As often happens, the cover grabbed me—specifically, the title on that cover. A Duel for Christmas. I mean, how often do people associate a duel with Christmas? What about a duel to provide your loved one with what she desires most in the world? What a killer gift!
So, I requested a review copy and waited for the time to read it. That time was this week. Regency isn’t necessarily my favorite genre, although I do love some of it, so I was eager to see what happened. I mean, it has history, suspense, intrigue, a duel, and Christmas in it? How could I go wrong?
Note: links are affiliate links that provide me with a small commission but cost you nothing extra. I promise. I also requested a review copy of this book and chose to write this review as a result.
Who Doesn’t Love a Killer Christmas Gift?
Well, no one unless it’s literal. However, in A Duel for Christmas, I “literally” love the gifts offered by all. In the interest of expediency, I’ve decided to do a “quick” (for me) review.
What I loved:
One of the best things about this book is how the author took actual events from the medieval era and rewrote them in Regency times. She created interesting characters—ones who you really can’t help but loving. I found myself especially drawn to some of the minor characters, and I hope to see more of Ralph and Pevensey soon.
I also loved the author’s occasional turn of phrase. Seriously, she knew how and when to write a phenomenal line or two that really packed a punch. I interrupted my friend while she worked and made her listen to two of those. My friend enjoyed them too.
What I hated:
At first, I would have said the dialogue tags. The book opened with sentence after sentence ending in, “he said,” and “she said.” That said, that went away rather quickly. It isn’t that the author stopped using them, but she used them in a much less obtrusive way and I found myself not noticing unless I looked. I also didn’t like what felt like “tacked on” Christianity in spots. A convenient call to prayer and then nothing. Repeat a time or two. However, it really is just a personal thing and I doubt most people would notice.
Additionally, some may find a couple of passionate kisses and/or the subject matter at times to be a bit “much.” While I don’t care to read kisses, etc., I did think the author did a fabulous job at showing the danger of careless passion and the consequences without dragging us through much too intimate of scenes.
What made me laugh:
Not much that should. I found myself laughing at attitudes that confound and frustrate me—and my overtly-American responses to them. It’s really a good thing that time travel isn’t a thing. If I got stuck there, I’d be run out of the country on a rail… or in a boat. Preferably one with a hole in the bottom, or so I expect they’d think.
What made me cry:
Well, I’m not a crier, but my heart wept for those whose lives were ruined through no choice of their own because of those same attitudes that confounded and frustrated me. I wish I didn’t still see some at times.
Who do I recommend A Duel for Christmas for?
Any Regency or historical fiction lover. Those who love a bit of suspense and/or mystery. I even learned a thing or two when I looked up a couple of things I thought might be anachronisms. They were not. The only error that really jumped out at me was a slight twist on a well-known word. I can’t decide if it was deliberate or not.
I really did like the book, much to my delight. An easy four stars. 🙂 And Psst… as of today, it’s on sale for just .99!