Genre: Romance, Contemporary
After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she'll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.
Leigh's best friend broke Croy Dawson's heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh's fault. They've never liked each other, but Croy isn't cruel: he'd never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn't expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn't expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.
Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can't escape the truth: he can't walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…
This is another holiday read I absolutely had to review. I had never thought of myself as a person who had seasonal reads. I mean, I never truly limit myself to reading a certain type of book at different times of year. I feel no strong urge to read Halloween appropriate reads or anything but I do enjoy a good Christmas read and a good summer read and I tend to like to read them at the right time of year (but then I also like reading summer reads any time of year, especially when it’s cold out and I want to remember the sun). That being said, this book and my other Christmas read, Christmas Joy, have converted me. I think I am a fan of Christmas books and I certainly wish I had read these in December to get me in the Christmas spirit, I am currently functioning on supermarket seasons where you get excited about Christmas as soon as Halloween is out of the way.
What Made This So Good Then?
I loved the family aspect and the fact that this begins from a family coming together for the holidays. I love any book that includes family and I’m glad both Leigh and Croy’s family are central in this novella. I mean, the fact that Leigh’s family are gathering to say one last farewell to the family home and pack up their belongings is sweet because that is such a heart-breaking event because it’s the end of an era and you got that reading the book.
It was quite nice reading this and seeing Leigh almost revert to her middle child self. Her one sister has all the chaos going on as she goes through a divorce with a new baby and having to live with her parents and her other sister is newly married but struggling with being a step-mom to a daughter who really doesn’t appreciate it so Leigh is stuck not wanting to draw attention to her self and her own problems. She figures it’s safer to keep schtum and wait for it all to blow over and her problems to be sorted before she reveals her problems. It was quite fun to read.
You’re Not Raving, What Were The Drawbacks?
I admit, I had di have issues with this little read. One of them was the fact that Croy and Leigh’s connection felt sudden. I mean, I was reading how Leigh was dreading seeing him and then they meet and they seem to hit it off instantly? That wasn’t what I was expecting! Also, the whole drama between them is practically non-existent. There is no issue between them, they have a little history but neither holds a grudge and it’s water under the bridge. It bothered me that part.
I also wish there was more family time. I mention I love that this is centred around family but I don’t feel like we saw enough of them. Croy’s felt more well rounded and developed than Leigh’s did as well. I just wanted more of the family always.
And finally I wanted more! I think all my issues with this book centre on the fact that it was a novella and thus destined to feel a bit less as there are less pages to fit all the story in. I think that’s my problem, I was left feeling like something was missing and I think that missing thing was more of a book so I could explore more.
It Doesn't Matter, It’s Still Feel-Good Christmas Fun
Look, I had many an issue, but I knew I was going to have issues going in as soon as I realised it was a novella. I am always left wanting more from them and that is inevitable from a limited number of pages. I will say that what we did get was awesome. I had a good romance with characters I liked. There was no alpha male romance, there was just Croy who was a nice guy wanting more and Leigh who thought her trip home was temporary and found herself getting more than she expected in her short time him. That was awesome to read and I most definitely want to read more by Shannon Stacey.
Have you started getting into the Christmas spirit yet with your reading? Are you planning on reading anything Christmas-y or is that not your thing? And am I alone in feeling like novellas never give you enough story to fully satisfy?