Series: O'Neil Brothers #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin HQN on 29 October 2013
Reading Challenges: 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
For all the scrooges out there that don’t love Christmas, prepare to witness the greatest nay-sayer of them all be converted. Jackson O’Neil, needs Kayla Green’s marketing skills to prop up his family’s failing ski resort and she loathes Christmas with a passion so jumps at a chance to spend a Christmas with him and his family in Vermont. Kayla thinks she can escape the warm and fuzzies that plague her in New York but, unfortunately for her, the O’Neils are big on the holiday season.
Kayla is so driven by work it was a bit stressful just reading about her. Ironically she wouldn’t be that successful in a real marketing situation as she completely misread her brief and failed to engage her clients. Kayla then has to work at developing her stunted personality to prove that she could handle the job. Fortunately there was a puppy on hand to ease her growing pains. The reasons for her emotional meltdown are slowly revealed and to be honest, I thought the back story was a bit of a let down, given the severity of her reaction. It was undoubtedly tragic but nowhere near as sinister as I imagined. When she started to ease up though and allowed other people in, she became a really sweet character and I was willing her to get her HEA sooner rather than later.
Jackson was a pretty perfect hero from his overriding love of his family, skill in managing people and sensitivity when interacting with Kayla. He felt most genuine when he was interacting with his large family and least when he proved to be perfect at yet another thing. I guess Morgan enhanced his attributes to counteract Kayla’s negative ones but a little more balance wouldn’t have gone astray as it made him just a tad boring. Giving up his business to return home was a significant decision and I expected a little more angst over that decision given how poorly the resort is doing.
The setting deserves a shout-out as it is painted with deft brush strokes. I don’t enjoy winter as it is so cold but Morgan’s writing had me temporarily wanting to trade my warm weather for a winter wonderland. The pacing seemed a little off in parts – great set up and a quick fairytale ending but a few moments in the middle that lagged.
It is a little hokey in parts, but what Christmas tale isn’t? If you are in the mood for curling up to something sweet – no matter the season – then this might just fit the bill.