Mistletoe Moment by Blair Bancroft
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Length: Short Story (65 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia
After Pamela Ashburton’s dreams of a London Season meet with disaster at her very first ball, and her humiliation exaggerated by the unfeeling attitude of her mother and sister, Pamela goes to live with an aunt in Worcestershire. Four years later, she is well on her way to spinsterhood.
Will Forsythe, a veteran of the Peninsular War, retreats to Worcestershire in the hope a quiet, solitary life will heal more than his physical wounds. But it’s the Christmas season, and he finds himself faced with a damsel distressingly in need of help to gather mistletoe for her aunt’s Twelfth Night Ball. As an officer and a gentlemen, he has only one option.
Druids of long ago deemed mistletoe a symbol of good crops, fertility, and enduring love; makes one wonder if it holds true in nineteenth century England.
The ‘incident’ was such a little thing, but the spin Society put on it sent Pamela Ashburton running to her Aunt Honoria’s apple farm even before her first Season in London
Major Will Forsythe, wounded and traumatized by the horrors of war, flees to the unused family’s country estate next to the apple farm to avoid family and friends who expect him to be the man he was before going to war—an impossibility.
Regency rules and taboos in early 1800s stifled individuals that didn’t abide by dictates of Society, but strong personalities seem to find their way to survive and thrive. While Pamela and Will may be “Two self-made Pariahs”, they whet each others interest and enjoy “conversation without obligation or insinuation” in the isolation of an enchanting country glade.
The humor that under-girds this story makes it delightfully captivating. The characters, well-developed for a short novella, depict the diversity of the people in the community. The vicar’s wife and her need to get three daughters married rivals any ton matron on the hunt. Will’s batman, a veteran, is confidante and friend to the officer he serviced under in battle. Especially intriguing is Aunt Honoria with her positive attitude, common sense, loving nature, secret plan, and sparkle. The distant families of Pamela and Will, very much are part of Society, create conflicts that influence much of the motivation that sets the plot in motion.
Best of all, the hero and heroine’s, ignoring social pressures, find a joy in life as they search for mistletoe, survive the surprise of the ‘fallout’ of the adventure, and take control of their own lives. The climax at the Twelfth Night Ball makes the heart sing with joy.
Mistletoe Moment is incredibly entertaining— a short and sweet, enchanting love story.