This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kate Appleton
Kayla Green loves her job in travel and tourism PR. In fact, her job is her life, but once upon a time she also loved Christmas. With the holiday season swiftly descending on the world and New York resembling more of a giant bauble rather than the city that never sleeps, all Kayla wants to do is hide in a cave until it’s all over. Her solution appears in the guise of a new PR account, Snow Crystal Ski Resort, a tourist destination that is in dire need of being dragged into the 21st century. To prove her commitment. she agrees to join the handsome Jackson, grandson to the owner, and his family for a week over Christmas. However, her dreams of an isolated log cabin are quickly dashed as she finds herself ensnared in the bosom of the O’Neil family and fighting a losing battle against the growing chemistry between herself and Jackson.
Kayla – our leading lady – has her story told through multiple voices, largely from her own narrative, but we also have Jackson’s mental musings and that of Jesse, his teenage niece. It is through Jesse that we learn why Kayla hates Christmas. Her childhood mirrors her own, that of coming from a broken home and not feeling a sense of love or belonging that everybody yearns for. This is the only thread of interest that I had in our central protagonist, because – aside from this and the underlying psychological traits that come with it – she was pretty much chick lit by numbers. There was never any question over how the story was going to go. In fact, I could predict the whole of Kayla’s story after reading the first couple of pages, which begged the question, why continue or even finish reading it?The highlight of the story came in the guise of the rest of the O’Neil family. Aside from the slightly dull central love story, the characters of Walter and Alice, Jackson’s grandparents, and the French chef Elise provided much needed entertainment and depth of character. The memorable points for me were an unaffected discussion about thermal underwear during a so-called business meeting and a frank discussion about sexual relations with the O’Neil boys over pancakes. I should probably make a mention of Jackson here as he is the second half of the central love story. His character sounds like manliness perfection in a bottle, however, something about his inability to take no for an answer bugged me, quite a lot.
Unfortunately, another aspect that frustrated me as a reader was the sheer number of unfinished story lines. There were tentative suggestions throughout the book regarding Tyler and Brenna, the O’Neil boys' childhood friend, and the fact that there was a potential love story there, but nothing was resolved. In addition, there was a second one between Sean, Jackson’s twin, and Elise. Again, this was only mentioned a couple of times and concluded with a statement about being able to cut the atmosphere with a knife. The third one was the hinted rivalry between Sean and Jackson, my interest heightened a bit at this point and the thought of a could-be love triangle. However, those hopes were dashed when this mention resulted in zero action. These ideas could be left to the reader to make his or her own mind up, but it would have been better if they had either been developed properly or not mentioned at all.
The simplicity of the story and the lack of character development rendered it dull and I found myself skimming rather than reading the pages. Unfortunately, in this instance, this book won’t be making its way to the top of my Christmas list.
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