Publisher: Avon Impluse
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
If you only follow my book reviews, you might not know that I have also been doing NaNoWriMo this month. I have been doing it for many years now and love the adrenaline rush of just losing yourself in your writing, even if it’s frequently bad writing. It does, however, take commitment and sometimes wears you down, especially if you’re doing what I thought might be fun to do: put the installments on my blog for public consumption. Haha! Ask me if I’ll do that again next year!
So, what does this have to do with One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis? I haven’t stopped reading and writing book reviews this month, although I’ve cut way back. Last night, I was fortunate enough to start reading this novella and it was like finding the perfect, easy-going sweet story just when I really needed it.
At the end of September, I reviewed The Trouble with Mistletoe, the second in Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay Series (you can find that review here). In it we met Willa who runs a pet grooming and goods shop. She has always hired kids who are down on their luck to work in her shop. One of the first she hired was Rory and Rory is the heroine of One Snowy Night.
Rory is spunky and says what she means and doesn’t typically back down when challenged. She ran away from home when she felt overwhelmed by all of the things happening to her and the fact that her disciplinarian step-father blamed her automatically for everything that happened even though she wasn’t responsible.
Max went to high school with Rory, has issues with her that only he seems to know about, and keeps tabs on her—in a good way. He brings his dog, Carl, a loveable Doberman, into the shop for frequent grooming sessions, whether Carl needs it or not.
After all of these years and several broken promises, Rory has decided to return home for the first time since running away at Christmas. Max is going to be her ride. And, they might just make it back home, if they don’t kill each other first.
I liked Rory in The Trouble with Mistletoe and was pleased that she was the heroine in One Snowy Night. However, because she was so well-drawn, I think she probably deserved an entire novel instead of a novella. Also, the back story between Rory and Max is so intriguing that I would have liked to have read more and perhaps seen them in some real adventures. As is true of many Shalvis’ couples, their conversations are fast-paced and witty and inevitably, you just want more. Also, with a little more interaction between them, the floating around of the “L” word might just have been a little easier to believe.
However, a big however. None of those things disenchanted me. I needed to read this sweet story last night. It was a perfect diversion, funny and sweet and romantic.
With the onset of hustle and bustle (both of them!), find some time to bring both of these Jill Shalvis holiday stories into your downtime. They won’t cure anything, but they will make you feel less stressed for a bit and they have a healthy dose of Christmas cheer and humor to make you smile.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
rating: (4 out of 5 butterflies)
Christmas Eve had the nerve to show up just like it did every year: way too quickly and with ridiculous fanfare.
Rory Andrews stood in the courtyard of the Pacific Pier Building in San Francisco, surrounded by sparkly holiday lights and enough garlands to give the place its own ozone, and told herself things could be worse.
She just wasn’t sure how.
It was the unknown, she decided. Because this year, unlike the past six, she’d be spending Christmas with her family, a thought that caused a swarm of butterflies to take flight in her belly.
Not an uncommon feeling since she’d turned twenty-three a few months back and decided it was time to become a person she could be proud of if it killed her. And given the guy leaning against one of the lamp poles clearly waiting for her, arms crossed, frown in place, it just might.
Max Stranton. At his side sat Carl, his huge, eternally hungry, adorable Doberman.
“No,” she said, not to Carl but to Carl’s owner. Who was not lovable. “No way.”
As always when their gazes locked, Max’s was a disconcerting mix of heat and . . . something else that she couldn’t quite figure out, as he was good at hiding when he wanted to be. She never quite knew how to take the heat because it seemed reluctant. He was attracted to her but didn’t want to be.
Ditto. He made her knees wobble. And also a couple of other inner reactions that shouldn’t be happening in public.
“Merry Christmas to you too, Rory,” he said, and damn. It wasn’t just his eyes. His voice was rough and sexy, and for that matter, so was the rest of him.
He worked for an investigations and security firm in the building. Basically he and the rest of his team were fixers and finders for hire. To say that Max was good at his job was an understatement. He stood there looking like sex on a stick with a duffle bag slung over a broad shoulder, his dark hair two weeks past needing a cut, and the icy wind of an incoming storm plastering his clothes to a body that could be registered as a lethal weapon.
“What are you doing here?” she asked calmly even if her heart was anything but, pounding all the way up to her throat and ears because she knew. She knew exactly why he was here. “I don’t need a ride home.”
A flash of wry humor slid in with all that sizzling heat. “Because you’d rather take two buses and a train than get into my truck with me?” he asked.
Well yes, actually.
Rafflecopter Giveaway (a print set of the first two Heartbreaker Bay Novels, SWEET LITTLE LIES and THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE.)
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.
Look for Jill’s latest, SWEET LITTLE LIES on shelves and e-readers now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold.
Visit Jill’s website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.