I adore audiobooks. I listen to them in the car, while cleaning, while doing graphic design for work, basically whenever I can. It’s a great way to get my hands-free reading fix. So today I have a short but sweet one entitled A Gypsy’s Christmas Kiss, written by Dawn Brower and narrated by Megan Green. By the way, this is the 6th book in the Connected by a Kiss series. While I always recommend getting a series in its entirety, this book is a stand-alone in a collection of stories by different authors.
- Genre: Historical Romance
- Heat Level: ❤️
- Story Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
- Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
Finley, the Duke of Clare, isn’t the warm and fuzzy type. The Battle of Waterloo and a few personal tragedy hasn’t exactly made him open to love and everything that goes with it. But while out feeling sorry for himself, he comes upon a shop and meets a mysterious young woman.
Lulia is the daughter of a Romany princess and a disgraced English nobleman’s son. Her mixed heritage means she doesn’t fit anywhere, and when she’s left orphaned, she relies on her few friends to keep her company. Teaching fencing lessons pays her bills, as does telling fortunes. When a sad young man with a chip on his shoulder comes into her shop, she might see more than she plans.
Years later, Lulia has slipped into English high society, spending time with her pupil turned friend, Diana. But she carries many secrets, even from those closest to her. One secret is the strange bond she felt with the young man she met so many years ago. And when the same young man steps back into her life, will her hidden past ruin everything or will the pieces fall into place just in time for Christmas?
This instalove story is what I like to call “Grammy Safe.” I can listen to it with my grandmother in the car on my way to drop her off at mass with no worries. I can also listen to it on my way to drop my daughter at ballet class. The sweet story is driven mainly by emotions and unexplainable ties that draw Finley and Lulia together. Of course they’re both very attractive, but a few chaste kisses are all this late Georgian era couple share on their way to happily ever after.
I do wish this book was longer and a little deeper where the story was concerned. When I say it was instalove, I mean they were completely fixed on each other after ten minutes to the point where even after ten years, they were still mad for each other. I would have liked to see why they loved each other without the vague “he’s perfect” and “she’s strong.” Lulia is such a vivid character with such different parents and Finley has such an interesting past that I’m sure has many stories, that I’m left wanting more.
But the story was short and sweet and great for a little feel-good diversion that makes audiobooks so special. It certainly helped that while listening, it was snowing in my area, mimicking the flurries Lulia and Finley saw in England.
This is my first listen to a piece Megan Green lends her voice to. She has a certain inflection to her tone that really gave an exotic feel to the book. Lulia’s accent was distinct, making it clear who was speaking when she was sharing a moment with Diana. Even the men had a slightly different tone and everyone’s voice was consistent throughout the work. While consistency doesn’t sound like something to be applauded, I have listened to some audiobooks where a character loses their accent midway through!
Overall, I enjoyed the story and wished that the rest of the series delved into it more, particularly where Lulia is concerned. How did her parents meet and fall in love? What’s it like being a Romany princess? Did she have to give up fencing? Will she try for the Romany throne? Dawn Brower, if you read this, I would like more Lulia, please and thank you.