Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stirring Questions -- A Review of Stirring Wishes by Tara Manderino

Elise has only one goal in mind: to make this the best possible Christmas for her younger brother, Harry. Lord Richard Stilton likes having his home to himself. The last thing he appreciates is his brother bringing in a frozen waif. Her appearance at his home hasn't changed him—or has it?

Stirring Wishes is a sweet novella set in Regency England just before Christmas.  Elise is on her way home from making a deposit on her Christmas pudding account at the grocer’s and is wondering if she’ll have money to buy enough currants and raisins to make the pudding really special for her family, when she awakens in the home of Lord Richard Stilton unable to remember who she is or where she belongs.  Lord Richard values his privacy, but the chit who has invaded it seems to show surprising glimpses of gentility. Just who is this young lady and why does she seem so… familiar?

This book was warm and engaging and kept my attention from the beginning to end.  The pacing was tight and the ending had a nice surprise twist that was Kleenex-worthy. 

I enjoyed this book for the most part, and would recommend it to friends, but I had one major question—how did Elise end up half frozen lying on the side of the road?  I wish the author had shown the accident as it happened.  She picked up a coin in the snow, debated whether to go back to the shop to deposit or to go home, decided to go home so she wouldn’t be late, there was a scene break, and then Lord Richard’s brother found her half-dead lying by the side of the road.  Since Elise awakens with amnesia, keeping us guessing about how she ended up on the side of the road may well be the author’s way of adding to her mystery.

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