You know, whenever I think of a Christmas romance novel, I think of a light-hearted, swoon-worthy read with enough cheesiness to keep you warm for the rest of the year. This one had a more somber note featuring a widow and her two young daughters facing their first Christmas without their husband/father. Tis the season to be jolly?
What’s it About?
Jennie Braxton and her two small children are traveling to Philadelphia for Christmas with her family. Car trouble lands them in a magical town called Heaven, P.A. Everything about this sweet place seems too good to be true, especially Nick Ryan, a local chef with a heart as big as her own. His sensual smile tempts her from mourning the loss of her dear husband, to look into the future. Can her dreams of finding happiness again come true, or will her heart hide safely in the past?
Now, don’t get me wrong, this book did have it’s moments of cheese. From a late-night romantic horse-drawn carriage ride to puppies frolicking in the snow. Unfortunately, the rest of the book was kind of a downer as Jennie struggles with the guilt of feeling attracted to another man within one year of her husband’s death. I realize that this is a sad part of life that many people face; having to go through the death of a loved one and experiencing that first important holiday alone. Whether we want to admit it or not, death is a part of life. I’m just not a huge fan of it being part of my cheesy Christmas romance novels. It’s really the only time of year when I will willingly put up with that much fluff.
This novel raises a very interesting question of time. How soon is too soon before you start to move on after the death of a spouse? There’s a definite attraction between Jennie and Nick, but is that enough to pursue something more permanent? The fact that Jennie is just passing through town makes things even more complicated.
Sort of Pushy
Jennie and Nick have a pretty adorable chemistry, and the fact that Nick can cook means he’s one of the good ones. That being said, there were a few moments in this book that I found to be rather uncomfortable, specifically when it came to people pressuring Jennie to give Nick a chance.From her parents to her sister, and even Nick himself!
He realizes that Jennie is still mourning the loss of her husband, and she’s extremely hesitant to start anything with him romantically considering that she’s only in town because of car trouble. But that doesn’t stop him from constantly pursuing her, calling her at all hours of the day, randomly showing up at her hotel, telling her over and over again to stay in town, and if she doesn’t he has a pretty convincing pouty face.
Considering how vulnerable Jennie was at spending this first Christmas without her husband and the father of her two children, I just couldn’t help but feel that Nick’s actions were somewhat manipulative. Especially considering it was only after he got her into bed that he started to consider if he could, or ever would want to be a new father to her children. Umm…maybe something to ponder before getting the single widow into the sack? After all, Jennie did bring it up numerous times as a concern beforehand!
Series: Heavenly Christmas, book 1.
Should you read it? Definitely not the light-hearted Christmas read I was hoping for. It deals with rather heavy subject matter, and you can’t help but feel compassion for Jennie and her children. Nick was adorable and could really be a cheesy romantic at times. That being said, it didn’t really seem like Jennie was ready for such a serious relationship. I worry if it’s something she’ll come to regret later, even though I did like Nick for the most part. Just not his constant persistence!
Smut Level: When Jennie wasn’t thinking of her husband, her attention was solely focused on Nick. And his willy ding dong.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Dreamscape Press. 179 Pages.