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    Marry Christmas by Jane Goodger
  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 29th, 2008

goodger_marryreview.jpgReviewed by Gannon Carr
Publisher: Zebra
4 Stars

One of my favorite plot devices is one that centers on an arranged marriage that becomes a true love match.  In this turn of the century Christmas story, the arranged marriage is between Randall Blackmore, the Duke of Bellingham and young American heiress, Elizabeth Cummings.  Neither one is thrilled with this arrangement, but time has a way of changing everything…

The last thing that Elizabeth wants is to be married to a duke.  She is in love with someone else and has no intention of letting Randall Blackmore and his title stand in the way of her being with Henry Ellsworth, the man who holds her heart.  Elizabeth’s mother, on the other hand, will have none this nonsense.  Alva Cummings is enraptured by the thought of her daughter being a duchess, and she plans a Christmas wedding that will be talked about for years to come.  And nothing will stand in her way, so she locks Elizabeth in her room and threatens to kill Henry!

Rand never expected to be a duke.  As the second son, he was perfectly content with his position in the Life Guards, the most elite military regiment in England.  But his brother dies, leaving Rand with the title, an estate in shambles, and a mountain of debt.  The idea of marrying an American heiress just for money is abhorrent.  But for one million pounds Rand is willing to travel to America and marry a stranger, if it means saving his estate.  He is prepared to settle for a marriage in name only, but when he finally meets Elizabeth he is unprepared for his reaction to her.  Rand is surprised to find a pretty, engaging and often impertinent young woman, who he genuinely likes.  Those feelings soon escalate and Rand knows that he must win Elizabeth’s heart.

Goodger takes the arranged marriage plot and gives it a breath of fresh air.  I really liked the fact that Rand falls in love with Elizabeth first and is not afraid to tell her how he feels.  Of course, things don’t go according to plan, and Elizabeth believes that she is still in love with Henry and would rather be with him.  When Rand discovers Elizabeth and Henry’s alleged machinations, he feels betrayed.  While he will give Elizabeth his body—he does need an heir, after all—he vows to never give her his heart again.

There were times I wanted to shake Elizabeth, but she is a young, sheltered heiress who is love with the idea of love.  She doesn’t see Henry for the fortune hunter that he is, but when she finally realizes this and how much she loves Rand, she will have to convince Rand that she is sincere and that her heart is his alone.

MARRY CHRISTMAS is an enjoyable read with winning characters and a promising secondary love story.  In fact, the next book will be out in October 2009, and it features Edward and Maggie, Rand and Elizabeth’s best friends.  It looks to be another charming Christmas story for Jane Goodger, who by the way—and I’m proud to say—is a friend of mine!  Well done, Jane.

Marry Christmas was released October 1, 2008.


5 Responses to “Marry Christmas by Jane Goodger”

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  1. Marisa
    on Nov 29th, 2008
    @ 8:21 am

    Gannon – I’m with you. I love the arranged marriage that turns into a love match. Why? Because to my mind, it’s the epitome of romance. I also enjoy the hero who leaves himself a little open and vulnerable as well as the Englishmen in America. Love the twists and turns afforded by these plot constructs. Thanks for the great review, I’m definitely going to pick this one up.


  2. Gannon
    on Nov 29th, 2008
    @ 10:17 am

    Thanks, Marisa! Having the hero be the one who’s willing to open his heart and say how he feels first, was so appealing to me. I can’t wait for Maggie and Edward’s story. They were such engaging secondary characters–can’t wait for their HEA!


  3. Jane
    on Nov 29th, 2008
    @ 2:25 pm

    Gannon–Thanks for an insightful and intelligent review! You’re a true genius! 🙂 I’m glad you mentioned Maggie and Edward’s story, too. I’m also working on the third book of this trilogy. It’s the first time I’ve ever liked my secondary characters enough to give them another book. I usually resolve their love story in the original. I didn’t set out to write a trilogy, it just happened naturally. Merry Christmas, everyone!

    Jane Goodger


  4. Buffie
    on Nov 29th, 2008
    @ 6:50 pm

    Gannon, I have heard some really great things about this book. I love the idea of the hero coming to America to marry the heiress, instead of the other way around, which it usually is. And who can pass up a great Christmas romance read!! Thanks!


  5. orannia
    on Nov 29th, 2008
    @ 7:56 pm

    Thank you Gannon! I love a great Christmas romance and I love watching estates in a mess being put to rights 🙂 I’ll definitely try and keep an eye out for this!