The Christmas of a Countess – Linda Rae Sande

A romantic and sensual seasonal novel, The Christmas of a Countess tells the tale of a newlywed couple’s first holiday together. Although set in a cold and snow-filled county in North East England, this story will definitely warm you up.

The Story Set in November 1816, Milton Grandby, Earl of Torrington, is to have his first Christmas as a married man. He is used to spend his holidays in an ancestral hunting lodge in Northumberland, Torrington Park, and decides to take his wife there for a romantic time. But the coach carrying their servants doesn’t arrive at and his wife’s maid is having some trouble of her own. The synopsis promises a tale full of romance as well as indicates possible obstacles. Will this holiday away from London prove their undoing? It also gives a glimpse of the Earl’s personality as he is more than happy to act as a lady’s maid for Adele. And if the cover didn’t give it away yet, this historical romance has some mature themes, most of them concerning love. But reading the blurb luckily doesn’t give away much of the plot – and neither won’t I.  Ambiance

One of the most noticeable aspects of this story is that it is full of feelings, and the author knows how to transcend them from the (digital) paper to the reader. A warm and detailed account, considering the time of the year the story is set in. This historical world comes to live by the author’s hand as she is meticulously giving details about the surroundings, the appearances of the characters, but also colours, temperatures and scents. If anything, this book creates a certain mood: warm and romantic.  Which is another aspect this story is strong at; contradictions. The book is filled with words and descriptions that are opposites of each other. By using them, Linda strengthens the sense of atmosphere and manages to bring her message across. For instance, it’s cold outside but the warmth can be found in the relationships.


Four characters are introduced to the reader and then followed in this tale. We follow Milton, the Earl, and his new life as a married man. Adele Slater Worthington, his wife, has already been married before. After having lost her first husband she almost married another man, but she found out in time that he didn’t truly love her and was only after her fortune. Finding herself content after seven months of marriage with Milton, she starts to wonder if she is too old to have a baby. But someone who is even older than her and has been by her side for twenty years is her maid, Alice Simpkins. Alice has always performed well, but as of late her behaviour bothers Adele. The conclusion made is simple. Alice must be a lonely woman after all this time and just needs a tumble. Enter the Earl’s trusted Valet Alonyius Banks.   Apart from characters wondering if they have finally found true love, there are other sorrows at hand. There’s worry about food shortage, the staff and children. There’s a bit of matchmaking happening among the staff. And as everything in this tale, the details are explicit and well-written, carrying the reader off into this nineteenth century white world full of people whose hearts are beating like our own. A delicious writing style, like icing on a cake, that is a real treat. Christmas As a story set around the end of the year, with all its holidays and our holiday associations, Linda has performed wonderfully well. She manages to capture the essence of Christmas and knows how to recreate those feelings we identify with that time of the year. A tale with exciting descriptions and mature characters and emotions and feelings. Linda’s wonderful descriptive language creates that snow-covered world we’re all longing for this time of the year – and the romance we’re longing for too. (2017, first in the series “ The Holidays of the Aristocracy” – Click here to buy the book on AmazonClick here for Linda’s website to find more of her work )

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