Book Reviews

The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Historical / 19th Century / Royalty/Nobility / Erotic Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 14-December-2016

Book Blurb

Lord Thomas Pendleton, second son of the Duke of Branmoor, needs to discharge a debt to his friend Andrew Nash. In doing so, he must return to the family estate he fled six years earlier after refusing to marry the woman his father had chosen. To Thomas’s dismay, Branmoor Hall is no longer the joyful home he remembers from his childhood, and his four-year-old niece has no idea what Christmas is.

Determined to bring some seasonal cheer back to the gloomy estate, Thomas must confront his tyrannical father, salvage a brother lost in his own misery, and attempt to fight off his father’s machinations.

As Christmas Day draws near, Thomas and his friend Andrew begin to realize they are more than merely close friends… and those feelings are not only a threat to their social positions, but, in Victorian England, to their lives as well.

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010.

Book Review

Being in love with another man in Victorian England is a risky proposition, one that Lord Thomas Pendleton and Andrew Nash, of 'The Christmas Wager' by Jamie Fessenden, know well. Men of that sort were shunned at best and imprisoned and possibly hanged at worst. So valued is their friendship, neither wants to admit their true feelings for fear of losing the other. As stated in their Christmas wager, Thomas takes Andrew to his home for Christmas. Their visit leads to revelations that change their lives forever.

Jamie Fessenden ushers us into the elegance Victorian Era with flair, describing daily life, including customs, dress, and language. He leads us into a time when life was simpler in some regards – no cars, cell phones, or Internet, and more complicated in others—the strict social order, traveling by horse and carriage, and no running water or electricity.

Because of the book's formal language, identifying with the characters was more difficult than usual for me; however, once I got the hang of it, Thomas and Andrew quickly worked their way into my heart and I became emotionally invested in their relationship. All of the characters are interesting, but my favorites, aside from Thomas and Andrew, are the twins—Hew and Duncan. They are great ambassadors, bridging the gap between the upper and lower class people. They are hilariously impertinent at times and loyal to a fault when it comes to Thomas and Andrew.

If you would like to read an interesting love story, written in the language of the past, and, of course, a happy ending, you may enjoy 'The Christmas Wager'.

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 149 pages/47095 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-December-2016