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I’m finding myself liking Christmas more and more these days. Or maybe it’s because I’ve read lots of Christmas stories lately. Hmmm…

Still, I can now openly admit that no other Christmas story can compare to those written by the one and only Erica Ridley. Either the woman was blessed by the spirit of Christmas itself, or she’s Mrs. Claus in disguise out to bring some holiday cheer to readers. Whichever it is, I must say her books are sure to be re-read in the future.

Lance Desmond is many things. A free man. An adventurer. And a man who’s… wanted – dead or alive. So, what’s a fellow to do when he needs to save his own hide? Why, he goes after a mythical cursed treasure, of course! Only, this particular treasure isn’t what he expected. And while being stuck in the same castle as beautiful Princess Marigold does have its perks, Lance doesn’t intend to stay caged for the rest of his life inside four walls. Now it’s up to this reckless man to wise up and use all his wits to break Castle Cavanaugh’s curse – and free the Golden Bloom of Eternal Youth forever.

Erica Ridley seems to be a master of fun, fairytale-like atmosphere. And couples that compliment each other. Personally, when it came to this book’s couple, I was reminded of these two:

And let me tell you, they’re my favorite Disney couple! (I wonder how Lance would feel about that?)
Anyway, they were fantastic! Funny, quirky, and couldn’t make me bored even if they tried. Plus, they show character development – how cool is that, huh?! Marigold was a spoiled little girl, who grew up to be an amazing, strong-willed, intelligent woman. And Lance decided to become a little more serious and adult-like – in other words, the guy of this unusal relationship – once he realized their freedom was at stake.

See what a nice, good ol’ curse and some pressure can do to people?

What made this story weird was Lance’s lines in some dialogues. As a geek, I had no problem keeping up with him, but to anyone else who isn’t on the same level, Lance can seem like a walking encyclopedia of all that is geeky and weird. However, I can’t ignore the fact that he has a certain way with words – not exactly smooth, but, heck, I give the guy some serious credit on originality!

Having already read Midwinter Magic , I found Mrs. Ridley’s humor to be very close to my personal taste. Still, she managed to shock me. This book, though written by her as well, seemed different. It’s like she changed her way of “showing”, yet maintained her own voice and hilariousness – which was a major bonus, if you ask me. Show me a writer that can change tactics and keep their style, and tell me that actually bored you – I dare you!

As you can guess, you can’t – no one can. And this is why this bookworm here is officially a fan girl – yes, Erica, you have a fan in me! Because keeping your readers interested and on their toes is what distinguishes a good writer from what I like to call, a “Keeper”.



***I was given a review copy from a LibraryThing Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***