Taming Christmas by Clarissa Kae
A Victorian twist on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
Lady Elsie Bevue has spent the last two years in Wales, a supposed punishment for slapping an earl, her mother’s beau. Unrepentant, Elsie explores the countryside on horseback, riding astride like a gentleman—not at all like the demure lady her family demands of her.
Mr. Fitzburgh Smith is determined, both in his bachelorhood and business acumen. While the titled peerage struggles with the mercurial economy, Fitz has come into his own, rising from a lowly yeoman to a powerful man of finance. His success allows him to turn the tables on his childhood bully, Elsie’s brother—a man whose gambling debt has reached obscene levels. Without warning, her family arrives on Elsie’s doorstep—the earl in tow.
After purchasing the local bank, Fitz calls on the Bevue estate to give Elsie’s brother a gentleman’s warning. His visit rekindles his hidden tenderness for Elsie and encourages her defiant behavior. Her lack of decorum reignites the earl’s wrath, threatening her family’s already tenuous future. Fitz and Elsie form an unlikely bond but both must relinquish their pride before the earl exacts revenges—or lose their chance at freedom, and love.