Beatrice Copeland is the companion to Lady Elizabeth Bournard. One day nearing the holidays, Lady Bournard tells Beatrice she wants to invite several people for Christmas. She also tells her that she wants to have a real Christmas, something she hasn't done since before her husband died. When Beatrice sees the names on the invitations, she begins to panic and think of a way out - for one of the names is Sir David Chappel, a man she once knew in London years ago and believes herself partly responsible for the death of David's wife.
I found this a sweet tale of romance centered around Christmas. There are six people at the estate, and Lady Bournard has decided to pair them off. Lady Silvia, an Earl's daughter; Verity Allen, a young relative from Canada; Mark Rowland, a young vicar; Lord Jacob Vaughn, a viscount, who is an uninvited guest, stranded at the estate during a storm but asked to stay; and the aforementioned Beatrice and Sir David. Shortly after all the guests have arrived, things begin to go awry.
The book was a typical Regency in that everything worked out well in the end. But I enjoyed it because even though they didn't always behave the way they would have during the Regency period, it was still a delightful read. There was just enough romance without too much cloying, a little bit of intrigue, a secret or two, misunderstandings, the usual arguments. And though things aren't always what they seem, I read it in one sitting and recommend it to others.