Three Nights Before Christmas
This is a standalone novella in the Montana Born Christmas series. Lacey and Austin have a pretty unpleasant history. He was the arresting officer in a case that Lacey was inadvertently involved in due to her relationship with the leader of the drug ring. Imprisoned for three years, she’s finally free to try to pick up the pieces of her once thriving life. Working at her family’s tree farm is a chance to rebuild, but for one reason or another Austin seems to always be around. Despite their best efforts to stay uninvolved, there is a strong attraction between them and they can’t resist giving in. But can they develop the trust needed to put their troubled past behind them?
Kudos to Lacey for embracing the real spirit of forgiveness because I’m not sure that I would have been able to consider developing a relationship with a man who was responsible for the worst three years of my life. But Lacey is determined to move on, and Austin is realizing that things might not have been what they seemed, to his (most likely) everlasting guilt. The friendship they develop starts out very slowly, but eventually they find a place where they can just be themselves at the moment, and not what they were to each other before. I really like both characters, Lacey’s strong will and determination balancing well with Austin’s dedication and wish to make amends. They share some steamy scenes together, and the spirit of the Christmas season definitely shines through.