Christmas Beau is the next in our series of Mary Balogh's books published by Signet and illustrated by Allan Kass. This book came out in December 1991.
It has a playful cover depicting our couple on a snowy walk. Will the hero hit the heroine with a snowball? Look at the others in the background. The people are dressed in heavy winter clothing. Note the greatcoat our hero wears. Our heroine wears a beautiful eggplant colored coat and matching hat.
Christmas was a time to visit family and friends just like it is nowadays. People would host house parties that could last for a month or 6 weeks, because of the difficulties in travel and weather. A house party was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and visit with old friends.
In this book, Judith Easton is enjoying the Christmas season after the death of her husband and wonders if the scandal of her girlhood, when she jilted the Marquess of Denbigh to marry her husband, will be remembered. She has just put off her mourning. When a lady was widowed, she had to wear black for a year and forgo any balls and parties. Mourning was considered important and a time to grieve for the departed. She also could not marry within this year as a matter of respect for the dead spouse. How Judith and the Marquess meet once again and how he feels about her is the plot of this story! I always enjoyed the Signet Christmas stories and still reread them over the holidays!