Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish

Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish

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Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

Contains mature themes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781515960454
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 10/11/2016
Series: Windham Series , #4
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Grace Burrowes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Lonely Lords series and the extensive Windham series. Her debut, The Heir, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, and its follow-up, The Soldier, was named a Publishers Weekly Best Spring Romance of 2011.

James Langton trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner, he has performed many voice-overs and narrated numerous audiobooks. James was born in York, England, and is now based in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

"Ain't a bleedin' bedamned room t'be had in all a bleedin' Lun'nun, guv!"

The innkeeper raised his voice to holler over the racket created by one screaming infant. "Stables is full up too, and more bleedin' snow on the way! Beg pardon!"

He hustled away and started bellowing over the din in the common for somebody to mop the bleedin' floor. Not surprised at the lack of accommodations, Vim moved off in the interest of sparing his bleedin' ears.

Though moving wasn't easy in the crowded confines of the common.

The floor was a slick expanse of that particular type of mud created when snow, horse manure, and dirt were tracked in from the semifrozen quagmire of the inn yard, and yet it was hardly the worst feature of the crowded room. The stench rising from the floor blended with the aromas of wet wool, unwashed bodies, and overcooked mutton stew to offend even the lowliest nose.

Overlaying it all was the incongruous scent of cinnamon, as if a little spice would confer on the scene some sense of seasonal good cheer.

Which was not bloody likely.

Piercing the noisome air, over the cursing and muttering of stranded travelers, over the scrape of boots and the swearing of the hostlers in the yard beyond, came that sound most capable of driving Wilhelm Lucifer Charpentier to madness.

A crying baby.

Vim had noticed the little blighter when all the passengers on his stage had been told to debark here in the very heart of London, because the weather was precluding further progress on the journey south. Like benumbed sheep, they'd all stumbled into the inn, toting their belongings with them only find an assault on their ears was to be the price of thawing their toes.

The child's crying ratcheted up, from indignant to enraged. The next progression would be to inconsolable, which might last hours.

Happy bedamned holidays.

Vim knew people in London. People who would act pleased to see him. People who would smile and welcome him as an impromptu guest for the duration of the foul weather. Happy people, offering him wassail while they laughed their way through the same hopeless madrigals and selections from Handel's Messiah.

He shifted his gaze from the scene beyond the window to the woman holding the unhappy baby a few feet away.

"I beg your pardon, madam. May I be of assistance?" He tipped his hat and had to fist his hands at his sides, so strong was the urge to pluck the offending infant from her arms. "The child appears distressed."

She bobbed a curtsy while holding the child. "I've explained to him that such a tantrum is hardly seemly, and I do apologize for the noise." She focused her gaze on the child. "You are a naughty fellow, young Kit, banging your tankard and shouting down the rafters..."

She went on softly remonstrating the baby while Vim recovered from the prettiest pair of green eyes he'd ever beheld. Overall, she wasn't a pretty woman-she had a full though solemn mouth in the usual location, underscored by a definite chin and a nose somewhat lacking in subtlety. Her hair was dark brown and pulled back into a positively boring bun at her nape. But those eyes...

And her voice. It was the voice of a pretty lady, soft and luminous with good breeding and gentility, though she was using it to try to gently scold the child into better behavior.

"May I?" He held out his arms, meeting those green eyes when she looked faintly puzzled. "I have some experience with children."

She passed him the child, moving close enough to Vim that he realized she was not particularly tall. She had a dignity about her, though, even holding a bellowing baby.

"His mama should be right back. She just went around to the back for a moment." The lady cast a hopeful look at the door-a hopeful, anxious look.

Vim took the child, who appeared distracted by the change in venue-though likely only temporarily.

"You will hush," he said to the baby. This pronouncement earned him a blinking, blue-eyed stare from his burden. "This good woman is tired of your fretting, as is the entire room and likely half the block. Behave your little self, or we'll call the beadle to haul you off to gaol. That's better."

He put the baby to his shoulder and began to gently pat and rub the small back. "He just finished his luncheon, didn't he?"

The woman colored slightly. "I believe he did."

Still on the breast then, which was going to be a problem.

"I don't believe his mother will be returning." He said it calmly, an observation about the weather, nothing more.

"I beg your pardon?"

"Voice down, madam, lest His Highness start to fretting again, hmm?" He turned his body to provide the woman a little privacy, his larger frame effectively blocking her from the rest of the room.

"Sir, you just said you aren't sure his mother will be coming back. A trip to the necessary will hardly keep her until spring." She hissed the words, suggesting she lacked a parent's instinctive capacity for dissembling before children.

"The necessary is not in the direction of Piccadilly. She took off at as smart a pace as this footing will allow."

"You must be mistaken." Except a certain shift in the lady's expression told him the mother's behavior might not be entirely out of character.

"She's a solid young woman, blonde, attired in a purple cloak?" The baby rooted on his shoulder. "I have a handkerchief in my pocket. Would you be so good as to extract it?"

Again he'd spoken calmly, babies being fiendishly perceptive even before they learned their first words. The lady was perceptive too. She stuck a hand into the pocket of his greatcoat and produced the handkerchief without further comment.

"Lay it on my shoulder."

She had to go up on her toes to do that, which meant amid all the stink and filth of the common, Vim caught a whiff of something... lovely. A hint of late spring. Cool, sunny, sweet... pink-throated roses and soft climbing vines of honeysuckle.

She stepped back to watch him warily.

"I suspect his recent meal has left him a tad dys"-the baby burped loudly and wetly-"peptic."

"My goodness." She blinked at Vim's shoulder, where the infant was now beaming toothlessly at all he surveyed. Vim shifted the child and retrieved the handkerchief, which had protected his greatcoat more or less from carrying the scent of infant digestion for the rest of the day.

He hoped.

"How long do you intend to wait for his mother?" The child swung a tiny hand and caught Vim's nose.

"Joleen was to board the Portsmouth stage." Another anxious visual sweep of the surrounds.

Vim took a step back so the lady might have a view out the window. He also disengaged his proboscis from the baby's surprisingly strong grip.

"I was told the coaches are all putting up for the duration, madam. My own travel has been interrupted because of it." The baby knocked Vim's high-crowned beaver straight at the woman beside them. She caught it deftly in one hand. When Vim dipped his head, she positioned the hat back where it belonged.

"That is a naughty baby," she said, eyeing the child.

"He's a boy baby. They all have more energy than they know what to do with, until they sleep like the dead, restoring themselves for their next round of mischief."

This recitation seemed to please the little fellow, for he smiled directly at Vim, a great drooling expression of benevolence disproportionate to his tiny size.

"I think Kit likes you."

"He likes having food in his tummy and a warm place to cuddle, the same as the rest of us. You can linger here, but I honestly do not think the mother will return. May I have your coach brought round for you?" Though the pandemonium in the yard suggested it would be far simpler to escort the lady to her conveyance.

"I only brought the gig, and it's right around the corner." She reached for the baby, but Vim took half a step back.

"I am happy to carry him for you."

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"As with all Grace Burrowes' novels, the dialogue flowed naturally and the characters physically reacted to one another organically. I truly felt like I was a voyeur observing a fully realized world. " - Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Customer Reviews

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Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 158 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far, the books are in this order: 1. Heir 2. Soldier 3. Virtuoso 4. Sophie. They are all excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DO NOT read this before The Virtuoso! How was this story released before we know Val's story?!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grace Burrowes is a WONDERFUL author. I have enjoyed all of the companion books to this one - The Heir, The Solider, Virtuoso...Can't get enough of Ms. Burrowes books! This is a great romantic read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story grabbed me from the very beginning with its unusual plot. I love all the adventures of the Windham family, but this story took me by surprise, the characters stole my heart and I couldn't put it down. As much as I loved The Heir, The Soldier, and The Vituouso, this first story about one of Their Grace's daughters is my favorite. I eagerly await another!
gl More than 1 year ago
A duke's daughter with a heart of gold, Sophie's grown up protected by privilege, wealth and her loving family. She's also a bit of soft touch. When their maid runs off leaving her baby with Lady Sophie at a stagecoach station, Sophie is at a loss. It's fortunate for her that the young Vim Charpentier knows quite a lot about babies and helps her. Sophie somehow invites him to her family London home and as he helps with the baby Kit, Sophie offers him shelter from the storm. Without having made arrangements for a place to stay in London, Vim agrees against his better judgment. He finds himself drawn to the mysterious Sophie who appears to be a trusted servant, possibly a housekeeper. As he teachers her how to care for the baby, they fall in love. Add to the mix a mutual desire for anonymity, a case of mistaken identities, lack of caution and judgment. Things take a turn when Sophie's three brothers appear and Vim learns her true identity. Though Vim has a title of his own, he never expected to woo a duke's daughter. Full of missed chances and misunderstandings, these star-crossed lovers make for a fun read. ISBN-10: 1402261543 - $7.99 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (October 1, 2011), 416 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.
SandraC More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, it is a good easy read historical. I would recommend it to people who like historical romances.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thoroughjy enjoyable book which alternately had me smiling, wishing I was Sophie so I could be with Vim or tearing uo-a must read!
luvthmlabz89 More than 1 year ago
LOVE these books...have all on the brothers too...always excited for the next book to come out!!! MUST READ!!!
gramellie More than 1 year ago
This story is part of a series I have thoroughly enjoyed. However, it came out before Virtuoso and seems to be out of order. It ties up things with the family so that when I read Virtuoso, about Val, I will expect him to be married and usually these stories are love stories and I'm sure, although I haven't read it yet, that Virtuoso is Val;s love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like her other books better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I start reading each book thinking it can't possibly be as good as the last; but I think they are getting better! I have given each 5 stars so I don't how that can be! Each book is very character driven and you become immersed in their emotions and story. Another keeper!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read this book yet, just purchased it.  According to FantasticFiction's web site, this is the first book of the Windham Sisters series.  1. Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (2011)                2. Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (2012)                3. Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight (2012)                4. Lady Eve's Indiscretion (2013)                5. Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait (2013)                    The Duke and His Duchess (2013)  (No number)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book so the heir is still my favorite!
Teresa51 More than 1 year ago
This is a great story and you will fall in love with Sophie and Vim.
CaroleBurant57 26 days ago
Being Christmas time, Sophie has made a Christmas be loved for herself and not for her title or dowry. I love Christmas stories and this one is a very tender and delightful one. It involves an abandoned baby, Sophie who is a Duke's daughter and Wim who is a Baron. Secrets are kept, decisions need to be made, past heartbreaks need to be addressed, falling in love was not expected and families need to stick together. I have to say, I so enjoyed Sophie's brothers, I could just picture all their antics and the way they talked to each other:) Lord Baby Kit is also absolutely precious!! Some readers might think the story went on too much about how to take care of a baby but it didn't bother me. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
LibrarianSGP 3 months ago
Lady Sophie Windham, beautiful, independent, and, at 27, nearing spinsterhood, is stuck at the family's London mansion with an abandoned baby while a fierce snowstorm rages. Luckily for her, a handsome and kind stranger, Wilhelm "Vim" Charpentier, Baron Sindal, arrives at her door and helps feed and change the baby. There’s just something so appealing about a man who loves and takes care of babies. The concept of a 19th century aristocrat changing nappies is pretty unrealistic, but who cares? At first, he mistakes her for a servant, so the social proprieties are ignored and they are able to act on the passion that flares between them. Then, all too soon, her 3 brothers arrive to take her to the ducal estate in Kent and her true identity is revealed. Given that Vim has nursed a 10-year grudge against her father, the going gets very rough until they work through their issues and can be together. Like any good Regency romance, there are misunderstandings, temporary heartbreak, and family dynamics at work, but the resolution is the sweeter for it. My only disappointment in reading this book is that it’s the last in the series for me (originally published in 2011 and recently reissued). It's been such a treat reading about the large, loving Windham family. I read them out of order, and I definitely saved the best for last. Burrowes is one of the best contemporary authors of historical romances, so if you are a fan of the genre and haven't treated yourself to one of her books, I highly recommend beginning with the two novellas that started the Windham saga, The Courtship and The Duke and His Duchess. You won’t be disappointed! I received a complimentary ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
vampiregirl76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Before her presence is required in Kent for Christmas, Lady Sophie Windham wants a few days to herself. But between the snowstorm, an abandoned baby and handsome stranger Vim Charpentier, Ms. Sophie will have her hands full.A delightful holiday story! I don't read many holiday themed books but I loved this one. It was sweet, but ever so tantalizing. Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish is a story of longing, hope and love. Ms. Burrowes does an excellent job pulling at your heartstrings. If you are looking for a cozy seasonal read this is definitely one to check out.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lady Sophia wanted a few days alone, away from her large and loving family. Vim Charpentier was on his was to his uncle's home for an enforced visit, but is snowed in. Christmas, a baby, no room at the inn. Sweet and romantic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chastel More than 1 year ago
Highly Recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Burrowes developes full characters that you cannot help but like and care about. A complex,yet easy to relate to heroine and the handsome hero who does come to her rescue draw you into their story. I will re-read this Christmas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago