A Long Hot Christmas
We have all had the experience of watching a movie or television show where one of the supporting actors steals the show right out from under the star. Remember Alan Rickman as the sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves? I think the star was some guy named Kevin something or other. In A Long Hot Christmas, the hero and heroine, Sam and Hope are a nice enough couple. They have good chemistry and an excellent and really hot love scene, but it’s Faith’s feng shui/interior decorator who walks off with the book.
Hope Sumner works in the marketing division for a company that makes pipe. She is a workaholic, who is attached to her laptop and is thisclose to making vice-president. Social life? Ha! Hope’s sisters, Faith and Charity worry about her and set her up with lawyer Sam “The Shark” Sharkey. Sam is just as much a workaholic as Hope, and he is thisclose to making partner in his firm. In order to become partner, Sam has to go to parties and schmooze, and he needs some arm candy to fend off the other partner’s flirty wives. So Hope, who also needs to party and schmooze to impress the brass at her company hooks up with Sam. They will be each other’s escorts at social functions.
Early in the book, Hope decides that her apartment is not right, she is not comfortable, she’s not happy, the vibes are all wrong. Clearly she needs some reorganization of her Ch’i so she hires feng shui expert Yu-Wing. When Yu-Wing comes on the scene, I dropped the book several times to hold my aching sides. Yu-Wing (in real-life Maybelle Ewing) is a big-haired, twangy talking Texan who comes right in and starts setting things right. She calls everyone hon, knows something about everything, and soon has Hope dazed and wrapped around her finger. The scene where Maybelle fixes up Hope’s bedroom in preparation for a night of passion is a hoot.
There is a plot, a very miniscule one involving defective pipe, but it’s only there to nudge things along. We all know how it will end, Sam and Hope will fall in love and learn to slow down and not be so consumed with work that they forget to have fun. There’s nothing new in A Long Hot Christmas but it funny, filled with dialogue – lots of dialogue – and fast. Sometimes it was so fast I lost the story’s arc, but without a complicated plot to follow, that wasn’t much of a problem. I came away from the book remembering funny scenes and bits of banter.
A Long Hot Christmas is a short book, even for a category romance and it zoomed by faster than Speed Racer. If you are in the mood for a short, funny read that will make you laugh out loud – this is your book.