By Winter’s Light by Stephanie Laurens | Book Review

I have just learned the hard way that not all Christmas themed holiday romances are created equal. I picked By Winter’s Light by Stephanie Laurens from Vine on the basis of A) the lovely cover and B) the fact that it is Christmas themed and C) hearing great things about the Cynster series. This book is a part of the Cynster series, and I think one that the initiated will appreciate. For me, though, By Winter’s Light was by and large an exercise in boredom. I honestly felt every single one of the 347 pages, they did not fly by as expected. Then again, I think I am more than ready to chalk my experience reading this book up to hefty expectations.

Set in Scotland a long time ago, lol I am fuzzy on the exact year, By Winter’s Light features the entire huge Cynster clan traveling to the Scottish countryside and spending the holiday season together on one large estate. There are three main storylines. There’s the story of Daniel and Claire, tutor and governess to different branches of the Cynsters, who are navigating a friendship turned potential romance. There’s the story of Lucilla and a fated horse ride with the older Cynster cousins. Then there’s the fourteen year old Cynster cousin clique. These three stories interweave throughout the book. I quite liked the romance between Daniel and Claire. I found myself wanting the book to focus more on that romance instead of going off into several different directions. I did like the inclusion of the youths, there’s a scene where they gather things to decorate that was silly and fun, and just added some lightheartedness to the overall story.

The romance is not center stage to the story. Like I said above, there’s three storylines that interweave. There’s also a hint of a romance with Lucilla’s storyline too, but that does not pan out in this book. I think that maybe she’ll get her own book for that romance. Anyways, okay, so Claire is a widow and goes by Mrs. Meadows. She used to be a fine lady, but she has fallen on hard times which is why she is a governess. She does not want to remarry. However, Daniel has fallen in love with her. The two have easy conversation and really get along. She might like him too. Yet, she’s hardened her heart against love for very good reasons that seem to take forever to reveal. Daniel is relentless in his pursuit of her, and well, the teenage girls are doing what they can to aid Daniel. I did actually find the romance delightful, but was not totally invested because whenever it would start to get good, the story would shift focus.

Honestly, this was not the best introduction to the Cynster series. As an outsider, I felt no real investment in the hodge podge of characters. I thought that this book really needed more focus instead of jumping from storyline to storyline. Maybe it would have made a better novella if everything except the romance between Daniel and Claire was cut. I’ll also say that there’s some mysticism going on with some Lady of the woods who is like a deity and gives Lucilla magical sensing powers and my eyes were totally rolling. Anyways, parts of this book were really delightful and I think that if you are already a fan of this series, you’ll enjoy By Winter’s Light, but if you are a newbie, maybe try another book to get into the Cynsters.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. I came to know about this series after seeing this beautiful cover and decided that I would put this one on hold until I’d started the series. I figured that it might be a *tad* bit confusing and overwhelming since it is the 21st book in the series. O_O lol

    Thanks for sharing!
    Lisa (Fic Talk) recently posted..Comment on Christmas Novella Blog Tour by LisaMy Profile

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