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4.5 stars. Oh, this was such a sweet, heart-tugging, holiday historical romance. In a genre thick with Dukes and Earls and wealthy business men, I loved how this hero was just a 'mere' Doctor. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments too, including his father who was a 'hoarder' living neck deep in scrap metal and other desirable items he couldn't bear to part with.
Doctor Jonas Grantham was a practical no-nonsense man, and you might even say he was a bit anal-retentive in terms of his personal rules and social decorum. So when he spots Lydia and declares her the 11th prettiest girl around, we get a real taste of the kind of hero we are going to meet in this story. He had a one-of-a-kind look on life that was often shocking and also quite enjoyable, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker along with Lydia.
Five year prior, and when Lydia was only 15 years old, she was unfortunately overly trusting and ignorant in the ways between men and women. A quick doctor visit confirmed the worse, and thus began her life of not trusting men nor herself again. That terrible day was one she would never forget, including the young intern working with the doctor - Jonas Grantham.
Jonas soon realizes Lydia was that young girl who got terrible medical advice from a quack doctor he interned with years earlier, a day he wished desperately he could do over. He soon realizes Lydia is the one for him, and sets out to make her his wife.
But the feelings weren't exactly mutual, and 18 months later he was no closer to making her his wife. So he finagles an agreement from her to help him on his medical errands, while also making her a wager that he believes he can't possibly lose.
If you enjoy historical holiday romances, then you should definitely add this one to your list. And while Lydia was a small character in book one 'The Duchess Wars' of this series, this novella can easily be read stand-alone with zero problems.
This story was pure fun, a lot of heart, and a good dose of heat. Jonas is a hero that I won't soon forget. I highly recommend it.