The Lasting Gift

Short Story in Regency Christmas Gifts Anthology

By Carla Kelly

Camel Press - September 2015

Regency Romance

Mary Ann Poole had little enough funds, and that too would soon end as she was about to lose her position. Merry Christmas, for her and her daughter. But when a package is mistakenly delivered to her, the wrong Mrs. Poole, she can't afford not to be refunded the post cost and walks with her daughter to return it to sender, and request to be reimbursed.

Thomas Jenkins had been bored. He was a retired sailing master who wasn't settling well into a life on land and the urge to return to the sea was growing. He had moved his sister in with him to "help" him, but they both knew it for the lie it was. He was more than capable of handling his home on his own, but she needed his help, and he appreciated her company. She even gave him little tasks to keep him occupied, such as posting a package with items the former home owner had left behind.

Thomas is enchanted with the widow and her daughter, and both he and his sister decide to help them. What starts simply as an act of charity grows to more as Thomas spends time with Mary Ann and Beth. But when he has an opportunity to return to a ship, he has to decide if perhaps his home should now be to remain on land.

The Lasting Gift was a sweet short regency romance. I enjoyed the banter between Thomas and his sister, but it was the relationship between Mary Ann and Beth that was poignant. They were poor, soon to be even in a worse position, yet they were so happy with what they had - mostly each other. And their gifts for each other, and joy they brought, was truly heart-touching. Even though it was a short story, there was a gradual growth in feelings for Thomas and Mary Ann that was simply perfect.

Regency Christmas Gifts Anthology contains three Carla Kelly short stories - The Lasting Gift, Faithfully Yours, and Lucy's Bang-Up Christmas

Kathy Andrico -

FTC Disclaimer: I did receive a copy for review. However, this website only posts "good" reviews. If I cannot post a positive review, I notify whoever has provided me with the book/ARC/ebook.