Just call her Christmas Eve…
Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn't have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that's what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.
Eve's worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There's no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve's definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve's happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she's counting on the best Christmas of her life!
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Three and a half stars: An interesting romance that must overcome some big hurdles.
Eve awakens to find a naked man in her bed and little recollection of how he got there. She remembers going out alone on her thirty fifth birthday to have a drink and drown her feelings of loneliness. She didn't expect to get drunk and have a one night stand, because that is not the kind of girl Eve is. Unfortunately, she now find herself facing a stranger. Rex dives into Eve's bed just trying to forget all the turmoil and difficulty in his life. He needed an escape. What neither of them expect is for this one night fling to go further. Will Eve at last find love?
What I Liked:
- This is my first foray into the Whiskey Creek Series and even though this is book seven, I had no problems plunging into the story. Each book is a companion story that can be read as a stand alone. So I had no issues and was never lost. Of course, going back and reading the other books would enrich the story and provide me more insight into all the characters. Still if you are looking for a pleasant holiday romance, this was a nice read.
- The romance is a slow burner. Yes, it starts out as a one night fling due to drunkenness and loneliness, and even though both parties vow they won't see each again, circumstances throw them together and neither can deny the sparks of attraction. I appreciated that it took its time to develop and that it didn't feel like insta love.
- I enjoyed the strong cast of characters. Aside from Eve and Rex, there is a whole set of secondary characters. Eve is part of a group of friends who have been together forever. I loved exploring the bonds and getting to know all the friends. I especially liked how they all looked out for one another. I would be interested to go back and read some of the other books so I could get to know the cast a bit better.
- Even though this was a romance, I was surprised and intrigued by a secondary story line regarding a ghost that haunted the Bed and Breakfast that Eve runs. I thought this ghost story was interesting and I liked exploring what happened to Mary.
- I enjoyed the small town setting. Whiskey Creek is a town where everyone knows one another and that can be a good or bad thing depending on the situation. I liked the warm, cozy vibes and I enjoyed exploring the town and the characters.
And The Not So Much:
- For a Christmas romance, this wasn't as cheery as I hoped. Christmas isn't a big focus in the story, and while there are some pleasant holiday scenes, I found myself wishing for a bit more holiday cheer.
- I struggled with the whole story line regarding Rex and The Crew. It took forever to finally learn the truth about Rex's past, and when I did, I felt it was a bit unrealistic? I don't know it is hard to explain. I also thought the way the gang solved the problem with The Crew was a little far fetched as well, but the book needed a happily ever after. Plus I though the whole story line was a bit dark for a feel good holiday book.
- The book ends on a cliffhanger note, and I didn't like that. Just as it seems that Rex might be finally moving forward and making amends with his past, the door slams and the book ends. I wanted more, and I was also curious to see how Rex and Eve had settled everything out six months down the line, but that part isn't discussed,
- Even though the romance is slow and steady, it is full of lots of stumbles. It felt like the couple was revisiting the same issues over and over. I also didn't like that the relationship kept falling into that let's have sex with no strings attached because you know that is either going to end in heartbreak or turn into something more. I am not a fan of those types of romance.
The Heart of Christmas was a nice introduction to the Whiskey Creek Series. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and exploring the town, and I would certainly like to pick up some additional books in the series. If you are looking for a nice happily ever after type romance and terrific friends in a small cozy town, give this a try.
"For me, making love is still about getting close to someone, being vulnerable, sharing concerns and fears and lives, making a commitment. "
"Fortunately, people don't have to be related to become a family."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.