A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a school friend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

Title:  With This Christmas Ring
Series:
Author:  Manda Collins
Genre:  Historical Christmas Romance
Published:  October 3, 2017
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press – Swerve
My Rating:   4.5 stars

Every now and then fate gives us a second chance to get things right.  Youthful insecurities had Merry turning away Alex years ago.  The regrets and questions lingered on long after, but what was done was… done.  Now Merry will have the chance to come face to face with Alex once more.  Circumstances are quite different as Merry is fulfilling a deathbed request from a friend to insure that her baby daughter gets into the care of her father, Alex’s cousin,  It’s not an easy task, physically or emotionally but Merry does as her friend asks.  Now she and Alex will travel to the family Christmas celebration where one small baby will be reunited with her father  – and two people who never stopped loving each other may find a chance to end their story quite differently.

With This Christmas Ring is a short, fast paced Christmas tale that has several things going on, and delivers a powerful reading punch throughout the twists and turns of this story.  I liked Merry and Alex.  Neither one was a horrible person, they were younger, unsure in love and Merry allowed another’s words to convince her that her place was not at Alex’s side.  To be fair, Alex also spent those same five years apart when he might have made some overture toward the woman he still loved.  Now because of one precious baby’s plight they have the chance for a do over, each a bit older, a bit wiser yet no less still in love with each other.  I’d happily recommend With This Christmas Ring to any reader, no matter their preferred genre, that enjoys a good Christmas tale, second chances at love and an interesting story line.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle