The Merry Viscount (The Widow’s Brew Series)

Written by Sally MacKenzie
Review by Sue Asher

If you like your Regency Romance steamy, this Christmas-themed novel fits the bill. After being seduced and attacked by a peer, Caro Anderson rebuilt her life by becoming the chief brewer and saleswoman for Widow’s Brew, an ale made to raise funds for a benevolent home for wronged women and abandoned children. Returning to the home in a snowstorm after a failed sales trip, Caro’s stagecoach slides into a ditch. She and her fellow travelers find themselves stranded at the country home of Viscount Oakland. A childhood friend of her brother, Oakland (Nick) is now a disreputable rake so dissolute he’s holding a Christmastime orgy. Caro’s interruption of the debauched festivities is exactly what they both need. The household, invited guests (prostitutes), and stranded travelers band together to celebrate an old-fashioned English yuletide. The hero and heroine are both sympathetic. Caro is strong and independent. Nick is vulnerable and kind. However, the plot is so centered on sex, and there is so much repetitive inner monologue, it’s difficult to appreciate the sweetness of the story.