The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone

Posted March 4, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 1 Comment

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana StoneThe Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone
Series: Bad Boys of Crystal Lake #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Goodreads

All he wants this Christmas is her.

In the small town of Crystal Lake, Christmas is a time for sledding, hot chocolate, and cozying up to the fire with those you love. For Jake Edwards, it’s also time to come home and face his past. He thought there would never be anything harder than losing his brother. Turns out there is: falling in love with his brother’s widow, Raine.

Ever since they were little, Jesse was the Edwards brother who was always there for her, and Jake was the one who knew just how to push her buttons. Raine can’t imagine a life without them, which is why it was doubly decimating when Jake left town after his brother’s sudden death. Now he’s back and she doesn’t know whether to be mad or thrilled. Maybe both. Maybe it will be the perfect chance for both of them to finally find happiness again.

It’s been well over a year since Jake Edwards left his sister-in-law, Raine, after having spent the night with her. He returns to Crystal Lake after not having found the peace or redemption he thought he would if he left home. He’s back and doesn’t know how to get Raine to forgive him, nor is she ready to let go of her anger at him leaving her alone to deal with her grief, anguish and conflicted feelings (she’s his twin brother’s widow).

I enjoyed this story even though it lacked the passion and intrigue of the first book. Raine was much more interesting than I’d given her credit and I understood her descent into depression and retreat from the world around her. I also got Jake’s guilt about his feelings for Raine and his inability to save his twin brother, Jesse, in Afghanistan but was frustrated by his pattern of running when things got hard. He also could have handled explaining his relationship with friend Lily St. Clare to Raine (and me!) much better than he did. I’m still not clear about that one. Still, I loved how he and Raine ultimately came together and her way of managing it. She’s the rock in this relationship and the more interesting character.

There are still some unanswered questions about Jesse and I’m hoping the next book provides some clarity. I think I know what it is and can’t wait to find out. This was an interesting and sometimes tough story about overcoming grief and moving on, which made it even better. I’m enjoying the series and am dying to learn more about the enigmatic Mackenzie Draper.


About Juliana Stone

My love of the written word and ’80s rock have inspired me in more ways than one. I write dark paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance and spend my days navigating a busy life that includes a husband, kids, a dog and a cat.

Music and words have always been my passions. I sing in a band in which my husband plays guitar, and my son comes along for the ride as well. We’re total ’80s geeks, but sadly, the big hair, big shoulder pads, and neon colors are a thing of the past!

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Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!

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One response to “The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone

  1. I like holiday reads. Helps get me more into the spirit of the season…My husband thinks I go over board as it is with decorations and candles and gifts – not to mention my crazy Italian family – but I say, “Whatever. Now, go hang up my lights.”