I’m not much for holiday themed books, but I try to read at least two every year. This time I got three in, and thankfully they were all by authors I already loved. I was also glad two of them are novellas, so they were quick, yet enjoyable.
Lord Dashwood Missed Out
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove
Published by: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!
Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Out was a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.
And he finally seems to have noticed her.
George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir--only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.
She has one night.
I had my first experience with Tessa Dare not too long ago when I read When a Scot Ties the Knot, and that book quickly became a favorite. I was in need of a winter themed book when I saw Lord Dashwood Missed Out, and even though it’s a novella deep into the Spindle Cove, I’m really glad I went with it.
The whole loathing to love trope is my favorite in romance. What’s cool about this is, Elinora and Lord Dashwood used to be good friends growing up together, then … stuff happens and he goes traveling the world. Elinore is super pissed and heartbroken, so after many drinks she writes a wonderful essay about her experience and how woman don’t need a man to know their worth. She and her pamphlet become very well-known and end up impacting his reputation. Not in a good way either. Years later they become stranded in the middle of nowhere. Alone. In a snow storm. Only the two of them to keep each other warm. You get where I’m going with this.
These two are so damn entertaining and both great characters. I love that she keeps her wits about her and didn’t turn into a bumbling ninny in his presence, especially when he was trying to get a response from her. And I was busting up over his suggested titles for a sequel to her essay. There’s indeed a whole lot of chemistry between them.
Anyway, this may be a novella, but it certainly wasn’t lacking. I love when there is that perfect mix of witty banter, an array of emotions, and little bit of steam. This novella has it all. It definitely provides many laughs!
This also incorporated other characters from the series, which was fun, even though I haven’t read their books yet. I’m for sure looking forward to it, though, mostly Colin’s.
Hot Holiday Nights
Author: Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play
Published by: InterMix
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Victoria Baldwin is a successful sports agent who always puts work first—unless she’s on vacation. Then it’s all about play. On holiday in Hawaii over Christmas, she meets Alex McConnell, a successful young surfer on the islands for a surfing competition. She couldn’t think of a better vacation fling. But when she meets Ben Reynolds, Alex’s manager, she realizes she wants both men. This could be her hottest holiday ever, and the vacation that changes her life.
Bow chicka wow wow! Hot holiday nights, indeed!
I’ve only read one other book in the Play-by-Play series, which was the one prior to this novella. I can assure you that Hot Holiday Nights, as with the rest of the series, can be read as a standalone even though some characters overlap.
This is a novella, but is it ever delicious. What’s cool about this one is it takes place around Christmas, but on a warm Hawaiian beach. No snow in sight. There’s even a surfing contest. Cue sexy surfers!
Victoria is a woman who is confident sexually and isn’t afraid to go for what she wants. Now that’s sexy. Then you have Alex, a younger professional surfer, and Ben the older best friend/manager. Oh man, were these three burning the pages up! That’s right, it’s ménage time, baby. They were all wonderful together, and I don’t mean only in the sack. They had really great chemistry, and I enjoyed the time they got to know each other.
So yeah, Hot Holiday Nights is a yummy, quick read that will warm you up on a cold night.
A Bad Boy for Christmas
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Series: Second Chance
Published by: Forever
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Connor McClain knows what he wants. And after four harrowing years in Afghanistan, that's a quiet life in the lakeside town of Evergreen Cove. But coming home has land mines of its own-the most dangerous of them being long-legged bombshell Faith Garrett. Now getting her into his arms this holiday is going to require more than mistletoe . . .
With a cheating ex behind her, all Faith wants is a relaxing holiday free from man drama. And even though every moment with gorgeous Connor is a sweet temptation, Faith is determined not to give in. But Jack Frost has other plans, and soon Faith and Connor are snowbound in a winter wonderland with only the sparks flying between them to keep them warm. As one hot kiss leads to another, they'll have to decide if they're ready to give each other the best gift of all-love.
Even though the first book is my absolute favorite, I’m still enjoying the hell out of the Second Chance series. We met Faith and Connor in the previous books, but you can read this as a standalone if you must.
A Bad Boy for Christmas takes place from October through December, so we actually get a couple holidays in there. Which means a lot of drinking. Faith likes her wine, okay?
Bad boy? Pfft. There’s nothing bad about the men in the Second Chance series. Okay, maybe Asher, but we’ll see how that goes in his book next. Anyway, Connor is a military veteran and one hell of a landscaper. He truly is a wonderful, protective man. As for Faith … high five for tall heroines! She’s extremely hesitant when it comes to relationships, and for good reason. She just wants to work on herself and be an independent woman.
These two were so dang cute together. I was glad to see there was quite a bit of humor and teasing between them that made me smile. Things get pretty steamy too! They definitely had their ups and downs, but the ride was a good one for sure. There’s also a wee bit of suspense added in. In fact, the only thing that sort of bugged me revolved around that aspect, but it’s a possible spoiler. So … View Spoiler » The reason for the break in was a bit ridiculous, why wouldn’t he try when she wasn’t home. Duh, burglary 101 « Hide Spoiler.
Overall, A Bad Boy for Christmas is an entertaining read and another great addition to the series.