A Festive Season
Justin Stockton considered himself a reasonable man, and he made every allowance for the Laurence family's recent bereavement during this Christmas season. Nevertheless the eldest girl Amanda seemed bent on infuriating him at every turn. Far from being grateful to him for offering to marry her docile sister in order to help the family out of its financial straits, she seemed to think he was a positive ogre. No matter his reputation for arrogance, Justin was hardly a wife-beater; although he wasn't sure he could answer for his actions if he ever got his hands on the provocative Amanda. He would have to marry the girl off to some poor sod – who would certainly have his sympathies – and the sooner the better, for his own peace of mind.
It was bad enough that Justin Stockton had duped her sweet sister into sacrificing her own happiness, but when Amanda discovered he also had plans for her, it was time to set the insufferable gentleman straight on a few facts. The Christmas holidays, from the cozy family dinners to the resplendent Frost Fair on the Thames, would provide the perfect opportunity to demonstrate what life would be like with a sister-in-law such as herself. In fact, Amanda could promise him a very Merry Christmas indeed!