Emily Annesley was engaged to Bennett Seton when he went off to fight in the war on the continent. Three months ago, she received a letter from him, crying off the engagement, saying that he'd met someone else and had already married. Ever since, Emily has been heartbroken and unable to move on with her life, but she decides to finally try to put it behind her by traveling with her parents to an aunt's house for the holidays. What she doesn't know is that Bennett has just returned and is holding a secret that he doesn't want her to know. A chance meeting at a posting inn with the man she's never been able to forget reveals all, but will it bring them back together or drive them apart?
A Christmas Reunion is one of Donna Hatch's Regency romance shorts. It's only about 32 pages by my eReader's count, so it doesn't have a particularly involved plot. In it, we have a young lady who's been jilted by her fiancé who wrote from a battlefield hospital on the continent that he'd married someone else. What she doesn't know is that it was all a lie he concocted because of injuries he sustained in battle that makes him believe she'd be better off without him. A chance meeting between them at a posting inn as she's traveling with her parents to a Christmas celebration at her aunt's house finally reveals the truth and brings them back together.
Emily was madly in love with Bennett, so she's been heartbroken ever since receiving his letter three months earlier. She's a sweet young woman, but one who's also angry and grief-stricken, having a normal reaction to being thrown over. But I like that, when reunited with Bennett, she's smart enough to intuit what's really going on, and she's very forgiving and loving as well. Bennett was perhaps a bit prideful to break things off like he did without giving Emily a chance to choose for herself, but there are many things that they used to enjoy together, which he can no longer do because of his injuries. However, I liked that, when confronted by Emily, he finally fesses up and is open to receiving her love again.
Overall, A Christmas Reunion is a sweet, tender story about two people finding their way back to one another. There's no particularly objectionable content, so it should be appropriate for romance readers of all ages and sensitivity levels. It's too short to go very deep in either plot or characterizations, but it does manage to be pretty satisfying given it's length. If you're looking for a heartwarming read that takes an hour or less of your reading time during the busy holiday season, then this little novelette should fit the bill.
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