Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Madeleine's Christmas Wish by Ella Quinn

The bachelors in Ella Quinn’s Marriage Game series make a habit of resisting the irresistible. But during the season for giving, surrendering to temptation may be the greatest gift of all…

A French spy, Georges, Marquis Cruzy-le-Châtel, has lived in England for years, sacrificing his life for his country—but not his heart. For he’s never been able to forget his childhood friend, Madeleine. And now, in her hour of need, he is there to rescue her…

The victim of a ruthless statesman, Madeleine, Comtesse du Beaune, has been abducted and sent to England to work in a brothel. Her greatest wish is to return home for Christmas, and her only hope of it is to marry Georges—though she will be his wife in name alone. Yet as they steal across the snowy countryside, Georges decides to woo her—with kisses that melt the winter’s frost and leave her longing for a holiday miracle…

Publisher and Release Date: Kensington Books, October, 27, 2014

Time & Setting: Regency, England & France 1814

Rating: 3 Gold Crowns

Review by Vikki

When I received this from Net Galley for an honest review, I was excited and couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The plot is intriguing and it starts out with action, which is always a good thing. The premise for this novella has a lot of potential, although it did not get developed to it’s full potential.

I know it's a novella and things have to move fast, but there was very little transition from one scene to the next. The first scene introduces you to the villain of the story, when he proposes to Madeleine. When she puts off giving him her answer, he stalks out.

Then the story jumps two weeks into the future, when "four rough-looking men" show up with a document, looking for women to go to a brothel in England and spy. To save her thirteen year old sister from being sold, Madeleine goes in her place. After this scene, the book jumps to another scene, this time with Georges, Marquis Cruzy-le-Chatel, a french spy for the good side.

I'm not trying to give you a synopsis, but an understanding of how this story jumps from one scene to the next. When Georges rescues Madeleine, the author tells what happens, instead of showing, and misses a great opportunity to have some serious action. What’s not the like about a hero rushing in the save the heroine? Unfortunately, the scene is not developed. This happens time and again throughout the entire novella.

I really tried to like Madeleine and Georges, but the character development is shallow, no depth at all. I kept asking myself what was there to like? I never felt as if I was privy to their deepest thoughts. Again, very little character development. When I read, I want to become engrossed in a character's thoughts and feelings, but it never happened in this story.

All in all, the story has great potential, just totally underdeveloped. Nevertheless, it does end on a high note and a satisfying HEA with a cute, although inaccurate Christmas scene. Sorry, no Christmas trees in 1814,except in Germany. Queen Victoria had the first one in England in the 1840s. In France, the first Christmas tree was introduced in 1840 by the duchesse d'Orléans. If this story had been riveting, I probably would never have even thought about when the Christmas tree was first introduced. Sad to say, that is not the case with this story. Happy reading!

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