Snow is falling in Copper Ridge, Oregon—but the heat between a holiday-loving party planner and the town’s resident Scrooge is off the charts in this sweet and sizzling Christmas novella…
Holly Fulton is throwing a special Christmas Eve party for the foster parents who gave her so much. To finish the preparations in time, she needs to recruit her one-time foster brother, Ryan Masters. He may have a scowl that could curdle eggnog, but under that surly demeanor is a big heart. And amazing muscles. And a gorgeous chest. In fact, X-rated visions of Ryan have been dancing in Holly’s head for years, but she can’t risk complicating the only real family she’s ever known.
But maybe there’s a way for Holly to have her Christmas cake and eat it too. A no-strings affair, just until they’re done with the planning. Ryan is certainly willing. But from the first touch, it’s clear that this isn’t just a festive fling. It might just be a Christmas miracle in the making…
I’ve been in a Oregon cowboy/holiday mood, so decided it was the perfect time to *finally* get to this Copper Ridge novella. It perfectly hit the spot!
Ryan and Holly have known each other for years, ever since they shared a set of foster parents. Though their time with the family didn’t overlap a whole lot, Margie and Dan (the foster parents) have always made an effort to keep their “kids” a part of their lives and Ryan and Holly both still live in Copper Ridge. They’ve been a part of each others’ lives since childhood, and have been aware of each other almost as long. So when Holly asks Ryan to help her to put on a holiday party for the Traverses, they’re suddenly spending more time together than either is sure is particularly wise, and…things happen.
The fact that the two of them have a history definitely helps to make the shorter format of a novella work for their story. A longer work would have given us more information and details about why Holly and Ryan both think lasting, loving relationships won’t ever work for them, but honestly, I think we get enough of their background here to make their current hang-ups make sense; personally, I’d much rather they focus on the present and learning to be able to move on instead, which they do nicely. They have great chemistry, and his gruff grumpiness and her relentless cheer play off of each other nicely throughout. Who declares themselves to whom first is a pleasant surprise, as is which one makes a run for the hills…and the grand gesture is very sweet. And maybe a little bit sticky, too 😉
Overall, this was a sweet holiday read that just hit the spot in my busy holiday weekend.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.