3.5 out of 5 StarsAccepting a bet from his cousin, Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier invites shy proper bluestocking, Louisa Oliver, to his annual scandalous two week Christmas house party. To win the bet, Louisa must stay the full two weeks and not run off horrified. However, Louisa may not be as shy as she appears. In fact, Alex may be the one surprised by his own guest.This was a very cute sweet story with two likeable leads, interesting secondary characters, and witty dialogue. I loved the theme of people being not what they seem. Masks and personas can be suffocating and trap an individual into behavioral patterns, but it’s Alex’s and Louisa’s personas that bring these two outwardly different people together. Alex isn’t the notorious rake everyone thinks he is and Louisa is hardly a wilting flower. In fact, Louisa is the one who initiates seduction and leads their “encounters” and Alex is the one left reeling. However, I never really bought Louisa as shy. She is a bit Mary Sue-ish in that she had no real faults. This is the second book in a series and the protagonists appear in the first book in the series. While it’s not necessary to read the first book, I did feel as if, having not read the first, I might have missed some character development. The plot of this book and the set up from the last book are a bit at odds and the resolution of a problem from the previous book was resolved too quickly. Also, the villain became more and more mustache-twirly and silly as the book progressed, but that’s more of a genre problem. I felt the villain had depth and could have been interesting, so I was disappointed the author went the ‘silly over-the-top’ route.The house party was full of colorful characters and historical details about how Christmas was celebrated in Regency England. While the Christmas party was the backdrop, there was nothing overtly religious or sentimental about the book. Christmas is more of the setting, not the theme of the book.Even though characters were a bit uneven, the real strength of the book lay in the emotional journey and developing relationship of the protagonists. Their relationship is witty, sweet, and poignant. Season for Surrender is a very enjoyable novel and I’ll be looking out for more by this author.