HOLIDAY REVIEW: Comfort and Joy – Nicki Bennett

Comfort and Joy Book Cover Comfort and Joy
Nicki Bennett
Christmas, Historical Romance, Short Story, Gay Romance
Dreamspinner Press
Nov 16, 2023

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a widowed Earl must be in want of a wife—or so Marcus Stanthorpe’s grandmother believes. Marcus had done what was necessary to ensure an heir, but now has no patience for his grandmother’s matchmaking. Spending the holidays with his friends, his son, and his valet, William Haworth, brings him enough contentment.

But when a family emergency calls Haworth to London, Marcus’s contentment reveals itself to be fickle. Suddenly he realizes how much William has come to mean to him. But William has never indicated he shares Marcus’s preferences. Can the comforts of the holiday season bring two lonely men joy?

Review By Jay Mountney
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

This short story is delightful. The romance is set against a detailed background of nineteenth century English Christmas traditions and is worth reading for the loving care with which those are portrayed alone. During the festive season Marcus eventually realises he has feelings for William, his valet. Dare he stand firm against his grandmother’s matchmaking machinations and go with his real desires? He already has an heir, so there should be no problems, but grandmother is determined he should not be alone. The writing is good, and the plot is satisfactory. There is a happy ending, and the Christmas spirit pervades the tale.

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