Read What Happens At Christmas by Victoria Alexander Online

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Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas — an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which leaves the lovely widow with a slight problem. The last thing Camille wants is for the prince to meet her unconventional relatives. But with the aid oCamille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas — an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which leaves the lovely widow with a slight problem. The last thing Camille wants is for the prince to meet her unconventional relatives. But with the aid of a troupe of actors, Camille intends to pull off a Christmas deception of massive proportions. At least until Grayson Elliot shows up. A dozen years ago, he declared his love on the day before her marriage to another man, then vanished from her life. Now he’s back, gate-crashing Camille’s already chaotic house party, playing absolute havoc with her scheme — and with her heart. Because for Grayson, losing Camille once was quite bad enough. Losing her twice? Unthinkable. And he’ll find a way to show her they belong together — for this season, and every Christmas yet to come…...

Title : What Happens At Christmas
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780758255686
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 396 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

What Happens At Christmas Reviews

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2018-11-14 06:00

    3.5 delightfully farcical stars!What Happens at Christmas is such a fresh, amusing story! The characters are quirky, the story is unique... I really enjoyed it. Elizabeth Wiley does the narration and she has a lovely voice, and while she gave a lively performance, I had trouble distinguishing between characters - including, at times, the men from the women.I'm giving 4 stars to the story, 3 to the narration - bottom line: 3.5 stars.Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine

  • Becca
    2018-11-26 00:14

    It is with a heavy heart that I only give this an average rating. What Happens At Christmas had such promise: a silly but entertaining plot, easy going leads, and an interesting secondary cast. However, while I enjoyed this story up to the 70% mark, it then went downhill as the same arguments were repeated over and over and the silly plot went on for so long that it veered into the unbelievable and I just wanted everything to end.I'm not going to rehash the plot (it really does happen as the book blurb says), but I will add that there were several secondary characters who ended up being more interesting than the leads! Camille's twin sister Beryl and her husband Lionel...I could have read their story instead and I was always aching for them to be on the page (we sadly only get one scene--though it was a good one). Winfield, Gray's cousin, is also very funny and I enjoyed the banter he had with Gray whenever he was around. I see that I couldn't finish his book...but I did like his prequel novella.Now Camille and Gray--at first, I liked them. They were intelligent but trapped in a farce and seemed to still find humor in the ridiculous. However, Camille was really self-centered and could never understand how she had hurt (and continued to hurt) Gray with her words and actions. Gray for his part was fun at the beginning, but soon he just became a bit bland when he was in the mix of all the other chaos going on in the book. I just really didn't understand how they so obviously loved each other despite not being able to communicate on a fundamental level.Other story lines: we have small backstories for every actor, Camille's mother, Camille's sister Beryl (as well as her marriage with her husband, Lionel), Camille's sister Delilah, Uncle Basil, Winfield, Camille's father, a prince, and even five children at one point. It was a jam-packed book and the main romance suffered as a result.This was a cozy and at times funny story, but I think it would have been better 50 pages shorter and with a heroine that had a little more self-awareness and a hero with a bit more spine. I'll still be continuing with the series and trying out Delilah's book next (and hopefully get more of Beryl and Lionel there!).

  • Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
    2018-11-19 02:08

    “Being willing to forgive is not the same as being weak. Indeed, it takes a great deal of strength to accept someone else’s acknowledgment of their mistakes.”This was my first book that I picked up for my Christmas book marathon and I am so very glad I did! This was probably not only one of the sweetest and most adorable books I have ever read, but the humor was amazing as well, which was really nice because I wasn't expecting that!I absolutely loved this book, will gladly read it again and again, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful and sweet Christmas book.

  • Ezinwanyi
    2018-11-22 00:17

    4.5 starsThis was a very amusing Christmas story.Camille, Lady Lydingham, wanted the fairy tale life so when she met a prince who was travelling. Camille put a plan into motion designed to charm Prince Nikolai Pruzinksy of Greater Avalonia into proposing to her and making her a princess. The problem was that she didn't feel that her family was the "right sort" to endear the prince to her, as they were quite eccentric. So Camille decided to hire a troupe of actors to portray a proper and respectable English family. While Camille and her married twin sister Beryl, Lady Dunwell, put their scheme into motion, Camille's first love Grayson Elliot came by.Grayson had decided that Camille was the one that got a way and he came to woo her back. Unfortunately he walks into this grand spectacle of a Christmas holiday with Camille's faux family. Both Prince Nikolas and Grayson wanted to prove they were the right suitor. Her twin sister just wants her to be happy. The rest is just comedic genius.I wasn't expecting to enjoy this story so much but it was funny. Camille was very likable even though she was a bit of a dreamer. I give her a A for the trying in earnest to pull of a ruse of this magnitude. It required nerves of steel and sheer willpower to remain committed when parts of her story were falling part. Camille and her sister improvised so well, I almost expected them to decide to go into the theater afterwards.I liked the drama because it felt like watching a live play with the blunders, bloopers and improvisation. The romance was also sweet and heart felt. I was pleased with how the love story was resolved. The audiobook narrator did an awesome job with various voices. I was never bored in this story. If you want an entertaining Christmas story and a second chance romance, I highly recommend this one.

  • Caz
    2018-11-21 03:03

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable read; filled with warmth, humour and quite accurately painted family relationships. I liked that the heroine was in her thirties rather than a debutante or ingenue, and also that she had been content in her first marriage to a man who was kind and decent. The theme running throughout the novel is one of second chances - not just for Grayson and Camille, but also for Beryl and her husband, for their parents and the sisters' relationship with each other and their errant father.Camille and Grayson are very likeable characters, and the farcical element of the story is handled deftly and with a sure hand.A smile-inducing holiday for any time of the year.

  • Terri Lynn
    2018-12-03 01:13

    Since I detest romance novels and don't read chick lit, it surprised even me to find myself ordering this from the library and enjoying it. The description of a 30 year old widow named Camille (Lady Lydingham) of 1886 England deciding to try to get a marriage proposal from a prince from an Eastern European country that no longer exists (unknown by Camille) but who is really an actor playing a part to try to get hold of her money left to her by her husband with the help of her twin sister Beryl (Lady Dunwell) and her husband Lord Lionel Dunwell and a troupe of lousy actors who are to play servants and impersonate her mother and other sister Delilah just sounded hysterically funny and it was.Camille had wanted to give the prince a perfect English Christmas straight out of Dickens (actually the Dickens Christmases weren't that great) and feared her oddball family was too much. Her father had abandoned the family years ago and her mother told everyone he was dead. The mother spent years bringing in assorted lovers and deposed royalty. The youngest sister, the widowed Delilah, is stuffy and spending the holiday in London with their mother while their father's twin brother Uncle Basil is off somewhere (he is a lecher).Enter trouble. First of all, the members of the acting troupe do the most ridiculous things. Most of them were in service before going into acting but the woman playing her mother is senile and can't remember the name she is under and keeps calling actors by their real names. The fake Uncle Basil is as much of a pervert as the real one. And the floozy playing Delilah keeps trying to get the prince into her own bed. She also spills the beans to Grayson Elliott about what is going on, mistaking him for an actor.Grayson Elliott was Camille's friend her whole life and grew up nearby. His parents died and he was raised by his Uncle Roland and his wife. He has a cousin Win who is funny and has had a bunch of fiancees. The two boys were raised as brothers and his Uncle Roland fully intended to give him work and plenty of money but Grayson left for America to seek his fortune (his mom had been American). He has returned after 11 years fabulously wealthy and still in love with Camille. Eleven years earlier, he had startled her the day before her wedding to Harold (Lord Lydingham) by declaring he loved her. She protested that she was to be married but none of the three sisters had been in love with their husbands (just needed to better themselves through marriage as women had few options then) but she led him to think she was refusing him since he wasn't rich and he left town the next day for 11 years, not even returning 3 years ago when she was widowed.After Grayson learns what is going on from the floozy actress when he brings a basket of baked goods from his uncle and aunt, he sees an opportunity to win Camille over and pushes his way into the crazy scenario pretending to be Camille's cousin. One thing I was annoyed with was how the two of them spent most of the book whining that the other had broken his/her heart 11 years ago. I wanted to say, "Grow up already" to Grayson. He had years to tell Camille he loved her and as she was engaged for almost a year before the wedding, there was plenty of time. Instead of leaving the country, he could have fought for her, and when she was widowed, he's had three years to return. The only reason he returned was Win sending him a message that Win's dad was dying (which wasn't true except that we all are dying).Things get very sticky when the very real mother and sister Delilah return home and have to take on parts, Camille and Grayson smolder for each other, Grayson has Win "rent" 5 little boys, son of the butcher Mr. Carroll (Carrolls for Christmas), Beryl's husband shows up and finds the prince fondling his wife , and Camille's dad who has been away for 20 years returns.I laughed through the whole book, the "romance" wasn't too intrusive (the humor predominated), the family and the acting troupe are full of off-the-wall characters, and the lone sex scene was hot. The women here, though hampered by the times they lived in on how to become rich and gain power over their lives, are in no way traditional. They each married rich lords and all three husbands conveniently died and left them with money and property for life that has left them free to do as they wish. Though the father tried to return home for years, the mother would not let him and had lovers though she carried on that he should have just come on home and asked why he didn't. Beryl and Lionel (her second husband) had been notorious about having adulterous affairs but had fallen in love and decided to be faithful. Obviously these gals made the system work for them. This book reminded me some of Jane Austen's writings with women trying to grab a rich lord.All in all, this is a fun read for the holidays.

  • Laura the Highland Hussy
    2018-11-14 06:06

    Review posted on Demon Lover's Books & MoreI have come to look forward to Victoria Alexander’s Christmas novels. This year’s was just as fun and yet, I felt that it wasn’t quite as good as His Mistress by Christmas or My Wicked Little Lies (books 1 & 2 in Sinful Family Secrets series).This one starts out with twin sisters Beryl and Camille talking about Camille’s ridiculous plot to ensure the man (a foreign prince) who’s courting her both has the perfect English Christmas and proposes to her as well. Their family is not quite “normal,” so since no one is in the country, Camille hires a troupe of actors to play her family. Let the games begin!The farce is off to a raring start when Camille’s new “sister” decides her part would be much better played if she were a tart. The lady who plays her mother can never remember her own name, let alone that of the part she’s playing. And while all of this drama is just getting started, Camille is hit with a blast from the past.Gray has just blown back into Town under the impression his uncle, the man who raised him, is dying. Lo and behold his uncle is in great health.It was a trick his cousin played to get Gray to come home. Gray bailed 11 years ago and hadn’t come back once. The day before his long-time friend Camille was to get married, he walked in, declared his love out of the blue, and when Camille didn’t immediately declare her undying love right back, he left for America to make his fortune. Camille is shocked to see Gray in her family’s country house, but since he won’t leave and decides to stay on through Christmas as her cousin, she’s stuck with him. And a house full of actors, her twin sister, and one foreign prince.This book had the potential to have a ton of sexual tension, but I felt so much of it wasn’t there. Immediately we see that Camille and Gray are the love interests, but that leaves the third wheel, Nikolai the prince (who may or may not be who he seems). I felt this is why I couldn’t enjoy this story to the fullest. Nikolai is used as a plot device and nothing more. He is around when it’s convenient and he has a very small role. Which is sad because he’s the whole reason for the Christmas farce! Gray and Camille finally have it out over what happened a decade ago, and I did enjoy that, but I really had a hard time feeling any deeper connection to the two main characters. I enjoyed Beryl and Lionel’s small scene better than any other (which if you’ve read the previous book, makes it all the sweeter). Then the ending scenes began. At first when Camille’s real mother and real sister show up, I thought it was great. Her mother is quite a fun lady. But something happens with Camille’s father that really bugged me. The ending was way too easy, too tidy. I love a good Happily Ever After, don’t get me wrong, but this ending was incredibly convenient.While I liked the book well enough, it wasn’t as fun and witty as her other books. The drama felt contrived and the Prince was used only when it was convenient, or when Camille needed to make Gray jealous. This was ridiculous since the whole point of the charade was to entice the prince to propose by Christmas. He was rarely around. If there's going to be a love triangle, for the love of all that's holy, actually use the characters! ***ARC courtesy of Kensington Books

  • Chelsey Wolford
    2018-11-14 02:04

    How I laughed out loud with this book! I honestly do not think I have laughed so hard while reading a book in such a long time. I was so invested in this entire setting, as well as the lives of the characters, that I could not stop reading until I had finished. At first I got such a cozy feel right off the first page and then I started to realize the wit and spark that all of Victoria Alexander’s characters carried; I was blown away with my first time reading this author, and it will most certainly not be the last. Camille, Lady Lydingham, is recently widowed and has her sights set on a new man, a prince to beat all! At the start of Camille’s story we are placed right in the middle of a scheme that she has devised in order to have Prince Nikolai fall right into her arms. Are you ready for her scheme? This is the best part. Lady Lydingham has hired a stage of actors to fill in for her family this holiday season. Yes, you heard right. The entire Christmas season will be carried out with people who are not her real family. Except for her twin sister, Beryl, who claims that she would not miss this event for anything in the world. So this is where our fun begins. Prince Nikolai is very fond of Charles Dickens and has requested a Christmas that rivals the ones in Dickens’ beloved novels. And this, my lovely readers, is exactly what Camille seeks to give him. What Camille doesn’t expect is a visit from someone from her past. Enter Grayson Elliot. Oh, the romance and tension that was filling the air when these two shared any room or conversation. I loved Alexander’s writing when it came to romance, what passion and intrigue! I fell in love with their back story and each of them. When we first meet Grayson we learn that he has not seen Camille in eleven years, but still you can feel his love for her has never faltered. You have to be dang good at what you do for this to have an effect on your readers! ***Thank you to the publishers at Netgalley for providing me with a e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
    2018-12-10 06:09

    Currently free on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EUDKH1K/r...

  • Charlene Intriago
    2018-11-26 06:52

    I usually don't read Romance (and this definitely falls into the Christmas Romance category), but this was a thoroughly charming, and funny, funny, funny read!

  • Lover of Romance
    2018-11-22 05:10

    Camille has given up in find love for herself. Once eleven years ago, she had love, but the man she loved never fought for her when it mattered. So now a widow, she is determined to snatch up a prince. So she organizes a house party, to show the Prince a traditional Christmas family gathering, hires actors to act as servants and some family members, with only herself and her sister as real members of the family. Then all her dreams to marry a prince may go down the drain when Grey, the man she once gave her heart to, has returned and at the worst moment possible. Grayson Elliot, once loved Camille, but she was about to marry another man, so when she gets married, Grey leaves and makes his fortune. Now eleven years later, he knows that he will need to fight with everything at his disposal to gain the one woman who has always been the keeper of his heart. The only problem is, she is trying to marry a prince, and Grey will need to prove himself to win her over, and show her that their love is worth fighting for. What Happens At Christmas is the first in the series, and when I was at my library, I was looking for a good Christmas read, and this definitely fit the criteria I was looking for. There is something about historical romances set in this holiday season, and What Happens At Christmas definitely was perfect for this time of year. Its been quite some time since I have read this author, but her earlier books were some of my first romances so this author is very dear to me. So I knew I needed to get back to reading her, and What Happens At Christmas was the perfect way to start reading her again. Even though it took me longer than I thought it would take to read this, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. There was such a playful and teasing manner to this story. The story begins with the heroine trying to catch a prince, and sets up a delightful scheme to win him. Then a past love returns and all hell breaks loose, wagers are debated, and a battle of the wills begins. The plot wasn't thick with intrigue or anything, but it was full of mystery and fascinating dilemma's. The relationship between Grey and Camille is definitely rocky and unstable at times, but at other is lively and delectable. Overall I couldn't help but fall in love with this yuletide themed romance that is fun and full of twists and turns. Exceptional in the writing, astounding in the creativity, and plenty of dramatic characters to warm you on a cold evening. EARTH SHATTERING TO THE SENSES!!

  • Susan
    2018-11-28 23:10

    Very fun book, with a theme of second chances. Camille is well known in her family for her impulsiveness and the fact that it usually gets her in trouble. This one has the potential to do the same. Camille is very stubborn once she makes up her mind and nothing is going to stop her. She has the chance to land a prince as her next husband. The catch is that he wants to experience an old fashioned English Christmas. Most of her family is away, and they're rather unconventional anyway, so she hires a troupe of actors to fill in. What can go wrong? Well, the actors are not the best and seem to have some trouble remembering their parts. Then Camille's old friend Grayson shows up. They had been close friends as children, then the day before she married someone else he told her he loved her. She was stunned as she had loved him for a long time. But she thought it was too late and they said some things to each other and Grayson took off for America. After eleven years he is back. He walks in on the production and decides to "help" by sticking around as her cousin. Camille now has to cope with his reappearance which stirs up old feelings. She also begins to feel that maybe being a princess to a man she doesn't love isn't what she wants after all. I loved seeing her try to manage her actors who weren't doing quite what she asked them to do, and trying to adjust to all the changes that happen. It gets even more interesting when her real family shows up. Grayson has finally come home after making his fortune. When he sees Camille again, he realizes that he still loves her and is not about to lose her again. I loved the way he was there for Camille even though his "help" at times purposely stirred things up. I also liked the way that he was trying to protect her from herself. Both he and Camille had to finally talk about the events of their past in order to move on with their future. I liked the fact that Grayson admitted his mistakes but also wasn't going to give up. Some of the situations that cropped up were so funny that I could hardly read because I was laughing so hard. I loved the secondary characters - Grayson's cousin Win who is the one who got Grayson home, Camille's twin Beryl who is snarky and sarcastic, but supportive, the troupe of actors who just can't seem to keep in character, and Camille's mother and sister who show up and have to be fitted into the play in some manner.

  • Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
    2018-11-17 04:18

    Camille, Lady Lydingham needs to impress a Prince, and she has the perfect plan. She will create a picturesque Christmas for him, just as he has read in Mr Dicken's novels, including the perfect family, some ice skating and a few carols, surely he will propose to her after that and she will finally be a Princess and have the Prince of her dreams. All she needs to do is a hire some actors to play her family...what could possibly go wrong? I can hear what you are all thinking...why is she reading a Christmas book in January? Why indeed, I may have been a very bad girl (I am now on Santa's Naughty List) and forgotten about this book! Which was a HUGE mistake! It was such a funny, heartwarming book, it certainly helped me lift my January blues. This book was basically a farce, but in a good way, everything that could go wrong with hiring actors to play your family and all the servants did in fact go wrong, and as you can imagine, there is quite a lot of room for things to go tits up! And it was hilarious, I loved every single second of it, reading the witty banter between the characters and reading their reactions to the increasingly ridiculous situation kept a huge smile on my face. The romance was also very sweet, I started off not sure about Camille, she seemed quite mercenary and shallow at first, but the more I read and got to know her character the more likable she became. The romance though was gentle and sweet so don't go in inspecting sheets scorching sex. This is a perfect Christmastime read, it is choc full of humour, quirky families and long lost loves.

  • Courtnie
    2018-12-09 06:19

    Quick, light and funny. I was pleasantly surprised by this new-to-me author. There was so much in this book, it makes me wonder how one could keep the pace like this in each book one writes - are all of Victoria Alexander’s books stuffed with so much story?Camille, Lady Lydingham, is throwing a traditional Dickens English Christmas for a Prince that she plans to garner a proposal from. The problem is that her family is somewhat eccentric, and in an effort to be "normal", she hires actors in their places. Never mind the silliness of the plot. Hilarity ensues. I was amused by each unexpected arrival and the whimsy and fun of each character. The romance of the book is subtle and not over the top, a great balance to the very grand play going on around them. There was a point in the book where I realized that I much appreciate a good verbal fight between characters over a great big misunderstanding any day of the week. I thought the banter, both playful and in anger, were done so well. The ending was a little weak to me - the great rhythm between our H/hr lost to create a problem for the finish. There was a face palm moment, "Why did they do that!". And the overly romantic gesture was not to my taste. I obviously like a romance, just, not the corny variety

  • Louise
    2018-12-06 04:10

    A cute Christmas romance.

  • Midniteillusion
    2018-12-01 00:01

    I read this as a buddy read, I’ve been wanting to read Victoria Alexander for awhile and this one did not impress.The hero and heroine were the least entertaining characters in the story and by the end I was just ready for it to be over.They were so both wrapped up in their own hurt from eleven years ago that they had no concept of how the other might have felt (so much for true love). Camille, the heroine was so selfish throughout I couldn’t stand her anymore by about half way through. She blamed him for everything and seemed to lay any love or relationship they may of had squarely on his shoulders after she rejected him eleven years ago when she was not will to make any of the sacrifices or “fight for their love”. The farce was funny at first and some of the characters were amusing but some parts and plots just drug on for way too long. The two characters I wanted more of are Beryl (who doesn’t appear to have her own book) and Win who’s book might be more entertain along with the novella that comes directly after this book.

  • ☕ Kimberly
    2018-12-04 23:59

    I love holiday themed books, and this is the first I have read by Victoria Alexander, but I can assure you it will not be my last. What Happens At Christmas was a deliciously, hysterical, heart-warming tale that quickly put me in the holiday mood. I adored the characters the author brought to life in 1886 London and would love to meet them all again.We first meet Camille, Lady Lydingham and her twin sister Beryl, Lady Dunwell in the Ladies Tearoom at Fenwick and Sons, Bookseller. While they were not drinking coffee my beverage of choice I was so delighted that woman even then knew the coolest place to hang out was in a bookstore that serves hot beverages! Camille is a wealthy widow who is scheming to have a prince from an obscure country propose to her. Both she and her sister married the first time for financial security and this time she wants to marry for adventure. She is plotting to create the perfect Dickens’s Christmas to host the prince at their country home. Beryl sees this as yet another one of Camille’s clever plots that always seem to go awry; but none the less she finds herself assisting. In their discussion Beryl confesses that she and her husband are smitten with each other and that maybe this time Camille should marry for love. The events that take place between December 21 and Christmas day had me laughing and turning the pages as one complication after another arouse. The biggest complication of all occurs when a man whom she once loved shows up on her doorstep after eleven years..I adored Camille; she really does not know what she wants and has to figure everything out the hard way. She is oh so clever and the trouble this girl creates was brilliant. Long ago her heart was broken and she has never truly forgiven the man. Beryl is snarky and I loved her remarks and fierce loyalty to her sister. Gray, an orphan raised by his uncle as the second son, took off to the Americas after the woman he loved rejected him. He has made his way and is quite successful but has never forgotten the woman who broke his heart. I loved the interaction between Camille and Gray and at times wanted to shoot them both. While the prince was also vying for Camille’s hand he became a secondary character. The cast of characters who appear at Camille’s country estate were all unique and I enjoyed their mannerisms and the complications they added. Alexander takes the time to add depth to even the secondary characters and I so appreciate that about her.What Happens at Christmas had a very clever plot and the twists the author added at every turn had me completely enthralled. It was so much fun to see what event would occur next, and I quickly connected with the characters right down to the butler. I have always loved feisty, strong heroines who seem to get themselves in a pickle and Camille was remarkable. There was not as much sexual tension as I would have liked, and we are only treated to a mildly steamy scene. I loved the romance and the race to get my happily-ever-after.If you love historical romance and holiday themed novels with feisty heroines and lovable heroes then What Happened At Christmas is definitely for you. Victoria Alexander has been added to my must read holiday books authors list.I want to thank Kensington for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer

  • Connie Fischer
    2018-11-29 02:58

    Victoria Alexander has penned a delightful novel that mirrors a Charles Dickens type English Christmas. Camille, who has been widowed for a number of years, has met a man calling himself Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky of the Kingdom of Greater Avalonia located somewhere in Central Europe. He is traveling incognito and has dreamed of a true English Christmas. So, Camille, who is smitten by the Prince, decides to give him that perfect English Christmas. As her mother and sister are out of town for Christmas, she decides to use their home for this Christmas get-together. She hires a number of actors to play family members and servants and the story opens. An old flame of hers, whom she has not seen in years, shows up. He wants to rekindle their relationship. While he feels there is something that doesn't seem true about the Prince, he invites himself to stay for Christmas and thus the fun begins. Bit by bit the actors add confusion and humor to the mix along with real family members who show up one by one. There are a number of characters in this novel so you need to keep up with them, but the humor of each of them is laugh out loud funny. I'm guaranteeing your Christmas won't be as much fun as this one was. A must read.

  • Beth
    2018-12-01 05:09

    Christmas historical romantic farce. This was the first book I read in my annual Christmas romance reading marathon. It was quite entertaining. I could not really like the heroine or her family much as they seemed to be very shallow. But, as it was a farce, I would guess the characters need to be silly for it to actually be humorous. The heroine set up quite a tangled web of deception, and it got more tangled as it went along. I could not respect the intelligence of the heroine, nor the morals of her family, but I was pleased with the hero and the way everything was tidied up at the end.

  • Pat
    2018-11-28 05:00

    A jolly English Christmas in the country...only this one is a farcical romp starring Camille as she sets her sights on winning the hand of a mysterious (phony, perhaps?) prince and in order to do so she hires a cast of characters to impersonate her family ensuring her prince an authentic English Christmas. All goes awry when the long absent (eleven years) childhood chum Grayson arrives from America and decides he will play the part of Camille's cousin.More mayhem ensues to make for a most enjoyable read.

  • BeaCharmed
    2018-12-09 06:09

    The farce was mostly well-done but a bit too over-the-top. I had a hard time with the romance, they were both idiots and Camille was unreasonable. They're an interesting family for sure; I may try another book in the series.

  • ☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
    2018-11-29 06:03

    Rated 3.5Review to come

  • Virginia
    2018-11-11 06:18

    Despite witty and funny dialog/banter, most of this book was boring boring boring. I just couldn't get into it and skimmed my way through. I am glad it's over.

  • Sharlene
    2018-12-01 02:04

    A comedy of errors - fake family meets real family. Second chance romance. I loved this madcap Christmas story!

  • Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
    2018-12-02 02:53

    Review available on Mina's Bookshelf http://minadecaro.blogspot.com/2013/0...Rating 4.5 stars out of 5 Young widow Camille, Lady Lydingham, had grown up thinking that there wasn’t much use for true love in a practical world. Grayson Elliott, her first and only genuine love, had come forward with an ill-timed declaration, right on the eve of her arranged marriage to an older and much wealthier man. After revealing his feelings, Grayson had vanished, disappointing Camille’s hope to be rescued at the altar from a loveless marriage. He had fled to America bringing his broken heart and wounded pride with him, spurred by the sheer determination to prove himself to Camille by making his way into the world and building a fortune. Eleven years later, Grayson is back in England and ready to fight for the woman who never abandoned his thoughts: for too long they had been like “a play without a last act”, and the now outrageously wealthy Grayson is ready to pull the final curtain on his unrequited love for Camille. His timing seems to be wrong once again, though: the young widow has recently met Nicolai Pruzinsky, prince of as small as unheard-of kingdom of Avalonia. The charming royalty, who’s traveling incognito across Europe in the hope of fully and freely enjoying foreign Christmas traditions, represents everything Camille has ever wanted, handsome and perfect as if he had just popped out of one of those fairy tales she devoured as a young girl. Maybe too perfect to be real.Animated by her childish dreams more than true feelings of love, she sets her heart on Pruzinsky. So, when she learns that he is a fan of Mr. Dickens and that he is quite eager to experience the winter holidays the way they are portrayed in the novelist’s books, she decides to provide him with that proper English Christmas experience as well as a proper English family to go along with it. Afraid that her extravagant relatives will embarrass her in front of a royalty, and taking advantage of a temporary permanence abroad of her flamboyant mother, in fact, Camille hires a troupe of actors to fill her country house and pose as her family. To add complications to her preposterous plan, her long-lost love shows up at her manor, but when it seems that the farce can only end up in disaster and escalate in a huge scandal, the sweet memories of a distant past and her unquenched love for Grayson will remind Camille that, far from being shallow and mercenary, her heart is capable of true love. This historical romance novel by #1 New York Times best-selling author Victoria Alexander was quite a delightful read, reminiscent of a farcical comedy a la Shakespeare, twins, mistaken identity and all. I particularly appreciated Alexander's use of the classical unities (events unfold along one unique plot line, in one location and in a limited span of time), and her ability to get her well-paced narration flowing almost entirely with the use of dialogues. I found Camille’s character to be an original and unconventional female lead, a more practical sort of woman than your usual Victorian romance novel heroine.Fraught with witty dialogues and lively lines delivered by Alexander with the elegance and the perfection of a string of pearls, What Happens At Christmas features an entertaining holiday pageant brightened by the breezy tones of a light-hearted comedy.*Complimentary copy graciously offered by the publisher in return of an unbiased review

  • Susie
    2018-11-21 06:54

    This review can be found on my blog: https://susreviews.blogspot.comI was so excited when I received my ARC of What Happens At Christmas from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Victoria Alexander has long been one of my favorite romance authors. Her book, Her Highness, My Wife is my #1 favorite romance. Alexander writes about princes and princesses, far off places and wealthy artistocratic families with a penchant for twins and trouble. I love them. So you can imagine the fan-girl screaming that occurred when I got the ARC. This newest book did not disappoint.Carmille, Lady Lyndingham, widow of two years, has her sights set on a new man: Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky of the Kingdom of Greater Avalonia. She invites him to a traditional English Christmas with her family at her mother's house, but the problem is her family is not traditional and, aside from her twin sister and her husband, her family will not be there. But that doesn't stop Camille - she simply hires a troupe of actors to act as her mother, younger sister and uncle.She is convinced that she can get Prince Nikolai to propose and that she will fall in love with him - he's perfect, so how could she not? But her plans to show him a traditional Christmas get a wrench thrown in them when Grayson Elliot, Camille's neighbor and former best friend, walks back into her life. He's been gone for 11 years, after professing his love for her on the eve of her wedding and then running away to America when he didn't get the answer he wanted, but he's back and he knows what he wants and he's ready and willing to fight for it.Camille must figure out how to juggle an increasingly bad acting troupe, family members who keep showing up, a sarcastic twin and her long-lost love. And she must decide if Prince Charming is really who she wants, or if she wants the one who got away.Victoria Alexander writes in such a way that you are instantly sucked into her characters' world. You can feel the tension between Camille and Grayson. Grayson is contrite yet strong and Camille is headstrong and stubborn, but she's funny and insecure too. I loved their romance. There were many times which I wanted to put my hand to my heart and swoon in full Southern Belle style.The secondary characters were a hoot: the overly scornful and sarcastic twin, all the actors, with their inabilities to keep their characters straight, Grayson's cousin and Camille's mother and younger sister. They all added levity to the story and made it so amusing and lighthearted. Perfect for the holidays.The only thing I was a bit unhappy with was that while Alexander has set up a love triangle with Nikolai, Camille and Grayson, there really isn't all that much time spent with Nikolai. His character actually confused me for a while because I had read, and loved, books about Avalonia and couldn't figure out what time this took place. Eventually we learned that it was 70 years after the previous Avalonian books, but I wish I'd known that sooner. And we just didn't get to know him so his side of the triangle just wasn't all that plausible. I didn't understand why, aside from stubbornness, Camille wanted him.However, all-in-all, I really liked the book and I was so happy to read more about Avalonia, and really to read anything Victoria Alexander writes. Highly recommended to anyone who likes historical romances and to anyone who has read her previous Effington/Avalonia books.Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this ARC.

  • Zel Polev
    2018-11-26 05:54

    I should have heeded the low ratings. This book was so annoying. I got angrier the further I got in the story because it was so boring and annoying. The characters were insufferable and the story wasn't that interesting. What ultimately sunk this book was the main characters. The main characters love each other but an untimely confession led to eleven years of separation. When they reunited, emotions rang high, mostly anger and a lot of self pity. The characters repeated over and over again their own justification on why they didn't do more. Both characters were wrong but neither would really see how the other person acted the way they did. Camille harped on and on about how he didn't come back for her after she thoroughly rejected him. My eyes hurt from rolling because she repeated this again and again. Gray bemoaned the fact that she didn't break her engagement after springing his confession out of the blue. What does he really expect. In my opinion, these characters should stay far away from each other. I don't really see why he is in love with her and why she with him. I wasn't a fan of Camille either. She was shallow and a fortune hunting hypocrite. Her sister really had to jump hoops to justify Camille's actions. She was talking about how villainous it was of the Russian prince to lie to Camille, completely ignoring the fact that Camille was lying herself. So many lines of this book are dedicated to people justifying their actions because deep down they must realize that they aren't saints. The story revolves around Camille and Gray. They were childhood friends who discovered that they loved each other too late. Camille had a scheme to snag herself a prince and hired a bunch of actors to pose as her family, to impress the prince. However, the prince is a con artist looking to steal her money. He wants to marry Camille and run away with her fortune. Standing in his way are the people surrounding Camille because they had the foresight to do a background check on this Russian prince. Gray ended up bribing the prince to leave. He also confessed inadvertently . They end up together.I regret reading this book. I should have listened to my gut in the beginning. It brought me nothing but anger to read about boring and obnoxious characters.

  • Marti
    2018-12-11 05:16

    Victoria Alexander's books usually keep me quite entertained. Her characters tend to make me chuckle if not laugh out loud and usually it has some steam in the romance department. I read Lord Stillwell's Excellent Engagements and The Importance of Being Wicked and enjoyed both books in this series. The characters were put together well and the situation was set up to be a hoot, but somehow it missed the mark.What Happens at Christmas opens up with the prodigal cousin, Grayson Elliott returning from the United States much richer than when he left. He was sent over to the nieghbors to welcome them home only to run into his best friend who he has never stopped loving but who broke his heart. Lady Camille Lydingham has opened up the family manor to help hook herself a prince. She is worried about the characters within her family so hires actors to fill the different places. The prince who is called Pruzinsky wanted an English Christmas and Camille is working all out to get that for him and to get a proposal of marriage. The situation is fraught with dangers. First Grayson pushes his way into the family by claiming to be a distant cousin. Then the real mother and sister of Camille show up and play that they are Grayson's mother and sister... and then the plot thickens with the dead coming back to life, only everyone seemed to know he wasn't dead. If that doesn't show you how difficult is it to pull off the hoax...well that is because not everything is as it seems. There are still more skeletons to be found.Grayson and Camille think the other has broken their hearts when they were nineteen. In reality neither of them lived up to what the other thought they should do... The author used the technique of focusing on one day at a time with each day becoming closer to Christmas. I like the technique, but found the rehashing of the past and everyone trying to pull something over on another one, so no one would get hurt overdone.This book is a D in my mind with a lukewarm love scene toward the end. Perhaps for others it will strike a stronger chord, but for me I am disappointed.

  • Kogiopsis
    2018-11-26 05:11

    Call this a... 3.75, I think.I shouldn't have liked this - it's a junky romance with few surprises, and it focuses on the trials and tribulations of rich nobles which, really, is far from the most important thing going on in its time context... but I guess I was in the right mood, and whatever else it is, this book is fun.I think part of what makes me like it more than I expected is that, in my opinion, most romance novels ask the wrong question. As a reader, I don't go in wondering if the two leads will get together - it's a romance novel; I'm not oblivious. I go in wondering how. And this book, from just a few chapters in, had completely centered itself around that how. There's no doubt that Grayson and Camille both want each other, but in order to get there they have to overcome both external conflicts and internal ones. It honestly feels like a well-earned happy ending, because they've both had to work through justified and unjustified anger, apologize for past mistakes, and resolve other relationships in order to get what they want. (And the sex wasn't even a cure-all! It led to more conflict! I was thrilled!)There's a straightforwardness to this book that makes it very palatable to me. Camille jumps into things without thinking, and not only do other characters point this out to her, she acknowledges it herself. As she and all her sisters acknowledge the fact that, when they first married, they were essentially fortune hunters. Similarly, Grayson admits very quickly (when pressed a little by his cousin, who I was thrilled to see was sympathetic to Camille) that he treated her unfairly. It's so honest and mature. (The advantage of reading about characters in their 30s as opposed to hormonal teenagers, perhaps?) The secondary characters were similarly pragmatic, for the most part, and actually pretty well-drawn and interesting.All in all: if you're looking for a quick read and a simple Christmas romance story, this is a good bet. And free on Kindle, last I checked!

  • Arlena
    2018-11-16 00:09

    Book Description...."In 1886 Dec 18-25 & after. Camille Lady Lydingham wants a Prince, Nikolai Pruzinsky of Greater Avalonia. To give him a traditional English Christmas, she hires actors as family, servants. Suddenly Grayson Elliott returns after making his fortune in America. Eleven years ago, he declared love the day before her marriage to another then vanished. Now he wants her back." Title: What Happens At Christmas By: Victoria Alexander Series: Millworth Manor # 1Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 5Review:"What Happens At Christmas" By: Victoria AlexanderWhat I liked about the novel.....This was one of those fun reads that will have you laughing so hard pretty near all the way through the read. "What Happens At Christmas" was rather a long read, however, it was one read that you will find it hard to put down definitely being of a read of second chances for not only Camille and Grayson, Beryl and her husband but also the twins parents and sister. What will happen when Camille's long lost love...Grayson comes back into the picture after eleven years? This author really knows how to present a storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat turning the pages until the end as we are given a setting with the lives of the characters....all of them even the actor...to the events that will give one twist and turns in this unfolding chaotic story. Will this family be able to forge through their past and find forgiveness and be able to move on to a future? This is where you will have to read it to see how this author will give it to the reader. "What Happens at Christmas" will be definitely one of those festive reads where some things aren't what they may seem to be. Be ready for a good story of loss love, drama and yes even deception. Would I recommend "What Happens at Christmas?" YES!