When Sparks Fly

The School For Heiresses - Book 4.5

Short Story in Snowy Night with a Stranger Anthology

By Sabrina Jeffries

Pocket - November 2008

Historical Romance

Elinor Bancroft was tired of London. Tired of the gossip and fortune hunters, who were the only men interested in marrying her, or rather marrying her money. Luckily, she was traveling with her aunt and cousins to join her father for Christmas in Sheffield. That had been the plan until an accident had injured her aunt, and they were rescued by the Black Baron.

Martin Thorncliff did not want visitors, it was too dangerous. He did not want to celebrate the holidays, after all, it had been at Christmas that his elder brother had died. There were many more things that he didn't want, but unfortunately, his wishes weren't being considered. Thorncliff Hall had been infested with guests, most of them children who were bound to cause mischief that could end with another loss of life. He couldn't abide that, and tried to make his feelings clear.

Unfortunately, Elinor simply brushed by his blustering and complaining. She not only kept the young children occupied, and safe, but she had decorated Thorncliff Hall, something which he had expressly not wanted done. She apparently attributed his being called "Black Baron" to the coal soot which had covered his body when they met. She didn't know the gossip and circumstances surrounding his acquiring his brother's title.

Elinor made Martin yearn for more. More than living by himself with a shell staff. He found himself enjoying the holidays, even the children. But he knew the dangers of his work. He would not allow a woman, especially Elinor, or any children he might have to be put as risk.

When Sparks Fly was a fun short story of two individuals who believe they are better off alone, but learn otherwise. Martin has been in a self-imposed exile, and has a difficult time dealing with others. Elinor is perfect in smoothing his rough edges. Although not "numbered" in the series, When Sparks Fly is set after Book 4, Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, where we had met Elinor. I eagerly await next summer for the next two books.

When Sparks Fly is a short story, and my favorite, in the Snowy Night With a Stranger Anthology. This is a wonderful anthology to get readers in the holiday mood. Included in this anthology are Jane Feather's A Holiday Gamble, and Julia London's Snowy Night With a Highlander.

Kathy Andrico - ReaderToReader.com