Double Review: Hunk For The Holidays by Katie Lane & Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

book2Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Always putting business before pleasure, Cassie McPherson works hard for her family’s construction business. That might explain why she doesn’t have a date for the company Christmas party. But it doesn’t quite explain why she’s crazy enough to hire an escort for the event or – crazier still – why she’s dying to unwrap him like a present . . .
With whiskey-colored eyes and a killer smile, James is one gorgeous hunk who really knows how to fill out a tuxedo. He charms everyone, including Cassie. And when the night ends, the party doesn’t stop. As Cassie falls, literally, into his bed, James falls head over heels in love. Now he has to figure out a way to tell her the truth: he’s not an escort. He’s her family’s fiercest business rival. But all he wants for Christmas is her . . .

 

I have always enjoyed Katie Lane’s writing. She often writes quirky southern characters who are full of charm but may not know how to go about achieving happiness. Hunk For The Holidays is a solid read about a stubborn career driven woman and a classic case of mistaken identity. Cassie is over worked and desperate to not look it. Wanting to impress her father while he is on medical leave she attempts to take over the larger aspects of their construction business while still doing her own medial paperwork job. Intent on proving herself and perhaps getting him to see that she would be more useful in other areas, like planning and architecture. Having so much work though means no personal life, a fact that she has resigned herself to for quite some time. When she needs a date she just calls an escort service, something she has done for the upcoming company Christmas party. When a man shows up right on time she assumes he’s the date even though he looks nothing like the barely out of teenage years escorts the company has sent before. This is a mature, extremely sexy man who seems to know exactly how to act in any situation.

James is no male escort, he’s actually the owner of the one corporation that has been taking business away from Cassie’s family. The instant attraction he feels to this uptight woman war with his need to tell her the truth about his identity. Of course, one too many glasses of wine later they are falling into bed together and he certainly can’t tell her then right? I liked James. He made several valiant efforts to tell Cassie the truth but her stubbornness always lead to more mistaken ideas. Having been raised alongside brothers, Cassie had to fight for everything she was given and that has continued into her adulthood. She craves a more hands on job but has been unable to voice her authority to her aging father and instead has wasted her talent sitting in the office where he put her. James, though she knows not who he is, gives her the opportunity to believe in herself. I thought they worked well together and even when faced with the truth Cassie makes strides in her self and her belief in James.

The one thing I didn’t like was also the thing I liked the most. Amy, Cassie’s best friend has a side story in this with Cassie’s brother. I really liked Amy and wished she had her own story because as it was, it felt incredibly rushed. She was relegated to a few paragraphs here and there and it just wasn’t enough to do her justice.

This was a cute holiday romance. Katie Lane writes believable characters who are both smart and snarky. I enjoy the down home feel each book she writes has and appreciate the attention to detail that comes with her seasoned writing. While not earth shattering in any means, A Hunk For The Holidays will get you in good spirits!

I give A Hunk For The Holidays by Katie Lane 3.75 stars! 

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Available: Now Amazon/B&Nbook1

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Dear Reader,
I’ve been wishing for a miracle for my oldest boy, Stone, and this Christmas my prayers might just be answered! 

Her name is Lark, and she’s here in Last Chance, looking into her father’s past-and stirring up a whole mess of trouble without meaning to. As the chief of police, Stone sure has his hands full trying to keep up with her. Ever since his wife died, Stone’s put everything into raising his daughters and dodging the Christ Church Ladies’ Auxiliary matchmakers. And it’s clear Lark has been through some trouble and could use a place to finally call home. I only hope Stone can let go of the past soon enough to keep her . . .

Goodness, I need to stop talking and finish up Jane’s highlights so we can make the town tree-lighting. You come back by because the Cut ‘n’ Curl’s got hot rollers, free coffee, fresh-baked Christmas cookies-and the best gossip in town.

See you real soon, 
Ruby Rhodes

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Last Chance Christmas was a decent story but it left me feeling unfulfilled. I have no doubt that Hope Ramsay is an excellent story teller, however, this book was a bit too churchy for the likes of this reader. I enjoyed both main characters of Lark and Stone and thought they were well wrote. I didn’t even mind the angel scenario the story had, but to be honest I was unsurprised  by the outcome of the “imaginary angel’ that Stone’s youngest daughter Haley was seeing. It was the constant Christianity theme that had me blanching. Sure it’s a Christmas book, shoot I even celebrate Christmas, but as someone that doesn’t go organized religion much, I have a hard time reading the God themed books. I’m just not a gospel or inspirational type reader. Even the mini golf course in the book was religion themed!

While there was some heat to this story, there wasn’t enough for me and it left me constantly wanting more from the characters. Having said that, the lone scene that I loved with Lark and Stone happened up against a tree…which was….pretty hot for a toned down book. I also enjoyed the mystery theme of the book connecting Lark to this tiny little town through her deceased father and his last wishes, but I wanted more in the suspense department. The climax of the book felt too rushed and it really felt opportunistic, like the author wasn’t sure where to go with the ending and just threw it in there.

While I enjoyed the book as a whole, I felt it was lacking in my personal preferences and because of that I probably won’t read this author again. Ramsay is a solid writer and her characters are well rounded and original, just not for me. For those readers looking for a holiday romance, light on the heat, this one is for you!

I give Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay 3 stars! 

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