For those who want snow, I don't know why you would! LOL :) We're getting 10-15cm it seems... and it took me 2hours to get to work. Roads are not good and cars that don't have traction can't climb up hills... Oh by the way, did you know that downtown Montreal was on a hill? Seriously, it was hard today... Sigh, and we're getting snow again Friday and Sunday and next Monday :(
Anyway, onto the review...
A Visit from Sir Nicholas by Victoria Alexander
published by Avon Romance in November 2004
Everyone knows that an Effington always gets her way... but this time it's not going to be easy!
Lady Elizabeth Effington simply could not suitably feel the joy of the Christmas season. Ten years had passed since she had boldly declared her love for Sir Nicholas Collingsworth. He rebuffed her and set out to seek his fortunes, while Elizabeth was left a woman scorned. Now, she discovers in horror that the inheritance she's managed beautifully was never hers to control. No, power over her finances lay in the hands of the last man she ever wants to see again: Nicholas!
But running Elizabeth's life isn't part of Nick's plans. He's intrigued when he discovers that the frivolous and flighty girl he once knew has turned into a beautiful and capable woman. Nick vows to woo -- and win -- her, and while she seems unmoved by his fervent seduction, he swears he will not rest until she accepts that most precious gift of all -- the gift of love.
Genre: historical romance
Series: Effingtons family, book #6 (or perhaps 7 or 8 ^_^;)
The Story: Elizabeth Effington is 19 years old and confused... She has always assumed, as did her family and entourage, that she would grow up and marry Charles Langley whose family is good friend with hers. However, lately, it seems she has developped feelings for another man... Nicholas Collingsworth, another man whose family is good friend with hers. Unfortunately, before she can sort out her feelings for both men, Nicholas breaks her heart and leaves for America where he intends to build his own fortune, pushing her in the arms of Charles.
Ten years later, Elizabeth is a widow with two sons. Nicholas has come back from America to settle down. Ironically, he's also been named by Charles as manager of the inheritance... However, he starts to wonder if it wasn't a mistake to refuse Elizabeth's feelings all those years ago. For friendship (since he was good friend with Charles) and for Elizabeth's future, Nicholas has denied his feelings towards Elizabeth all those years... but did he do the right thing?
My Opinion: Another Victoria Alexander... all in all, I think I've almost caught up on her backlist and all the books with the Effingtons :) I picked this book up because while reading Let It Be Love, we saw glimpses of Nicholas and Elizabeth's story. Have to say, Ms Alexander did a great job and weaving the two books together, as they take place relatively at the same time.
I really liked the hero in this book :) I think he had honor, integrity and ambition. He's also quite smart and not clueless, which is a nice change in most of Ms Alexander's heroes. I understand why he broke Elizabeth's feelings and I agree with him, Elizabeth should have fought for him if he's the one she really wanted it. I liked how he went after Elizabeth after realizing that both still had feelings for each other.
Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy Elizabeth's character as well. She's still angry at Nicholas for breaking her heart all those years ago and I think she blames Nicholas for pushing her to marry Charles... who betrayed her by having a mistress... and that annoyed me, because nobody forced her to marry Charles in the first place. Yes, everyone expected it, but she could have said no. Also, Elizabeth has a strong personality, but instead of showing it to everyone, she hid it under a frivolous persona... She showed only that frivolous side of her and in the end, she deceived even her own husband. You can't blame anyone in that case!! I think Ms Alexander tried to hard to make Elizabeth strong and independent... and it came out a bit wrong. I found Elizabeth very agressive, forceful and violent and it didn't endear her to me. I have to say howevere, it was very funny whenever she wanted to throttle her brother (which happened quite often).
The story focused on Nicholas and Elizabeth, so that was nice... I expected to see her two sons a bit more and I was a bit disappointed we didn't. I do have to say I found Elizabeth's sister Julianne annoying. I thought that she was very quick to judge people and that annoyed me.
Altogether, there were some good scenes, but overall, the story was quite simple. It was a quick read with some chuckles along the way. I found myself rooting for Nicholas, but I have to say I didn't care much for Elizabeth. Then, again, perhaps it's because I knew the ending already (since i read Let It Be Love beforehand). It think I would have enjoyed it more if Elizabeth has been less strong-minded LOL :) Oh and I really liked the parallels with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It was quite ingenious :)
My Grade: B-. If you're looking for a Christmas-themed historical, this is quite a nice read :D