Why did I want to listen to this book?
I fell in love with this novella the first time I’ve read it and I was so excited to try the audiobook version, especially when it’s again narrated by the lovely Rosalyn Landor.
What worked for me?
First of all, I love the unconventionality of the story as well as the characters when it comes to historical romance. And this is one of the things I’ve come to love about Courtney Milan’s stories. Sometimes her characters are not dukes or earls or diamonds of the first water or wallflowers. Sometimes they’re just a county doctor and a merchant’s daughter. And still, it will be one of the loveliest, most romantic and still realistic stories you’ll ever encounter.
Jonas Grantham once held his tongue in deference to his mentor before his medical school days much to the mortal risk to his mentor’s patient but now that he’s a doctor, he’s vowed to always speak the truth to his patients. Lydia Charingford once believed herself to be in love with a man and believed that that love was returned. But it turned out to be all lies and that left her unwed and pregnant. But a series of events resulted in a miscarriage and for some reason her reputation stayed in tact. And now she’s vowed never to let another person, another man tell her and convince her with lies veiled as truths because she will never be that powerless again. But Jonas’s and Lydia’s paths have crossed once more and after years of seeming irritation and frustration from Lydia and a perceived indifference or judgment from Jonas, they both discover that neither of their truths about each other are the truths and that what they reveal to each other have the power to bring them together.
I love that since meeting Lydia again, Jonas has carried a torch for her all that time. But he’s met with the most impossible of hurdles since he’s the only one apart from Lydia’s parents who knows of her past and that has definitely been taken as a point against him. I just love reading about how they overcome the past over and over again. I must have read this novella a few times now and listened to its audiobook twice or thrice already. There’s something quietly vindicating when they finally get together, like a well-sought victory finally in your hands. Injustices that have been done in the past were truly repaid beyond value and you just want to celebrate. It’s the hope, it’s the trust, it’s the love that this story tells about that make it so addicting to my reader’s heart.
What did not work for me?
Absolutely nothing. I love this novella. So much.
My over-all take on it?
This was and I think always will be, for me, one of the greatest novellas I will ever read. It doesn’t hurt that it’s Christmas-themed in a way since the story takes place around Christmas time. Courtney Milan delivers another breathtakingly quiet story about trust and understanding. This is one of my favorites from Ms. Milan.
Courtney Milan’s debut novel was published in 2010. Since then, her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She’s been a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller, a RITA® finalist and an RT Reviewer’s Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance. Her second book was chosen as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010.
Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, a marginally-trained dog, and an attack cat.
Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After that, just to shake things up, she went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude. Then she did a handful of clerkships with some really important people who are way too dignified to be named here. She was a law professor for a while. She now writes full-time.
Courtney is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.
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Have you read Courtney Milan’s books before? What are your favorites? Do you read Christmas-themed books or novellas during the Christmas season?