January 24, 2013

Speed Date: A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan

The Deal: Despite her secret heartbreak - or perhaps because of it - Lydia Charingford is always cheerful and positive. Only the people closest to her - like her parents and best friend Minnie - know what happened to her when she was 15 and she intends to keep it that way. And so far she has succeeded... except for where Dr. Jonas Grantham is concerned. He knows. 

What happened to Lydia is something Jonas hasn't been able to forget even though, at first, he hadn't connected her (as an adult) to that event that haunted him through most of his Medical training. When he returned to town to take over the local doctor's practice he only tried to get acquainted with Lydia because he thought her pretty, but in the months since he has fallen in love with her, even if she rarely ever has a civil word to him and avoids him as much as she can.

But with Christmas coming - and in between the worries about his father's failing health - Jonas has decided it's time to finally tell Lydia know how he feels and move on, one way or another.

My Thoughts: A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella that packs a punch. If you read The Duchess War already you might already know what happened to Lydia but for those who don't wanna know, I'm going into spoiler zone!

So, when Lydia was 15 she was seduced by a guy 10 years older and left pregnant, she didn't know he was already married and she believed him when he said they were engaged and that she wouldn't get pregnant by what they were doing (yes, he specifically tells her this). 

When she finds out about his duplicity, and the doctor is called to confirm the pregnancy, Jonas goes too (he was shadowing the old doctor in preparation for his leaving for school). The old doctor isn't very sympathetic and goes on about how corrupted Lydia is, and basically tells her parents they best hope she and the baby die, and then he leaves a prescription for Lydia for the symptoms. Jonas hears what the prescription is and he doesn't agree but since he hasn't even started medical school yet, he  doubts and doesn't say anything, something he deeply regrets because his suspicion was right and the old doctor basically poisoned Lydia and the baby. 

So, Lydia and Jonas don't meet again in the most auspicious circumstances later on. She tried to tell herself she's over the whole situation and pushes her pain down, but whenever she sees Jonas she takes it out on him, and the scene when he acknowledges this and tells her why it doesn't make him angry was so touching.

Jonas was such a wonderful character, he's straight forward, he doesn't judge the people he helps (weather they can pay or not) and tries to do his best. And he loves his father even if he's very hard to deal with lately due to illness that has left his body frail and his mind confused.

Lydia, harsh as she was on Jonas, my heart went out to her. And to her family, really her parents get the Best Parents award, particularly her dad. They totally have her backs and they never make her feel less-than because of what happened to her.

I wish I had gotten the chance to spend more time with Jonas and Lydia but I loved reading their story in A Kiss for Midwinter. It was a touching, tearful yet hopeful story. And yes, it did make me cry. 
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What's a Book Speed Date, you ask? It's a quickie review--about 150 words or so--of any genre book (variety is the spice of life, after all).

If you want to join in or just read other speed date reviews, check out The Book Swarm

Ps - This story is part of the Brothers Sinister series. 

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