the second half transforms the story into something completely different, fraught with intrigue, heartbreak, and danger.

Although Carla Kelly is well known among her readers as a writer of Regency romance, her main interest (and first writing success) is Western American fictionmore specifically, writing about America's Indian Wars. Although she had sold some of her work before, it was not until Carla began work in the National Park Service as a ranger/historian at Fort Laramie National Historic Site did she get serious about her writing career. (Or as she would be the first to admit, as serious as it gets.) Carla wrote a series of what she now refers to as the "Fort Laramie stories," which are tales of the men, women and children of the Indian Wars era in Western history. Her most recent gig with the National Park Service was at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site on the Montana/North Dakota border. Her mantra for writing comes from the subject of her thesis, Robert Utley, that dean of Indian Wars history. Her three favorite fictional works have remained constant through the years, although their rankings tend to shift: War and Peace, The Lawrenceville Stories, and A Town Like Alice.