cover image It Happened One Christmas

It Happened One Christmas

Kaitlin O’Riley. Kensington/Zebra, $6.99 mass market (332p) ISBN 978-1-4201-1239-9

O’Riley (Secrets of a Duchess) eschews drama for nobility, kindness, and family love in this tender Regency. Lisette Hamilton and Quinton Roxbury can’t deny their instantaneous attraction, but both are engaged to other people. Lisette is fond of her fiancé, a childhood friend; Quinton’s engagement is part of a business deal that will sponsor his financial and political ambitions. Each encounter between them is touched with just the right balance of romance and poignant regret. The writing is occasionally stilted, but O’Riley does a masterful job of making the dilemma gripping as Lisette and Quinton try to extricate themselves from their sympathetically portrayed intendeds. (Oct.)