Series: Desperate Duchesses #2
Published by Avon on November 13, 2007
Genres: Historical Romance, Georgian Era, Holiday Romance
Magic under the mistletoe...
One spectacular Christmas, Lady Perdita Selby, known to her friends and family as Poppy, met the man she thought she would love forever. The devilishly attractive Duke of Fletcher was the perfect match for the innocent, breathtakingly beautiful young Englishwoman, and theirs was the most romantic wedding she had ever seen. Four years later, Poppy and the duke have become the toast of the ton... but behind closed doors the spark of their love affair has burned out.
Unwilling to lose the woman he still lusts after, the duke is determined to win back his beguiling bride's delectable affections...and surpass the heady days of first love with a truly sinful seduction.
An Affair Before Christmas was a delightful story and definitely quite unique and a surprise from what I was actually expecting to find here. This is the second book in the series and I found that even though many of the side characters were introduced in the first book I had not much trouble catching on to what was going on between everyone. I will say stick with the story the first 50 pages or so we get a set up of three separate plot lines so you definitely want to stick with it longer than most normally would. I almost gave up on it, but since I have a deep love for Eloisa James I decided to stick with it and I have NO regrets. Despite how it started the story ended up being so heartwarming and delicious to read.
Our story sets off with seeing our main couple “Lady Perdita Selby “Poppy” and Duke of Fletcher” where they first meet in Paris and fall in love and it takes us four years later. And our main couple is divided and split. They have both struggled with honest communication and they have drifted apart mostly due to their struggles with intimacy and sex in the bedroom. In Poppy’s mind, nothing she does is good enough to satisfy Fletch, and Fletcher feels he can’t find a way to have her enjoy those intimate moments and the lack of communication about this issue has truly driven them apart. When they separate for a time, it awakens Fletcher to the love he has for Poppy, that he could never have a mistress and endeavors to fight for her and win her heart again.
“I miss talking to you.’
‘I can’t imagine why. We haven’t talked about anything particularly interesting in years.’
‘I thought it was interesting. Perhaps I like talking about boring things with you.”
This was such a delightful story that felt so real especially in seeing that the biggest issue in their marriage came down to struggling with intimacy and lack of honest communication. And considering what both of them were taught about marriage beforehand its no wonder that they had issues. Seeing them work through these problems was a bit heartbreaking at times, But while this drama between them is going on we also get two other stories. One involving a sick Duke who is dying from a wound from a duel and another couple “Jemma and Elijah” and we get their full story in “This Duchess of Mine” and so we get some great intros and storylines between these three couples. We do get an HEA for our sick Duke and an interesting character who is the Duke’s cousin and from the reviews I read has his own book but also makes appearances in every book in the series so I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of this character.
What really worked for me in this book was seeing these separate plot lines that somehow meet up at the end of the story during a Christmas house party ball. I really felt like even though there were some issues especially since we see Fletcher seek out another bed partner (but no worries he doesn’t do anything) so even though I struggled with his character at first, he definitely grew on me especially when we see that his love for his wife prevails in the end and boy does Poppy put him through some drama first but its reasonable and not too intense or crazy.
Overall I found An Affair Before Christmas to be such a heartfelt and plot packed story that will keep you flipping those pages to delve more into this delightful Christmas story….so grab hold of your boots, because this story will wreak you in ways you don’t expect….A TEAR JERKER TO ENDEAR!!!