Christmas in Tahoe
Silicon Valley actuary Ann Smith is an expert at calculating probabilities, but lately the odds haven’t been in her favor. Two years ago her fiancé died a week before their planned Christmas wedding, leaving Ann heartbroken and alone. When a friend suggests heading up to Lake Tahoe for a long Christmas weekend of skiing, wine, and relaxation, Ann thinks it might be just the thing to help get her life back on track. But Ann’s plans go awry when her friend cancels at the last minute, and Ann ends up driving to Tahoe with Chase Deckert, a sexy snowboarder who pushes all her buttons.
Chase Deckert is a man who lives by his own rules. A few years ago his business partner betrayed him by selling out their biomedical research for a quick profit. Chase left science far behind and now spends his days snowboarding in Tahoe, wanting nothing to do with the dog-eat-dog world of Silicon Valley. Chase has closed his mind and his heart and only believes in one thing: fate. But fate seems to be in a giving mood, because joining him for Christmas is a brave, beautiful woman who shows him the true meaning of the season and helps him rediscover a part of himself he’d long forgotten.
Fueled by the mountain scenery, the season, and their unbelievable chemistry, Ann and Chase end up learning more about each other—and themselves—than they ever imagined possible. Can one long, steamy Christmas help them realize they’re meant to be together? Or when the holiday is over will they be right back where they started?
Wow, though I’ve never been to Tahoe or really seen the mountains, after reading Elisabeth Barrett’s new Holiday story I feel like I was there with her H/H racing down the slopes and sitting inside a snow locked cabin in the mountains. I have always been partial to Holiday romances because it seems to make the love affairs even more magical and this story was an excellent addition to my holiday collection. Set in, of course, snowy Lake Tahoe, our story introduces us to two people who have been burned in life, by love, luck, and circumstance. Showing us the need to overcome the sadness that life throws at us, Barrett gives us the moving story of a woman who has lost herself in recent years and is determined to regain her independence and a man that has forced himself into an isolated lifestyle to keep anyone from penetrating his walls. But when these two come together there can only be life changing experiences and the fiery explosions of two passionate individuals.
Ann has had a tough few years, losing her fiancé, but more importantly losing herself in his loss, and she needs to come to terms with her new single status and find her inner strength again. The plan is simple: a girls' weekend in Tahoe with her friend, over Christmas, to allow her to put the past to bed and start fresh. But the plan goes awry from the beginning when her friend is detained and sends Chase to take Ann to Tahoe instead. Instantly Ann finds an intense attraction to Chase, one that has been missing for a long time, and though she is wary of him at first, his courteous actions and determination to take care of her form an immediate bond. When they finally make it to Tahoe, the joy Ann finds with Chase as they play together on the mountain begins to bring her back to life and reminds her how much having someone to share the fun of life matters. Chase is falling hard for Ann, sees the courage so many overlook in her and knows that being with her is wonderful. However, can he give up the hurt he has nursed for so long so he can have a future with her and find himself again too?
Christmas in Tahoe was a great holiday read, but I think that the spirit of the romance could be enjoyed any time of the year. The magic between Ann and Chase is apparent from the instant they set eyes on one another. Whether they are playing, loving, or just talking through their past hurts together, you can see that they understand each other and the deep connection between them is undeniable. The passion between them was certainly an integral part of the story, but the emotions they explore together; the building of their relationship, while fast was meaningful and believable—which so many shorter romances are not. I would love to see an epilogue or maybe a connected story down the line, because though I know that Chase and Ann have found their HEA, seeing them again would be great since they were such enjoyable characters. I haven’t read many of Ms. Barrett’s stories but if they are all like this, I will definitely be reading any future stories I can get. Thanks for an awesome holiday fix!