Ever pragmatic, Lady Caroline Ponsby has given up hope she’ll ever receive a proposal of marriage from Christopher Perry, the wealthy man she’s adored for almost two years. She is determined to be an ex-spinster by Christmas. To that end, she has invited a prospective suitor to spend Christmas with her family. She knows very well that Lord Brockton would love to get his hands on her dowry, and she’d love to be a married woman with a home and family of her own. The very idea of his Lady Caroline throwing herself away on the likes of the vile Lord Brockton rankles Christopher Perry. A pity he cannot offer for her himself, but a duke’s daughter is too far above his touch, given his family’s humble origins. Nevertheless, Christopher attends the Duke of Aldridge’s Christmas house party with the intention of thwarting Lady Caroline’s grave misalliance with Brockton. If only he’s not too late . . .
The House of Haverstock is back and just in time for the holidays! I am a big fan of this series and so glad Lady Caroline has finally gotten her own book.
Lady Caroline is a force to be reckoned with and few are able to wiggle out of her schemes and machinations. To be sure, Lady Caroline only has the best of intentions and she never goes into a scheme with any intention other than succeeding. To date, her schemes and machinations have gone flawlessly for everyone but herself. Since she came out to the ton, Lady Caroline has not lacked for suitors and/or marriage proposals but none have come from the one man she most desires, Christopher Perry.
In two years of friendship and what may certainly be considered courtship, Lady Caroline has not succeeded in securing a proposal from Christopher. They are compatible on every level, their families genuinely like one another, and neither is in need of funds which prompts so many marriages. Though she loves Christopher, Clady Caroline is tired of waiting and so she makes the bold decision to abandon her heart, her feelings, and Christopher for a sure thing, Lord Brockton.
Lord Brockton is not a man many want to be around. He is crass, rude, unreliable, a terrible gambler, a womanizer, and flat broke. But, he has a title and in polite society, that matters. Lady Caroline knows what the gossip says about Lord Brockton and though she doesn’t particularly care for him and her family is clear in their dislike, she is sure she can learn to love him once she is the mistress of her own home and a mother. Now, all Lady Caroline must do is convince her heart and everyone she knows of the rightness of this plan. This may be one scheme even the formidable Lady Caroline can’t pull off. Lord Brockton truly is an odious human.
The Bottom Line: I really do love this series and was instantly drawn in to Lady Caroline and Christopher Perry’s story. Caroline has been a favorite character in every scene and book she has appeared in so I was thrilled to finally see her get her very own HEA. Though her actions are completely misguided and totally against her nature, Caroline is surrounded by people who love and support her and help her see the error of her ways. For the reader, this means we get more time with beloved characters from books past. My only “complaint” about this book is its length. Don’t mistake my meaning, the story and characters are fully developed and played out in the available pages, I just wanted more of Lady Caroline J In all, Ex-Spinster by Christmas is a fine addition to the House of Haverstock series and I look forward to more.
Cheryl Bolen is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of over 20 romances, both historical and contemporary mystery. Many of her books have placed in contests, including the Daphne du Maurier (romantic suspense) and have been translated into ten languages. She was Notable New Author in 1999. In 2006 she won the Holt Medallion, Best Historical, and in 2012 she won Best Historical in the International Digital Awards and she’s had four other titles place in that competition. Her 2011 Christmas novella was named Best Novella in the Romance Through the Ages.