This seemed like a cute idea for a contemporary, holiday romance, set for the most part in a wonderful holiday B&B. But while there were lots of enjoyable, and even laugh out loud moments, parts of the set-up and the timeline just didn’t work for me and the resolution was just a bit too convoluted for my taste.
With Christmas coming in just a few weeks, Karina Barrett is at a loss. Abandoned by her now ex-husband for a gorgeous college student, Karina is short of cash and faced with trying to make a good holiday for her three children. Karina’s sister, a high-powered travel industry executive, offers the perfect solution. Karina and her children can spend the holidays free of charge at The Christmas House, a B&B in the fictional town of Kismet, Michigan. All Karina has to do is conduct a secret evaluation since her sister’s company may buy the inn, but needs additional information. Karina agrees to take the job, and quickly discovers an added bonus in red hot Reid Sullivan.
Reid’s grandparents have run The Christmas House for years. Reid wants nothing to do with the B&B or with Kismet. He and his two young daughters travel the world, never living in one place for more than a few weeks. Reid picks up jobs such as his most recent stint of leading survivalist tromps through Australia until he receives an urgent message from his grandparents to go to Kismet.
Once there Reid discovers that the emergency is his grandparents’ desire to sell the B&B. They’re leaving for Arizona immediately and want Reid to handle the Christmas guests, as well as a secret evaluator.
Things go wrong for Reid almost from the first. Thanks to some spiked punch and Karina’s determination to have fun, she comes on to Reid the minute they meet and the two end up having sex the first night.
Reid isn’t quite the driftless, happy-go-lucky guy he initially seems to be. He values loyalty and trust. Big uh-oh because Karina is deceiving him right from the beginning.
Parts of the set-up doesn’t ring true. Reid’s grandparents’ explanation seems far-fetched. And what convinced Reid to stay was his younger daughter asking what’s up with the pine tree with all the stuff on it in the living room. Really? In all their world travels, she’d never seen a Christmas tree?
I also had problems with the pacing and timeline of the book. It felt as if a lot of interactions between Karina and Reid had to be occurring off page.
Reid and Kate’s children have prominent roles, so if you don’t like kids in romances, steer clear of this one. In fact, both Karina and Reid seem to have more interactions with various children than they do with each other. That being said, I thought the kids were quite realistic, and offered some genuine LOL moments.
The resolution felt convoluted, with Reid and Karina spending a great deal of time talking to just about everyone in town except each other. I didn’t feel that the two had enough interactions with each other over the very short time span, to suddenly be in love, and ready to spend their lives together.