Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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It's Christmas time (and it still is until Sunday) so what better way to celebrate then a novella by Courtney Milan.
This book is a companion book to The Duchess War and stars Minnie's friend Lydia and the town Doctor, Jonas Grantham.
Lydia had A Big Event happen to her at a very young age, and who was there to witness this mistake that could have ruined her? None other than Dr. Grantham. Years have gone by since she has been 15 and Jonas has finally realized he needs to put up or shut up regarding his feelings for Lydia, whom hate him pretty strongly for what he reminders her of.
Jonas convinces Lydia to spend some time with him on his rounds in a little wager. He has three house calls to make Lydia find a situation in which she cannot find the good. If he wins, he gets a kiss. If she wins, he never speaks to her again.
Now, let's delve into the characters.
Lydia is quite the damaged heroine. Her big mistake (which I believe is either hinted at or outright stated in The Duchess War) has really been a point in her life she likes to cover with cheer but she can't do that when Dr. Grantham is there existing and reminding her of it. She grows quite a lot in this short.
Jonas, on the other hand is a honest to a fault Sheldon-like character. He reminded me to an extent of Ian from Jennifer Ashley's The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. Ever since he made a list of pretty women to find a wife from, and then realized that Lydia is the list, he has pined but not done anything serious. This novella is him finally taking that risk to find out. There are also some really sweet scenes with his dad in this that I found quite heart-warming.
I actually really loved the romance and for the first time in many a novella found that this was just the perfect amount of time to tell their story. Not too short, not too long. I wasn't felt with the wanting to know more, or the fade to black for months at a time. The chemistry is there as well between these two, so that's always a plus.
Again I thought there was just the right amount of space to tell their story. I didn't feel rushed or that the characters were underdeveloped. I am pretty positive that you could read and enjoy this novella without having read any other book in the series, but it is always nice to see the call backs to the other books.
Maybe I am just filled with my own Christmas cheer, but I really loved this novella. It was sweet and spicy at the same time. A perfect little companion piece to the holidays.
I also enjoyed the small nods to certain things like this line "No. This list. This list goes to 11" or the name Grantham for that matter :D
Originally posted on GR January 2013