Can the spirit of Christmas mend two broken hearts?
Lara Robinson wrote a love letter four years ago, but received no reply. Now the man to whom she gave her heart will visit Blythe Manor for Christmas. How can she enjoy the holidays knowing Miles Greystoke must despise her for revealing her feelings in such an unguarded fashion?
As an awkward youth, Miles fell in love with a kindred spirit…but his love was unrequited. Against his wishes, he’s now obliged to spend the holidays at Blythe Manor. Time has wrought changes in his physique, but his devotion to Lara Robinson has never wavered. He searches for the perfect present to show her how he feels, but nothing seems quite right…until he realizes the best sort of gift will embrace the true meaning of Christmas.
“It is really well written… and the characters are all nicely developed.”
“While this is a short story, you will be pleased with the fullness of the story and the characters.”
“An engaging Christmas Victorian Romance for young adults, or anyone who is interested in uplifting stories of young love.”
CIR: What inspired this short holiday romance?
ROGERS: The Parable of the Sower was a big influence in A Gift for Lara. I’ve always been fascinated with the question: Do charitable acts bear fruit? The cynic might say charitable acts are a waste of time, but the Parable teaches differently.
CIR: Tell us about the young hero and heroine.
ROGERS: The heroine, Lara Robinson, tries to see the best in people, and looks beneath the surface to learn who they really are. She’s slightly naive—and somewhat vulnerable— because she assumes everyone else does the same thing. Although the hero, Miles Greystoke, has grown into a handsome man, he wasn’t always self-confident. He was an awkward youth, and still carries with him the scars of rejection. He is still trying to “find” himself and his place in the world.
CIR: What would you compare this story to?
ROGERS: I suppose I could compare it to an episode of the Pride & Prejudice miniseries. Mr. Darcy goes to the expense and trouble of arranging the wedding between Lydia and Mr. Wickham, without any idea of taking credit for it. He does it out of love for Elizabeth Bennet.
CIR: Since this was inspired by a parable, what do you hope your readers will get out of this story?
ROGERS: I think it’s easy to admire kind people with a generosity of spirit, and despise—or pity—those people who think only of themselves. In A Gift for Lara, those characters will be easy to identify. I hope the story inspires people to incorporate random acts of kindness in their daily lives.
CIR: What themes do you address in this book?
ROGERS: I wanted to write a Victorian romance set around Christmas so that the theme of romance was interwoven with the reason for the season. To me, the spirit of Christmas is about so much more than giving material gifts. Oftentimes, the act of helping others serves to heal one’s own wounds. So not only do you find a sweet romance in A Gift for Lara, but you’ll also see jealousy, self-centeredness, forgiveness, and redemption.
Learn more about S. G. Rogers and her books at her website.