The Christmas Cockoo by Mary Jo Putney

The Christmas Cockoo Cover

Review of audiobook version of a fabulous, Christmas, Regency-romance novella

The Christmas Cuckoo by Mary Jo Putney

Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Pages: 75 pages
Source: Purchase
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

Major Jack Howard, a thirty-something, war-weary veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, has recently resigned from the army and returned to England because he has inherited an earldom. However, before settling down to a lifetime of onerous responsibility, in a fit of rebellion, he hops on the first available public coach to anywhere in order to escape a depressingly pretentious Christmas house party with his coldly controlling relatives. Unfortunately, the only seat available is outside on the top of the coach, where he is exposed for hours to brutally cold weather. In a mostly vain attempt to stay warm, he drinks more hard liquor than he realizes. As a result he’s more than a little tipsy when, at a temporary stop at a coaching inn in the middle of nowhere, he encounters an attractive woman who asks him if he is “Jack Howard.” Naturally enough, he replies in the affirmative, and he is delighted when she informs him that she’s there to pick him up.

Despite terrible winter weather, twenty-nine-year old spinster, Meg Lambert, has driven three grueling miles to the local inn to pick up her military brother’s best friend and fellow officer, who will be spending Christmas with her and her younger siblings. Meg is startled, but not repulsed, by the fact that the exceedingly attractive gentlemen who answers to the name of Jack Howard is three sheets to the wind. She finds it hard to blame him, given the conditions he traveled under, though it will make it more difficult transporting him to her family’s cottage.

It isn’t until the following morning, when he wakes up sober and hung over, that Jack realizes he’s a cuckoo in lovely Meg’s warm, welcoming, family nest. He’s Jack Howard all right. Just not the one Meg was expecting.

This is a fabulous, mistaken-identity romance! Meg and Jack are both wonderful, sympathetic characters, and I loved them both. They make a terrific couple. In addition, the subcharacters are all lovable as well. The Christmas theme is extremely well done, and though this is a novella rather than a full novel, it is definitely a complete, well-rounded story. Every plot thread is fully tied up, and there is a lovely HEA.

Note that for those who like a G-rated plot, there are no sex scenes in this story, but even so, there is plenty of romantic and sexual chemistry between Meg and Jack.

I experienced this story as an audiobook, and the narrator, Siobhan Waring, has done a terrific job acting out all the different parts with distinct voices for male and female characters of all ages. It is a delightful way to experience this story.

I highly recommend this fabulous, warm-hearted, Regency Christmas romance!

I rate this story as follows:

Heroine: 5

Hero: 5

Subcharacters: 5

Mistaken-Identity Romance Plot: 5

Christmas Plot: 5

Setting: 5

Writing: 5

Audiobook Narration: 5

Overall: 5

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