Release Date: 10.19.2016
Mark and Maisy, ahem, that is, Lord and Lady Shiley, get ready to celebrate their first Christmas together at Drakenfall, their renowned estate-turned-resort in the heart of the Cotswolds. The energetic and very un-aristocratic couple spreads holiday cheer as they conspire in guest shenanigans and staff kerfuffles.
In an uncharacteristic turn, unflappable house manager Glynis Ferry seems to be getting her duster ruffled every time she catches sight of Shaun Fletcher, the new head groomsman. Pippa Taylor, a whirling dervish of a domestic, works below stairs to make the magic of Drakenfall happen for everyone else. But will there ever be enough magic left over for her? There will if most worthy valet Kafi Diop has anything to say about it, as he tries to spin holiday enchantment every which way. But his best laid plans always seem to go cataclysmically awry, even with Maisy helping out as his faithful sidekick.
And what about Kafi’s grandest of schemes, set to take flight at the Drakenfall Christmas Ball? He’s depending on guest Jamie Tovell, who’s depending on his secret crush Lea Sinclair.
But even if everything goes off without a hitch, will the secret Maisy’s been hiding from Mark all season pop up at the most inopportune moment to set everything asunder? It’s a Drakenfall Christmas … topsy turvy, but generously sprinkled with laughter and lavishly frosted with romance!
I've really enjoyed this book.
The story or better the stories are very well thought,planned and tied up in the end.
Every character is important and them all deserve to be happy and in love especially during the Drakenfall Christmas Ball.
I really liked the Christmas atmosphere that permeates every single page and made me all warm inside.
Fletcher was counting the polished bridles hanging on the wall when he heard a gasp behind him.
“Oh! You're here.”
He turned to find Ms. Glynis Ferry standing there in her furry boots and long flowing overcoat. She held her gloved hand to her heart as if he'd given her a fright worthy of Banquo's ghost.
“Ms. Ferry,” he said. “I work here. In the stables. And I live in the flat right upstairs. So, the chance that you might see me in here, at the stables, is pretty high. Just for future reference.”
“But I saw some horses and riders head out. I thought you were leading a party of guests.”
“Nah. The lads are exercising the horses before the weather really sets in. What brings you down to the stables in all this wind?”
“Me?” But all Glynis could think of was the rapid beating of her heart and how the man in front of her could be her destiny.
“Ms. Ferry? You know, you look cold. Why don't you come sit in the office and I can get us some tea. And I even have some cake Cook sent down.”
“No,” Glynis said, all but jumping back. “No, thank you. I just …”
But Glynis lost her train of thought as she found herself caught in his eyes. Nothing special about his eyes. Just brown. Dark brown. But the way he was looking at her. With hope? Possibility?
What is she were his destiny?
“Destiny?” Fletcher said.
Oh. God! Had Glynis said that OUT LOUD?
“Yes,” shelaughed, twirling around and encompassing all the stalls in her outstretched wingspan. “Destiny. Don't you think that's a … a nice name for a horse?”
“Destiny,” Glynis repeated, putting a small furrow between her brows, as though he could not keep up with her straightforward conversation. “Destiny seems to me to be an enchanting and eminently suitable name for a horse.”
Mr. Shaun Fletcher shifted his weight to his other leg and tipped his head, assessing her. “You came down here, you put on your boots and gloves and coat to come down here, to discuss a horse's name with me?”
Glynis pulled back and stood to her full height. “Of course not! That would be ridiculous.”
Mr. Shaun Fletcher opened his mouth as if to speak, but thought better of it. “My mistake,” he finally said. “But if you had, I'd have been game. My niece Cheryl can talk about naming horses all the day long. And whenever I visit my sister, there's Cheryl, ready with the horse books and we pour through them, thinking up names for them all.”
“Well, I am hardly a girl, Mr. Fletcher.”
“No? Well, you're not the crone you pretend to be, either.” And wasn't there the slightest snap to his voice?
“You run Drakenfall. I get it. You know everything and you're in charge and I've never in my life worked for a place so top-notch and ship-shape. Well done. But any time I try to talk to you about things we both might have done or heard or seen, in our teens or twenties or thirties, you get right up onto your high horse as though you're decades older than me and we can't possibly share any common ground. Forget that you're the house manager and I'm the yard manager and we might have something to talk about right there.”
“Mr. Fletcher, I am fifty-two years old.”
“And I'm forty-seven.”
Glynis nodded once with precision. “So you see, we're not as close as you seem to think.”
“We're hardly generations apart,” he said on a laugh. “Five years might have been a big gap when you were twelve and I was seven, but not now.”
“I … I have more grey hair than you,” she blurted.
He stood there, considering her. “You have more hair than I do, full stop.” He peered at her chignon. “As for how much silver is threaded through the gold, you'd have to let it down for me to get a good look and judge properly.”
“You would JUDGE how much grey is in my hair?”
“Only because you brought it up.”
“Truth is, Ms. Ferry, I'd talk to you about your hair if you wanted to. Or horse names. I'd talk about anything with you. If you wanted to.”
At that, Glynis's eyes grew wide.
“You know,” he said quietly, “I spend a lot of time wondering why you don't want to talk to me.”