12 Days of Christmas Reads — A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant

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Welcome to a bookish celebration of the Christmas season! For 12 days in December, I’m highlighting a book a day that puts the holiday season front and center of the narrative. You’ll find romances, women’s fiction, and even a cookbook! For day 11, I’m sharing a charming historical romance Christmas novella.


With one more errand to go--the purchase of a hunting falcon--Andrew Blackshear has Christmas completely under control. As his sister's impending marriage signals the inevitable drifting-apart of the Blackshear family, it's his last chance to give his siblings the sort of memorable, well-planned holiday their parents could never seem to provide.

He has no time to dawdle, no time for nonsense, and certainly no time to drive the falconer's vexing, impulsive, lush-lipped, midnight-haired daughter to a house party before heading home. So why the devil did he agree to do just that?


Lucy Sharp has been waiting all her too-quiet life for an adventure, and she means to make the most of this one. She's going to enjoy the house party as no one has ever enjoyed a house party before, and in the meanwhile she's going to enjoy every minute in the company of amusingly stern, formidably proper, outrageously handsome Mr. Blackshear. Let him disapprove of her all he likes--it's not as though they'll see each other again after today.

...or will they? When a carriage mishap and a snowstorm strand the pair miles short of their destination, threatening them with scandal and jeopardizing all their Christmas plans, they'll have to work together to save the holiday from disaster. And along the way they just might learn that the best adventures are the ones you never would have thought to plan.

Sometimes someone recommends a book to you so strongly that you avoid it because you don’t want to be disappointed when it doesn’t live up to your expectations. Or maybe that’s just me.

Well, Lindsay Emory, I owe you an apology. I thought A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong couldn’t live up to all of the glowy things you said about it. I was wrong.

This was my first Cecilia Grant novel (technically a very long novella) and it will not be my last. I found Grant’s writing so fresh, intelligent, and warm that I was completely won over. The hero and the center of this book is stuffy and proper to the extreme—not usually my cup of tea. However, the undoing of him by a heroine who is his perfect foil and who makes him an infinitely better man was delicious to watch. The book also features forced proximity and “we must pretend to be a married couple” which are two of my favorite romance tropes.

I don’t want to say much else and take away from the story, except to say that you should absolutely give this one a try.

Excuse me now, while I disappear for the rest of December to read the rest of Cecilia Grant’s back list.

Check back tomorrow for the next edition of the 12 Days of Christmas Reads. If you want to see all of the 12 Days of Christmas Reads recommendations in one place, you can check out this handy landing page or sign up for my newsletter.