It… wasn’t great. Not terrible, but not all that good either. I’ve been enjoying this series because each novella is a fun little under-100-page Christmas treat, but this year’s installments definitely miss the mark in the romance department. This hero goes from a total jerk to a total sweetheart in the blink of an eye, and without his perspective, it just didn’t make sense to me. We’re not even sure he knows the heroine’s name for a decent amount of the story, and he NEVER finds out that A. they went to high school together or B. that she has had a crush on him for years. That’s… not ideal, given the way the story ends. All three of this year’s heroines have self-esteem issues actually, because they all take the scraps the heroes throw their way. So, while parts of this were great, it wasn’t the dose of holiday cheer that I was looking for.
The story follows Lexi, a librarian who loves her hometown. When her high school crush returns home, he’s nothing like she remembered. Carter is a sports star and known manhoe, and he doesn’t even realize that they know each other. He’s selfish and focused on his own issues, including a pesky PR problem that requires a fake fiancée. Since Lexi, apparently, looks like wife material, Carter decides that they’ll date while he’s in town. And Lexi, well, Lexi finds herself agreeing. But as the two spend time together, their dates start to feel all too real, and that might be a problem for everyone involved.
We really do need more clues about what these heroes are thinking, because the shine has worn off now that it’s been an issue with each of this year’s releases. I liked One Night with a Nutcracker the most, but even that had the same problem. In this one, Carter is a complete selfish jerk at the beginning, self-absorbed and a total player. He complains that he only inherited a “used dog” and he is not nice to Lexi. We learn more about him in the blurb than we do the rest of the novella. A little more insight into him would’ve turned this into a sweet and sexy holiday story, but it misses the mark without that information. The second half reads better than the first, and I loved that we got that great epilogue to wrap up this year’s trio of novellas. Unfortunately, I can’t say that this was sugar and spice and everything nice when I was annoyed by the hero (for being a jerk) and the heroine (for falling so easily) the entire time. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this holiday romance.
Side note: this was disappointing enough that I got to thinking about One Night with a Nutcracker, and I’ve bumped my rating for that one down to 4 stars. All three of this year’s Aston novellas have hero issues, though that is the strongest of the bunch.
My name is Carter Sheppard and I actually like Christmas and my Christmas-themed hometown of Reindeer Falls. In fact, when I learn I have to return home in order to collect an inheritance—my uncle’s dog—it puts life into perspective for me.
Sure, playing professional baseball is great. But it won’t last forever and every player needs a long-term game plan.
And I just found mine. Wrapped up in the feisty, bespectacled package of the town librarian.
Unfortunately, she thinks I’m a player in all aspects of the word, but I’ve got a plan to win her over. Starting with a fake engagement…
Warning: Christmas in Reindeer Falls is more naughty than nice. These stories are over-the-top festive with merrily-ever-afters guaranteed. Novella length for quick holiday binge reading. Enjoy!
About the Author:
Jana Aston likes cats, big coffee cups and books about billionaires who deflower virgins. She wrote her debut novel while fielding customer service calls about electrical bills, and she’s ever grateful for the fictional gynecologist in Wrong that readers embraced so much she was able to make working in her pajamas a reality. Jana’s novels have appeared on the NYT, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists, some multiple times. She likes multiples.
Connect w/ Jana:
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/GrindMeCafe
Book + Main: http://bit.ly/BookMainJanaAston
Amazon Page: http://bit.ly/AmazonJanaAston
Society 6: http://bit.ly/Society6Jana
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I’m so sad about these. I loved last year’s. I didn’t even like the last one you rated 5 stars. It was ok, but disappointing.
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I’m really disappointed in these too! Last year’s were great, but she’s clearly in a real slump and can’t write the romance aspect. The hero in this one is so lame that I immediately started thinking about the last one and dropped my rating to 4 stars. Definite hero issues in all three.