I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
Series: Whiskey Creek #7
Published by Harlequin MIRA on October 28, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Just call her Christmas Eve…
Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn't have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that's what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.
Eve's worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There's no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve's definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve's happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she's counting on the best Christmas of her life!
I’ve not been a fan of Eve Harmon so it was with a fair amount of reluctance I started this story. Those familiar with the series may remember her many missteps in trying to get and keep a man.
It begins with Eve waking up after a night of excessive birthday celebrating to find a stranger (handsome, though) in her bed. She’s upset that she can’t seem to find a committed relationship after being dumped several times. All of her friends are happily connected and Eve isn’t looking forward to a lonely Christmas. Rex (the stranger) might be a possibility but he doesn’t seem interested…initially. Things get complicated, though, when the whole town finds out about her “overnight guest.”
The heart of the story
I loved how the story included a crossover character, Rex McCready, from the romantic suspense series, Bulletproof. I read Inside earlier this year and am glad I did as I had a better understanding of Rex’s journey prior to ending up in Whiskey Creek. He’s got a secret and dangerous past that is always in the background. It adds a suspense element that works.
It was great to see Eve grow through this relationship, focusing on what’s really important as she tries to trust Rex in the midst of information that tells her to do otherwise. She stood by him, trusting her instincts for a change when it was hard to do so.
The bottom line
This is a wonderful story though not your traditional Christmas fare. The issues are tough, even life threatening at times. I’m just glad that Eve has finally discovered her true heart and found a reason to put someone else’s well being ahead of her own. Well done.
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