I adored Jenni Fletcher’s Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight, so I jumped at the chance to review her new Christmas title, Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess – and let me tell you, it was just as much of a hit, if not more!
Book: Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess by Jenni Fletcher
Read before: No
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by author. All opinions my own.
When Amelia Fairclough had sought refuge in a blizzard, a brooding stranger had given her warmth and shelter. She’d even tried to soothe him of his demons in return. But as she scurried home at dawn, she was spotted! Now he’s in the parlor, offering to do the honourable thing. Surely she’d be a fool to turn down the new Marquess of Falconmore!
I had so much fun reading this – it’s put Jenni Fletcher firmly on the ‘buy everything she writes’ list for me. The story revolves around the awkward marriage of Amelia and Cassius after their (almost) entirely innocent encounter leads to Amelia’s ‘ruin’, which is one of my favourite plot-starters of the genre (it must have ruined many lives in reality, but in fiction, it often gives two people the space to realise that there’s more than a momentary attraction between them). Watching the two of them fall in love felt like I was reading an old favourite – it’s a great sign when something feels like a comfortable, cosy read on the first go!
Amelia/Millie is an absolutely joy of a heroine, with all the qualities I like to read about – smart, warm, funny, caring, and chafing at restrictive societal expectations. She felt so well-rounded as a person, and I loved that she felt like there were two sides to her: the very proper Amelia that her family loves, and her true self, Millie, who is freer and more fun, but who doesn’t fit into what Victorian society expects of a woman. Cassius, too, is a lovely hero, whose demons don’t stop him from being honourable and kind. The two of them spark life into one another, even before their marriage, and they help each other to grow in so many ways. I loved that they were both too proud to want to admit the true nature of their marriage, so you get an element of ‘fake dating’ as they pretend to be wholly infatuated with each other to fool their neighbours- but how long before the pretense falls away?
Jenni really has a way with characters that gets you wholly invested in seeing them find happiness. They feel so human in the ways they express emotion (and try to hide it!), and that is really important to my enjoyment as a reader. In the world of historical romance, there can be a tendency with some authors to use plot devices bordering on the ridiculous to keep the lovers apart and create tension, or to make the main characters so obtuse about their own feelings that they refuse to see what’s going on – and in both books I’ve read by Jenni so far, this couldn’t be further from what’s going on. Her characters are intelligent, and what’s more, they’re emotionally intelligent, and the plot flows from their actions very naturally. There’s a particular action of Cassius’s late in the book that made me cry with how utterly sweet it is – I won’t spoil it, but he might take the top spot for ‘kindest hero’ from Matthew from Reclaimed by His Rebel Knight!
Honestly, this would be a delightful read at any time of year – perfect for Christmas, of course, but the love story is strong enough that it would be adorable to read year-round. If you’re looking for the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, then this would be ideal, as it sweeps you away into its romantic world. Five out of five cats!