The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley is a wonderful way to start a new Regency Romance series! This short story introduces us to Lady Amelia Pembroke, an individual who exemplifies the Type A personality by anticipating every need before an individual even knows that they are lacking in a given area. So when Amelia realizes her brother, Lawrence Pembroke, the Duke of Ravenwood, will never do his duty and marry until she finds a husband of her own, the twenty-nine year old spinster sets out to select the perfect mate. And Sheffield’s 75th annual Christmas Eve Ball, a not-to-be-missed London tradition, is the perfect place to find the appropriate choice. The only problem is that the occasion has been cancelled after a lightning strike ruined the ballroom. Not to be deterred, Amelia seeks out Lord Benedict St John, Viscount Sheffield, to reschedule the event at a different locale. The thirty-five year old Viscount, a poor relation who unexpectedly inherited a title from his uncle, finds himself diligently at work from eight in the morning until eight at night (although after hours it is “time for play”). Despite the fact that he is not looking for an entanglement, the no nonsense Lady Amelia intrigues him. Although he admires her industriousness, Benedict feels the urge to introduce her to the concept of doing things for pure enjoyment. On their search for the perfect spot to hold the upcoming Ball, and despite the various obstacles they encounter, the two manage to fall in love.
Whether you consider this a short story or novella, the pacing is perfect. The characters are likable, the plot is lively, and the conclusion is satisfying. Although the romance only consists of a passionate kiss under the mistletoe, the reader is still entertained.
A fun, lighthearted way to spend an afternoon. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Four stars and a thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to preview this ARC in exchange for an honest review.