Tuesday, November 23, 2021

ARC Review: The Christmas She Married the Playboy by Louise Fuller (Blog Tour)

The Christmas She Married the Playboy

Louise Fuller
Series: Christmas with a Billionaire (Book 2)
Publication: Harlequin Presents; Original edition (November 30, 2021)

Description: Scandal leads to wedding bells in this uplifting, emotional marriage-of-convenience romance by Louise Fuller!

The one thing not on her Christmas list?
A convenient winter wedding!

Louis Albemarle has tried to bury the pain and guilt of his father’s death with his playboy antics. So when a photo of his stolen moment with figure skater Santina Somerville proves one scandal too many for his company’s shareholders, Louis must contemplate the unimaginable: marriage!

Marrying Louis is the only way to save Santa’s pristine image. But after a past betrayal, it’s not the gossip she really fears. It’s the burning attraction between her and Louis that might just make resisting her convenient husband impossible…

My Thoughts: Santa Somerville is an up-and-coming star figure skater. She has been on the ice since she was three trying to fulfill her mother's and her own dreams. Her mother died when Santa was six; her father remarried; she has two half-brothers. Her father and stepmother have been working two jobs to support Santa's dream. Santa knows and appreciates all their hard work. Now she has gained a sponsorship with an ice cream manufacturer which is finally making things a little easier financially.

Louis Albemarle is the Duke of Astbury. The tenth duke, in fact. He has recently inherited the position after his father's death. Louis was disowned by his father when he left his chosen bride standing at the altar some years earlier. He has been forced to make his own way with the help of his beloved grandmother. Louis has developed a business from a diamond mine to a retail business and to a jewelry brand favored by A-listers around the world. He is quite close to having enough money to buy out his shareholders. He has also developed quite a reputation as a playboy.

The two meet in Switzerland where each takes an immediate dislike to the other despite being incredibly physically attracted. When the paparazzi discover him walking her home after a fancy party, rumors begin to fly that threaten her sponsorship and his control of his business. The only thing he can come up with to make things right is a marriage of convenience. Santa very reluctantly agrees.

They find themselves honeymooning at Louis's Canadian home where the attractions catches fire and the marriage of convenience and separate bedrooms become things of the past. But both are still keeping hurtful secrets. Santa is having trouble getting over the betrayal of her first boyfriend who humiliated her and wrecked her already fragile self-esteem. Louis also has to deal with his issues with his family. Each needs to support the other and help them deal with the hurtful things. 

This was an entertaining romance. The characters were well-developed and interesting people. I enjoyed the way they helped each other get through their tough pasts. I liked the way they learned to trust and love each other. 

Favorite Quote:
She was still the same lonely girl who wanted to be special for something other than her skating.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley as part of a Harlequin Blog Tour. You can buy your copy here.

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