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by Johanna Lindsey (A Malory Novel)
3.5 of 5 Stars
As the entire Malory family gathers at Haverston to celebrate the season, a mysterious present arrives anonymously. The gift is an old journal -- a tender and tempestuous account of the love affair between the second Marquis, Christopher Malory, and a dark gypsy beauty named Anastasia, who seeks a love match with a non-gypsy in order to save herself from a prearranged marriage to a brute. Though the dashing English lord Anastasia sets her sight upon burns for the exquisite, exotic miss, Christopher could never consent to wed such a lowborn lady. But miracles have been known to happen in this season of peace and giving and love, as two extraordinary people separated by circumstance of birth begin a passionate dance of will and wiles. And in the miraculous blossoming of a glorious romance at a long ago Christmastime, there are wise and well-learned lessons that will enrich the hearts of the Malory descendants -- and, indeed, of everyone who has ever dreamed.
I must tell you all that if you are not familiar with the Malory family, you may be a little lost since some parts of plot tie into previous books. That being said, The Present is a warm holiday read and I highly recommend the Malory books to anyone who love historical settings, dashing lords, feisty ladies, and wonderful romance.
The Malory clan gather for the holidays and, just like with any family get together, there is some drama. A journal is discovered and they soon discover dark secrets of their family's past as they read the romance between Marquis, Christopher Malory, and a beautiful gypsy woman, Anastasia. The story of Christopher and Anastasia brings together Jason Malory and Molly, a family servant, who have kept their romance secret of 30 years. It was nice to see their love blossom, after it has been slowly uncovered through the previous books.
So, if you have time this busy season, pick up a Malory novel.