ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

Blog Tour: Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides: Book 10) by Valerie Bowman

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: October 30th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Playful Brides

The Unexpected Duchess–book 1

The Accidental Countess–book 2

The Unlikely Lady–book 3

The Irresistible Rogue–book 4

The Unforgettable Hero–book 4.5

The Untamed Earl–book 5

The Legendary Lord–book 6

Never Trust a Pirate–book 7

The Right Kind of Rogue–book 8

A Duke Like No Other–book 9 (review here)

Kiss Me at Christmas–book 10

No Other Duke But You–book 11 (expected publication date: April 30th, 2019)

Where you can find Kiss Me at Christmas: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…

Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?


My review:

Regina is determined to lose her virginity. At 30, she is considered on the shelf and has limited options for marriage. She wants to experience one night of passion. One night where she can experience what married women experience. She decides that Daffin Oakleaf would be more than able to fulfill her fantasy. Set back by his refusal, Regina soon finds herself back in his orbit when she becomes the target of an assassin. Can Daffin protect Regina from whoever is trying to kill her? Will he agree to be her lover for one night?

I am going to start this review off with the cover. Look at it. It shows Daffin and Regina’s chemistry off. What I also liked was the male model looked exactly how I thought Daffin would look. It is rarely I can say “Hey, look at this awesome cover. The models look like how I imagined.” So, yeah, the cover was a huge hit with me.

I was excited when I saw that Daffin was getting his own story. He caught my eye in A Duke Like No Other. I wanted to know his backstory and man, was it a sad one. I couldn’t even begin to imagine living through what he did and at such a young age. I liked how he fought his growing feelings for Regina. I loved him. He was everything that a romance novel hero should be.

I loved Regina. She was a woman who knew what she wanted. She put herself on the shelf because she couldn’t find a man who she couldn’t live without. But, she was going to marry the Earl of Dryden if she couldn’t find someone by the end of Christmas. Her reaction to Daffin’s explanation about why he hated Christmas was telling. She was unconventional. She was one of the more real romance characters I have read in a while.

The chemistry/sexual attraction that Regina and Daffin had been insane. I had noticed it when they were introduced in A Duke Like No Other. The author did a great job of carrying it over into this book. The fact that he could get turned on by her scent was awesome. As with her when she was in his presence.

That chemistry they had led to some hot sex scenes. Talk about fanning myself after a few of those scenes. Holy moly. I liked that the author wasn’t afraid to have Regina know what she liked. Such as Daffin’s handcuffs.

I was a little disappointed with the plotline about who was trying to kill Regina. Let me rephrase that. I was disappointed by the ending of it. It was left hanging. We know who it was and the reason (which was silly). But no resolution. I am hoping that it gets resolved in book 11 (yes, 11!!!)

The end of Kiss Me at Christmas was exactly what I hoped it would be. I was so mad at Regina’s great-uncle. I was whispering (because I was in bed) not so nice words when he did what he did. But, Regina set that straight when she found out. Oh boy, did she. The author did a great job of wrapping up all the secondary plotlines. The main plotline, not so much (see above). There was some foreshadowing about who the next book will be about.


I gave Kiss Me at Christmas a 4-star rating. This was a fun, sweet and sexy read. The plotlines were intriguing. The characters were well fleshed out and I loved them. I did not like how the main plotline ended but I am hopeful that it gets resolved in the next book. This is a great book!!

I would give Kiss Me at Christmas an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. I would also warn that some of the sex scenes do include light bondage (handcuffs).

I would reread Kiss Me at Christmas. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Kiss Me at Christmas.

All opinions stated in this review of Kiss Me at Christmas are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Kiss Me at Christmas?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

One thought on “Blog Tour: Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides: Book 10) by Valerie Bowman

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