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Lady Osbaldestone's Christmas Intrigue (Lady Osbaldestone's Christmas Chronicles) Paperback – October 15, 2020
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At Hartington Manor in the village of Little Moseley, Therese, Lady Osbaldestone, and her household are once again enjoying the company of her intrepid grandchildren, Jamie, George, and Lottie, when they are unexpectedly joined by her ladyship's youngest and still-unwed son, also the children's favorite uncle, Christopher.
As the Foreign Office's master intelligencer, Christopher has been ordered into hiding until the department can appropriately deal with the French agent spotted following him in London. Christopher chose to seek refuge in Little Moseley because it's such a tiny village that anyone without a reason to be there stands out. Neither he nor his office-appointed bodyguard expect to encounter any dramas.
Then Christopher spots a lady from London he believes has been hunting him with matrimonial intent. He can't understand how she tracked him to the village, but determined to avoid her, he enlists the children's help. The children discover their information-gathering skills are in high demand, and while engaging with the villagers as they usually do and taking part in the village's traditional events, they do their best to learn what Miss Marion Sewell is up to.
But upon reflection, Christopher realizes it's unlikely the Marion he was so attracted to years before has changed all that much, and he starts to wonder if what she wants to tell him is actually something he might want to hear. Unfortunately, he has set wheels in motion that are not easy to redirect. Although Marion tries to approach him several times, he and she fail to make contact.
Then just when it seems they will finally connect, a dangerous stranger lures Marion away. Fearing the worst, Christopher gives chase-trailed by his bodyguard, the children, and a small troop of helpful younger gentlemen.
What they discover at nearby Parteger Hall is not at all what anyone expected, and as the action unfolds, the assembled company band together to protect a secret vital to the resolution of the war against Napoleon.
Fourth in series. A novel of 81,000 words. A Christmas tale of intrigue, personal evolution, and love.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Savdek Management Pty Ltd; Print ed. edition (October 15, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 248 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1925559432
- ISBN-13 : 978-1925559439
- Item Weight : 10.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.52 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #125,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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No matter what is going on or who are doing the most action, Lady Therese Osbaldestone is always the center, the driving force - proper, strong lady of the Ton, deliciously devious, incredibly well connected with Intelligence community, feared by some and loved by all. She is so many different things and yet they all fit nicely inside this one family matron. She is the Grand Dame of all time!
And now that I've consumed the novel both on Kindle and Audible, I have to wait until next year to see how she helps Dagenham get the love of his life and what mystery will have all the town folk and aristocrats on the hunt for a solution in the tiny village of Little Moseley. Oh, and what about the Russian Count, Lady Osbaldestone?
This was a fun, quick read, with likable characters. It wasn't quite as light-hearted as the first 3 books in this series, simply because it involves espionage and dangerous French spies. The only real problem I found was that the plot developed a bit slowly -- I think mostly because it contained so many characters.
I have always enjoyed Lady Osbaldestone in all Laurens' books. She is an interesting, and quite entertaining character. I read, and enjoyed, the first three Christmas stories with her and her grandchildren as the main characters -- so I decided to finish the series.
I still like Lady Osbaldestone, and her grandchildren were adorable little imps. It was fun how she worked to find something to keep them busy, so that they wouldn't keep getting into trouble. I did think it was a bit odd that she, her son, and his guard were all willing to let children get involved in spying that could be dangerous. That just seemed a bit far-fetched to me, since most people wouldn't want children involved in dangerous activities. I did enjoy their antics, though, and the methods they used to help catch the bad guys were fun.
I loved how Lady Osbaldestone also encouraged her grandchildren to help with her matchmaking attempts, and they took to it immediately. It was cute how they thought of ways to encourage the couple, sometimes all on their own.
The part about Lord Dagenham's continued attraction to Melissa was a bit sad. He still cared deeply for her, but was beginning to think that there was no way they would be able to get back together. With the likelihood that he would be sent to Ireland for several years, he realized that she would probably get married before he came home. I am really glad that their book will be coming out soon -- I can't wait to read it, and have already pre-ordered it.
My rating system is below.
1 star -- Hated it, or did not finish. I usually only give this rating if some of the content is truly objectionable to me, like if one of the main characters does something really awful, and gets away with it.
2 stars -- Didn't like it. This rating usually means that I thought the writing wasn't very good, the editing was terrible, I didn't like the characters, or it had other major flaws.
3 stars -- I liked it, but had some minor issues with it. This rating means that there were minor editing issues, the story needed more character development, it was just too unrealistic, or had some other fairly minor issue. The majority of books I read get this rating – I do not consider it a bad rating.
4 stars -- I liked it a lot. This is a high rating for me, and I rarely give a higher one.
5 stars -- I loved it, and will probably read it again. Very few books are good enough to get this rating from me. The ones that do are usually classics.
Top reviews from other countries
I say this with absolute sorrow, as I LOVE her oldest books like Four in Hand, Tangled Reins, etc., including the first 6 of the Cynsters series and the Bastion Club series. Indeed, I used to automatically buy every one of her new releases. Not any more. Her books these last years (since the Black Cobra Quartet which was horribly dark) haven't been up to her previous efforts. I bought this one hoping it would be as lovely as the first two of the Lady Osbaldestone series. (I didn't buy the third as it didn't appeal)
Laurens is still a complete wordsmith, but the contents of her books have changed- darker, with characters behaving in a more modern and completely out of era behaviour. Her first books were more about the love story and its environs and the characters developing a workable, loving relationship within the scope of their culture. Now Laurens seems to insist on veering more towards the modern thriller with a dressing of historical colour. Her male leads have become weaker, the females more modern. Her females leads were always strong, but have become modern in attitude. Not what the reader expects when choosing a historical romance. Also, not all women want weaker, dithering men as lead characters. Maybe her publisher is pushing her towards this? Whatever has happened, I regret spending my money on an insipid read.
Her later books, from The Adventurers Quartet and The Black Cobra Quartet have veered into being mostly about the jeopardy, with the romance being incidental. A disappointing move from my perspective and I suspect I’m not the only one.
Having said all that, I have loved Lady Osbaldestone in all the books she has appeared in so was more than happy to read more about her family, fully expecting the jeopardy to take precedence over the romance and have enjoyed them with that in mind. However, this book was a rather flat and disappointing tale and not a patch in the first two books (the third book is also slightly disappointing but still more enjoyable than this one).
Ms Laurens is an excellent wordsmith who is capable of drawing wonderful pictures and evoking deep emotions but unfortunately appears to have been diverted down a path that has led her away from the genre that has garnered her so many fans.