New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Heartbreaker Bay with a fun and festive holiday novella! Order your copy for just $0.99 today!
About ONE SNOWY NIGHT:
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.
Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.
They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.
Max whistled for Carl but the wind was so loud, the sound got swallowed up.
Rory slipped out of the truck and back into the mind numbing cold to make her way to Max. “Carl!” she yelled and nearly got blown over by the next gust of wind.
Max caught her and held her at his side. “You could’ve gotten home,” he said. “You know you’re crazy, right?” he asked.
Yes, she knew. And yeah, her whole purpose had been to show her family she’d changed but hey, there’d be plenty of time to stress about that later. “This is for Carl, not you.”
He choked out a rough laugh. “You’re still crazy,” he said but he’d kept his arm around her, holding her close. And he didn’t sound quite as mad at her anymore.
Which might have just been wishful thinking on her part.
“Carl!” Max yelled, using the hand that wasn’t holding onto her to cup around his mouth. “Carl, come!”
From out of the woods came a huge snow abomination. When it was only a few feet from them, it stopped, shook, and sent snow flying.
Proud of himself, he sat happily at their feet and panted a smile, while Rory fought with relieved tears.
What was wrong with her tonight?
Max got them all back into the truck. He dried off Carl the best he could and then turned to Rory.
She had no idea that she’d lost the battle with her emotions until Max cupped her face and swiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb. “Rory,” he said, voice low and concerned.
“Does Christmas always have to suck so hard?” she whispered.
He looked at her for a long beat and then slowly shook his head. “No. Not always.”
They stared at each other some more and then…he kissed her. Softly at first, carefully, but she didn’t need either and let him know by fisting her hands in his jacket and letting out a needy little whimper for more.
This wrenched a deep, rough male groan from him that rumbled up from his chest, and she clutched at him, trying to get closer. Before she knew it, he’d hauled her over the console and into his lap, tucking her thighs on either side of his, letting her feel exactly how his body had responded to the kiss. He was hard.
Hungry for the connection, desperate to forget her problems, trembling in her boots for more of this man beneath her, she kissed him back with all the pent-up longing and need she felt. When they broke free, his eyes were heavy-lidded with lust and desire, and she had one single, devastating thought.
All these years later, she still wanted him as her own.
Reading The Trouble with Mistletoe had me practically salivating to read this one (Rory, as Willa’s second-hand woman, features prominently in her book, and every time Max and Carl popped into the story, watch out!) and I was so glad we didn’t have to wait long!
I do wish it had ended up being a bit longer, though–a good chunk of the “end” of the book is actually teasers for the other books in the series (including Pru’s, which is next–squee!) but still, it was an enjoyable read. Rory, Max, and Carl have one of those if-anything-can-go-wrong-it-will roadtrips, made all the more fun with the fact that the two humans have some crazy chemistry going on and the canine has some major love for both of them.
Plus, he’s really big (a Doberman) and has a tendency to 1) run off at the drop of a hat and 2) insert himself into any situation that looks like it might be fun to be in, both of which add to the overall humor of the story.
Rory and Max have a bit of a past, which is really the only way a short romance novella like this has a chance of being believable. If you’ve read Mistletoe you’ll start out ahead, already knowing who the characters are, but it’s not really necessary. (The teasers at the end, though, will greatly increase the likelihood that starting with this one will also increase your TBR by three more.) It takes place on Christmas Eve (mostly) and the characters are both on their way home for the holiday, but the event itself isn’t a huge part of the story other than being the reason they’re trying so hard to get home to be with their families. Really, the snow is a bigger event here than the calendar date, and of course the sparks between the two of them manage to overshadow both 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About Jill Shalvis:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
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