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Publisher's Summary

Lord and Lady Sarre cordially invite you to spend Christmas at Sarre Park.

Celebrate among old friends and, perhaps, a gate-crasher or two. There will be wassailers and kissing-boughs; music, dancing, and romance; laughter, and some tears. And above all, expect the unexpected because at Christmas, anything can happen.

So, accept your invitation today for what promises to be the most talked-of house party of 1778 and a last huzzah for the Rockliffe series.

©2020 Stella Riley (P)2020 Stella Riley

What listeners say about Midwinter Magic

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Stunning!!

I absolutely loved this story! Revisiting my favorite characters from her Rockliffe series was a perfect holiday gift. Stella has brought all our favorites to a Christmas house party that is full of surprises, laughter, love, and a Christmas Miracle. Alex Wyndham's performance makes this an exceptional novella that is a must-listen. Make sure you have tissues for the surprise ending. It was lovely to see how the Rockliffe character's lives have been blessed with children and good friends. I'm going to go back and start the whole series over!!

4 people found this helpful

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A Gift to Stella Riley’s Readers

With excellent timing, Midwinter Magic became available on Christmas Day. The book wraps a ribbon around the beloved Rockcliffe series with tidy outcomes for several recurring characters that have never had their own stories.
I’ve read all the books that preceded this one. I recommend that interested readers do so to better enjoy the outcomes of this one.
Alex Wyndham does his usual smooth job of narrating, adding to my enjoyment.
I received a coupon for this book in exchange for promising to write a review that was wholly my own opinion. This is what I have done.

4 people found this helpful

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  • D.
  • 01-02-21

Sweet finish for the Rockliffe saga

Stella Riley brings her Rockliffe series to a satisfying close with this final novella. As always, Alex Wyndham’s narration is top-notch. Riley’s use of humor and her lively characters make this a very enjoyable listen.

I do recommend listening to the entire series in order for getting the most out of it — fortunately, it is all available from Audible, and with the same narrator. TREAT YOURSELF TO THE ENTIRE SERIES!!!

3 people found this helpful

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What a celebration! Joyous and Heartfelt and Fun

After the year we have all had, we deserve a book like this and hearing it through Alex Wyndham’s silken tones is just the whipped cream on the icing on the cake. We meet so many old friends and some old adversaries in this novella, that it quite feels we had people over for Christmas after all . The stories of the Rockliffe series continue to entwine and we see them all a little older and a little wiser (except of course, for Rockliffe , who couldn’t get any wiser). What this book. doesn't do is celebrate stupidity, like too much of HF and this is one of the things I like most about Stella’s writing. We can enjoy the acuity of these characters and how they deal with impossible relatives, intelligent children and even goats (I will not say more). It is touching and joyous and Alex brings the characters alive as always with his clear and sensual voice. In many ways this book highlights the children and we can see the next generation of these friends and family beginning to emerge. The children most in the forefront are Julian and Arabella’s adopted children who lived for many years alone, unwanted and in isolation so it it lovely to see them grow onto their new lives. This is truly a wonderful book that could not be more timely, as it celebrates the holidays with all the trimmings, friends and family and of course romance.

3 people found this helpful

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Pure Magic!

This is the amazing ending we deserved after a dreadful year. Thank you Ms. Riley!! I cried happy tears. And what can I say about Mr. Wyndham's narration? OUTSTANDING!! ❤

3 people found this helpful

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The magic of Christmas and Love

The Earl of Sarre and his wife Caroline invite their friends to a Christmas party to their country home. Many beloved characters, protagonists from previous books in the Rockliffe series arrive, some of the couples with young children, some as expectant parents. A few secondary characters also appear, making it possible for romantic love’s magic to infuse the story with some unexpected couples finding happiness together. All the company frolic in the snow and at the frosty seaside, have fun with parlor games and general mayhem indoors. Special award goes to the Virtuoso Earl and his adopted children, along with a self-appointed Lord of Misrule... Those of their relatives wo are unable to open their hearts and accept the friendships and romances among this closely knit group cause some disturbance – only to show that mercenary attitude and snobbery can’t ruin the merry party as the friends and familes stand by each other. As the culmination of the season’s magical power, a wish gets fulfilled – one that probably every fan of this series has joined in wishing (although likely ceased to look for). A lighthearted, warm romp, this novella is a wonderful coda to the Rockliffe series. Alex Wyndham, the narrator who brought to life in audio the whole series performs here just as flawlessly as ever, helping us to share the joy, the tensions, the humor and the warmth of friendship and family that radiates from this miraculous Christmas party.
It is a perfect Christmas seasonal read for the fans of this Georgian universe – and I strongly advise anyone not familiar with it to grab the first book and start reading!

2 people found this helpful

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This Needs to Be a Masterpiece Series

Although I generally prefer longer books to novellas, I jumped at the chance to spend Christmas with Rock and Company, as Stella Riley herself refers to these wonderful characters. The shortened length works well due to a tight plot centering on two weeks spent at Sarre Park, the estate of Adrian and Caroline from "The Player." Most of the major characters from all six previous books are represented here, but the book focuses on Adrian and Caroline, Julian and Arabella ("Cadenza"), Rosalind and Dominic ("Parfit Knight") and The Duke of Rockliffe himself. I was pleased with that since these were all my favorites, especially Rockliffe, who is my all time favorite character in historical romance. Please note that you do need to have read the previous books in the series to best enjoy this, and there are quite a few characters to keep straight.

Romance is present here, but this story equally addresses larger themes of forgiveness, loyalty, redemption, faith, and family. Most romance novels end with the "happily ever after", but it is lovely to spend some time exploring what happens after that. Romantic heroes are now husbands and fathers, and have become even more endearing as they have matured. While I could guess the ending, that in no way reduced it's poignancy. Bringing the whole series full circle, the writing here is emotionally nuanced and touching. Rarely have I ever cried during an audio book, but the story combined with the delivery was so beautifully rendered that I did become teary eyed.

The entire Rockliffe series exemplifies the synergy between author and narrator. I doubt I would have enjoyed these books half as much if I had read them versus listening to them. In "Midwinter Magic", Alex Wyndham's narration is once again flawless. I did find that the speed was a little more than I remember from previous books. Once I adjusted my settings to .95, it was perfect. This might perhaps be a production issue? I have read some comments elsewhere about Alex's performances that there are too many whispers or that his cadence is off. I completely disagree and I find him to be among the best narrators on Audible. Simply put, his voice is a gift, and I will happily and eagerly listen to almost everything he records (perhaps with the exception of the book about the eels).

Many thanks to the author and the narrator for hours upon hours of delightful listening. I will return to this series frequently.

1 person found this helpful

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Perfect ending

Great ending to the Rockliffe series. Well done Stella! As usual Alex Wyndham gave another stellar performance. Each character, male or female, is given a distinct sound.

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Nothing like old friends for the holidays.

This was a perfect little slice of holiday happy. The Parfit Knight was my first Stella Riley book so this glimpse back into their world is a particular delight for me. Friends and loved ones around for the holiday with a bit of romance was an excellent setting as it reminded me yet again why this is my favorite series. You won't be disappointed with either the story or the narration.

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Well-written, well-developed characters

Stella Riley and Alex Wyndham are an audible team made in heaven for me. I've read/heard all the books by these two and have loved every one. Stella really is a master at developing a story that keeps the reader/listener enthralled. Her characters have depth and strength so plausible that you either like them...or you hate them. This book had a couple who one could hate. LOL Alex Wyndahm is one of the few narrators who can do both male and female voices equally well. Witty, entertaining and plausible dialogue is a must for a good book....especially an audible book and this book is chock full of that. Another keeper/repeater from Stella and Alex. Thank you,

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  • Elisabeth
  • 12-26-20

The happiest of endings

This novella brings to a fitting close to the Rockcliffe series. You do need to read them first or the events here
will make no sense.
There are surprising betrothals, well deserved comeuppances, some wishful thinking and a whole lot of love.
Magical.
As always,Alex Wyndham works his own magic with the narration.
I loved it.

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  • Marcia
  • 01-02-21

A lovely read

Another winner, Stella's books make me so happy! lovely narrator too. I first started my journey reading the Parfit Knight, so without spoiling this story for any prospective readers, this novella is the cherry on top. Do yourself a favour and start working your way through Stella's books now, you won't regret it.

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  • avidreader
  • 01-02-21

A perfect pairing

Stella Riley's 'Rockliffe' Christmas novella is the perfect ending to a hugely enjoyable and popular series. It was published early in December - and late on Christmas Eve, the audio version was also published. Alex Wyndham's chocolatey tones are the perfect complement to Stella Riley's words, and the depth and breadth of his delivery is outstanding. He switches seamlessly from tiny children to great-grandfathers, aristocratic accents to working class ones - and even has a Frenchman speaking English to add into the mix! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone, whether they are familiar with the 'Rockliffe' series or not; it is preferable to know the background stories to the various couples who have their own books in the series, but it is not essential because there are two new romances in this book for which you don't need all the background stories - and you can go back and catch up on the whole series!

3 people found this helpful

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  • K. Greaves
  • 12-30-20

A Fitting Conclusion

Alex Wyndham’s dulcet tones narrate this Christmas novella which is the conclusion of Stella Riley’s Rockliffe series. As ever he does a superb job with an excellent story, all the characters featured have appeared in previous novels and feel like old friends. I really enjoyed this, both in spoken and written word, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Georgian historical romances. Excellent - I am looking forward to the next collaboration between Ms Riley and Mr Wyndham.

3 people found this helpful

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  • F
  • 12-26-20

A Perfect Ending to an Outstanding Series

I have read & listened to all Ms Riley's 6 books in her Rockcliffe series; her new Midwinter Magic novella, appropriately delivered by Audible on Christmas Day, was the icing on top of the cake. It was an absolute joy to read and, if possible, was even better listening to the audio book read by the superb Alex Wyndham. He has done his usual outstanding job of portraying all the different characters' voices so well, it was a pleasure to listen to him. His voice & narration is perfect.

The story takes place at the home of Lord Adrian Sarre and his wife Caroline, just before Christmas. All our favourite characters who we have come to know & love are invited and there is a huge amount of fun & laughter between the friends. There is also a healthy dose of additional characters who are deserving of a hiss & a boo from the audience, adding spice to the book. There is love in the air too with a sprinkling of romance, and for fans of the series, a truly wonderful conclusion.

My recommendation is to start with the first book in the series, and read or listen to them in succession before reading Midwinter Magic, as characters develop throughout the books and culminate in this superb winter novella. Highly recommended, and a wonderful Christmas present from the author. Thank you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Roseanne
  • 01-09-21

Wonderful!

Superb narration by Alex Wyndham as always, doing justice to Stella Riley’s fabulous cast of characters in the Rockliffe series. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ms. P Hobbs
  • 01-03-21

Delightful!

Any one who has read (listened) to the Rockcliffe series will adore this novella. It is full of charm, sentiment and magic. Meeting all the characters again was like catching up with old friends, checking in on their lives and, of course, being fully satisfied that all is as it should be. The narration by Alex Wyndham was stellar, as usual, and added lovely nuance to the tale. Now all we have to do is wait for the children to grow up so we have even more stories told to us by the wonderful author. Thank you for so many hours of joy, Stella Riley. Can't wait for your next book.

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  • Barbara the healer
  • 12-26-20

So sad for this series to end!

Loved this novella, with the usual excellent narration by Alex Wyndham. I forsee many relistens to the series. Many questions unanswered - was Adeline's baby the heir that Lord Nicholas was waiting for, will we find out in the Brandon Brothers series?
Thank you Stella Riley, Alex Wyndham and Audible for the Christmas gift of the audio version of this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 02-26-21

A Wonderful Ending to an Excellent Series

This novella is not a stand alone and must be read last to enable you to meet all the characters and appreciate it, otherwise it won't make any sense.

I have to confess it has been sometime since I read the other novels and I had to put my thinking cap on to put everyone together, but once I had, it was lovely and a great way to get to know them again.

As ever, Stella Riley has done us proud with her excellent story telling, rounding off the series so well and providing us with a magical ending. Thank you.

P.S. Rockcliffe is still my all time favourite book boyfriend! I shall miss him!

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  • normally a fan
  • 01-24-21

Conflict is more interesting!

I so wanted to like this book because I adored the Rockcliffe series. Unfortunately all the couples whose stories resonated with trials, tribulations but triumphs in the end are all now very happy. With loving, best behaved children. They all gather at the home of Caroline and Adrian -- he who impersonated a highwayman to woo her - for a Christmas get-together. But nothing happened! Oh there was a skirmish with the hateful mother of Caroline and a couple of betrothals, one extrremely unlikely. In the same way that gossip about the verger's wife having an affair is more interesting than the saintly vicar's wife, this novel did not appeal. My own opinion obviously but if you like storeis of people singing and having a good time with no conflict or problems, this is the book for you. But not for me.

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  • Clare McQuin
  • 12-26-20

Truly Magical!

This novella ties up most of the loose ends from the earlier books in the Rockliffe series, concluding brilliantly and wonderfully narrated by Alex Wyndham. I have disagreed with his choice of voices in some of his interpretations, but in this I think he has struck gold. And Stella Riley, well, just unbelievable. A lovely lovely story , filled with all the joy of the season and the occasional hiccoughs caused by the mutual in-laws' intransigence quite tidily disposed of. Well, sort of!. Thank you, Stella and Alex. Though a lot of your readers, Stella, hope you change your mind and bring us back to Rockliffe and his world, perhaps with Cassie's brother or Adeline's youngest cousin?