This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Holiday Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on November 27, 2018
The Westcotts and extended family all together for the holidays, a surprise wedding that carries over from the last book, and a new budding romance that is built on friendship and takes everyone including the romance pair unawares. Gently-paced, sweet, and all the holiday feels wrapped up in one engaging story.
Someone to Trust is the fifth book in the Westcott series. While it might seem all right to pick it up as a standalone or out of order because it is an all new pair with no earlier threads together, this series is one that really works best in order. There is a strong connection of family and situation as each book builds on the last. Many scenes involving the larger family and references to the past might not grab a new reader to the series.
Someone to Trust actually overlaps a little in the beginning with the previous book, Someone to Care, so it is a spoiler if someone was planning to read the fourth book. This is Elizabeth, Lady Overfield’s book. Elizabeth has been the sweet, tenderhearted support for everyone and hides her secret pain and loneliness behind a twinkling smile. Christmas is a joyous time particularly this year as the whole extended family assembles at Brambledean, her brother’s home, and she is enjoying it, but can’t help watching all the happy new couples and young families with envy. That is a dream she feels that she cannot have; but she is determined to participate in the upcoming London she will settle for a nice man to give her her own family and home. However, her eye and mind keep straying to Colin Handrich, Lord Hodge, her sister in law’s younger brother. He’s too young for her to even consider, but she wishes it were not so because she enjoys the laughter and fun and companionship they have. He even is the keeper of some of her saddest and darkest memories that no one else knows.
Colin, for his part, has never know this sort of feeling. He is nearly overwhelmed by the love, support, and laughter of this huge, generous family who pull him into their group because he is Wren’s brother. Elizabeth Overfield, most of all. He knows that he needs to get about the business of doing his duty as head of his family by marrying and settling down on the family estate while taking his mother’s extravagance and wildness in hand. He looks about and has some of the most beautiful eligible girls paraded before him, but they can’t compare to the one woman who refuses to consider him because he is her junior and she claims he can do better than her. He has to watch sadly as she prepares to accept a boring, ‘safe’ match. But, will he take his chance when he gets it and convince Elizabeth she can trust him to be what she needs?
This one was heartwarming and slow-burn. It starts off slow with holiday and family and the early moments of Colin and Elizabeth’s friendship. There are a few brief moments of flirtation and glimpses that they share an attraction, but then they try to be sensible save for a whimsy that they will dance the first waltz together at every London ball they both attend. I didn’t mind the slow build and it made sense since Elizabeth is an abuse survivor and Colin has his own tangled past with his family.
And, that brings me to the family element. Colin came from a cold, lonely background with a distracted father and a narcissistic mother. He knows his sister was treated awful and sent away and he sees the way his mother twists and warps people to suit only her needs. It is all in stark contrast to Elizabeth’s warm and giving family. Incidentally, for fans of Georgette Heyer, I’m pretty sure there is homage being paid to the book, Venetia, in the form of another narcissistic mother.
The romance requires a lot of patience because it truly does take its time. It’s not absent in the beginning and middle of the story, but it is in a unnoticed or denied form by the players and even when they come together there is still more needing to happen to bring about the true swoony happily ever after. But, it does get there and was worth it.
All in all, I was in a mood to match with the tone, pace, world, characters, and friends to lovers in this holiday historical romance. I love the series and the whole family of Westcotts. There are a handful of stories that I really want and I’m not sure who is getting theirs next, but I’ll take any of them. I can definitely recommend this one and the whole series.
My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Westcotts in the story really know how to throw a family party and this one involved lots of fun in the snow: snow angels, snowball fights, building snow people, sledding, and sleigh rides. I’ve only experienced these wintry activities since I moved to Michigan- still haven’t taken a sleigh ride yet. But one thing these folks didn’t do with the snow was eat it. I had the most fun trying Snow Ice Cream my first year here so I have to share the recipe my co-worker taught me for all those who still haven’t had the chance and live in a snow zone or may someday be able to stay where there is snow. Ingredients: One clean (never been used for cleaning) bucket (or, in my case, all my large mixing bowls and pitchers) 1 cup sugar 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2 cups of milk 1 gallon of snow Now, this is important. Only use snow you gather in your pristine container and make sure its catching snow directly from the sky and not off the roof overhang. Haha! Personally, I set out several bowls so I can get the whole gallon of snow needed (since we rarely have over six inches in a dumping from our snow storms). When your snow is gathered, immediately add in all the ingredients and then eat right away. And, just for a little more if you’re interested in recipes that involve snow, I found this Food Network link for that: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/5-ways-to-eat-fresh-snow
Romance Roundabout #377 HR
New Release #194
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