What Happens At Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Camille, Lady Lydingham, requests the pleasure of your company at a festive house party in the English countryside, as she endeavors to coax a marriage proposal from Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky of Greater Avalonia. Given the nature of the hostess’s eccentric relatives ,they will be played by a troupe of actors hired to impersonate a proper Victorian family. What a clever way to fool the prince! And gate-crashing, distractingly handsome first loves like Grayson Elliott are most unwelcome.
 
But nothing about Camille’s charade goes as planned. Tonight, at Millworth Manor, games will be played, motives will be revealed, the masks will come off, and hearts will be lost—and won—in the most romantic, magical season of all.


What Happens At Christmas is just the delightful Christmas romp I was looking for. The setting of Milford Manor was lovely and the characters (and their actions) were laugh out loud funny. I kept flipping the page thinking that things couldn't get crazier, but they did.

Oh, they most certainly did. And in the best way!

Camille is a young widow who is thinking about settling down again. Her husband left her with enough money to take care of her for the rest of her life. That means that Camille doesn't have to worry about finding a man who she loves or who can take care of her. She's aiming much higher. She's aiming for royalty.

Nobody in her lift thinks this is a good idea, not even her twin sister Beryl. But Camille has the perfect plan. She will bring the Prince of Avalonia (aka her future husband) home for Christmas so that she can teach him what a traditional  English Christmas is like. There will be activities and festivities galore. And even better, she'll have the perfect family. Her own family will be traveling to Paris, so she'll hire a troupe of actors to play the parts.

It's a genius plan.

But little by little, her "genius" plan unravels. An unexpected visitor from her past comes to visit and things do not exactly go as planned. Will she be able to impress the Prince enough by Christmastime, so that he'll get down on one knee and propose?

I found the banter between Camille and her sister so funny. Camille and Beryl may be identical but they certainly have different ideas about what makes for a good relationship. I loved Beryl's sarcasm and the fact that even though she thought her sister was crazy, she still agreed to help her with her wild plan.

Grayson, the unexpected visitor from Camille's past, was a real hoot. Although he claimed to want to help Camille with her devious plan, his actions said otherwise. There were so many scenes that had me laughing out loud. Every time Grayson tried (or succeeded) to throw a wrench in Camille's plans, I sat on the edge of my seat, waiting to see how she would react.

The Love/Hate relationship between Camille and Grayson was so funny and well written. I loved how biting Camille could be and I loved how since we got to see Grayson's point of view sometimes, it was very apparent how he really would do simply anything to make her happy. It was very sweet and made some of his sillier antics seem much more charming.

Milford Manor is apparently a series, so I'm looking forward to checking out the next book as well. It focuses on Camille's younger sister Delilah and I have a feeling it will be very humorous as well.

Thanks to Netgalley for a review copy of this book!

xo Marian