Jacqueline Maguire has a problem tying the knot. After fleeing the altar (again), the runaway bride drives off with no particular destination in mind. Which is how Jac finds herself stranded in a snowstorm with a hot, hard-bodied stranger who treats her to the naughtiest night of her life... but come morning, he's long gone.
Contractor Patrick McPherson is deeply committed to his bachelor lifestyle. No strings, no rings. As the Christmas season approaches, however, Patrick still can't quite forget his curvalicious one-night stand. Then Jac shows up unexpectedly, and all holiday hell breaks loose. Because this year, Patrick is getting the biggest Christmas surprise of his life...
Themes: holiday, contemporary
Rating: 4.5 stars
Patrick has finally met his match! I stumbled across this series a few holiday seasons ago when the first, Hunk for the Holidays, was released and it looked too good to resist. Then I was thrilled to find out that there would be more stories about this family of super sexy and successful people in one of my favorite parts of the country. The best part is the setting almost always works out with the holidays because I get to imagine myself there with them in the snow, because it’s Colorado! That being said, this story had some real issues to overcome for me, mainly the way both characters looked at the other as shallow and useless. It was obvious to the readers that neither character really saw the other at first, and their first meeting was definitely strange. Set around a woman’s quest to meet her aunt’s requirements for marriage to receive her inheritance and one man’s refusal to ever settle down you knew right away there would be fireworks. Lane always manages to rip my heart out and then fill it right back up with the drama and obstacles she throws at these couples. Since this series always revolves around the holidays there is inherently that craziness with families and strangers around this time of year, but Katie handles everything with such levity and true goodness that you know the characters will truly find their HEA, even once the trees are down and the midnight kisses have been given.
Patrick has escaped his crazy family to hide out at his cabin in the woods when he finds himself confronted with a woman that seems just the other side of sane, but that pulls at his hormones and emotions like no other woman ever has. Jac feels like she has just escaped a true disaster when she finds herself alone the morning after running into Patrick’s cabin, and when the cops come to take her to safety she tries to forget the man that no one else seems to think really existed. But soon it becomes imperative she find him, and when she comes back into his life with a bang and crash, Patrick will have to deal with his feelings for her and find a way to really build a relationship.
This story was one of those that you could never believe happening in real life, because really no one could be this nuts at her age, but Jac’s antics make the story lively and interesting in the extreme, even though most of her crazy actions drive Patrick to insanity. Patrick is obviously a good guy, but set in his ways and refuses to change the way he views people and their motivations. It took him entirely too long to accept that his feelings for Jac went beyond like and friendship, almost to the point of losing her. But thankfully there is a certain jolly elf that seems to be looking out for him and Jac. Jac on the other hand had me shaking my head, laughing, and crying with equal intensity. She seems a bit like a shallow airhead but then has some seriously deep moments that make you wonder why she puts on such a dumb-blonde-girl front. Seeing her grow up and come to appreciate just how important Patrick—and the family he brings along with him—is to Jac and her happiness, really showed the readers that even the most vapid seeming individuals could simply be hiding unimaginable depths of pain and fear. The heat between Patrick and Jac was hot enough to melt the Colorado winter snow, but it came with moments of laughter, sweetness, and playfulness that keep the passion from seeming contrived. I am wondering if this will be the last in the series, but I would love to see Jac’s sister Bailey fall in love and of course getting to see more of the McPherson’s as Christmases pass will be wonderful. Happy holidays and many thanks, Katie!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.