Book Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

ASIN: B0746M63WP
Print Length: 184 pages
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: October 3, 2017


A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever–on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can’t let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.


Merry left Alex five years ago without an explanation. He’s longed for her since then, and although she’s never told him, he’s sure his controlling grandmother had something to do with Merry leaving. When Merry returns to try to find Alex’s cousin, who married and fathered a child by Merry’s now deceased friend, she has no choice but to come face-to-face with the only man she’s ever loved.

This is a nice holiday tale with some interesting characters. There’s a little mischief and a lot of love. Although I’m happy he was as forgiving has he was, I would’ve liked it better if Alex had stood up for himself. Merry left him after having professed her love and promising to marry him, so I think he should’ve held out for an explanation before he made the decision, let alone told her, that he wanted to court her again. I felt that even though this is a novella, the rekindling was a little rushed in that regard. He was too trusting for someone who’d been jilted without an explanation.

I liked Alex’s cousin. I was glad there’d been a reason that he’d abandoned Charlotte and their unborn child. It made it easier for me to forgive him. I was pleasantly surprised at the uncovered secrets of the grandma. I didn’t see that coming at all, and a shock or twist or turn is always welcome in my reading world.

I recommend it.

Rating system: Cups of Coffee (the less the better)

0: You won’t need any coffee to stay up for this one. It’s intriguing enough all on its own.
1: You’ll stay up late, but not all night. Brew one cup.
2: You’ll read as long as you’re not tired. If you are, two cups should do the trick.
3: I hope you got plenty of rest; you’ll need it, or at least 3 cups.
4: If the cable goes out, read the book. It’s better than nothing, I guess. Oh, don’t forget your brew!
5: Find anything else to do- it doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t waste your coffee. Too much caffeine is bad for you.

My rating: 1 cup of coffee

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