December Holiday Reviews 2012 – One A Day – #23

To get everyone into the mood for celebrating winter, the final month of the year, or any of the many religious and non-religious festivals that will occur this month, we’re showcasing reviews for a range of holiday-themed books here. One a day, and since the books on the web site are all from this year, we’re giving books from previous years some extra attention here on the blog. I hope you’ll join us in having a look at the “Golden Oldies”!

This story “is an interesting love story, written in the language of the past”, reviewed by Lena. You can also find the full review on the Rainbow Book Reviews site by clicking here.


Book Blurb

To discharge a debt to his friend, Andrew Nash, Lord Thomas Barrington returns to the family estate he fled six years earlier after refusing to marry the woman his father had chosen. To Thomas’s dismay, Barrington Hall is no longer the joyful home he remembers from his childhood, and his young niece has no idea what Christmas is.

Determined to bring Christmas back to the gloomy estate, Thomas must confront his tyrannical father, salvage a brother lost in his own misery, and attempt to fight off his father’s machinations. As the holidays near, Thomas and Andrew begin to realize they are more than merely close friends… and those feelings are not only a threat to their social positions but, in Victorian England, to their lives as well.

Book Review

Being in love with another man in Victorian England is a risky proposition, one that Thomas Barrington and Andrew Nash of ‘The Christmas Wager’ by Jamie Fessenden, know well. Men of that sort were shunned at best and imprisoned and possibly hanged at worst. So valued is their friendship, neither wants to admit their true feelings for fear of losing the other. As stated in their Christmas wager, Thomas takes Andrew to his home for Christmas. Their visit leads to revelations which changes their lives forever.

Jamie Fessenden ushers us into the elegance Victorian Era with flair, describing daily life, including customs, dress, and language. He leads us into a time when life was simpler in some regards – no cars, cell phones or internet, and more complicated in others—the strict social order, traveling by horse and carriage and no running water or electricity.

Because of the book’s formal language, identifying with the characters was more difficult than usual; however, once I got the hang of it, Thomas and Andrew quickly worked their way into my heart and I became emotionally invested in their relationship. All of the characters are interesting, but my favorites, aside from Thomas and Andrew, are the twins—Hew and Duncan. They are great ambassadors, bridging the gap between the upper and lower class people. They are hilariously impertinent at times and loyal to a fault when it comes to Thomas and Andrew.

If you would like to read an interesting love story, written in the language of the past, and, of course, a happy ending, you may enjoy ‘The Christmas Wager’.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Buy the book here.

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