FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Harlequin (via NetGalley).
Series: Copper Ridge #4
Publisher: Harlequin HQN on November 1, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Snow is falling in Copper Ridge, Oregon—but the heat between a holiday-loving party planner and the town’s resident Scrooge is off the charts in this sweet and sizzling Christmas novella…
Holly Fulton is throwing a special Christmas Eve party for the foster parents who gave her so much. To finish the preparations in time, she needs to recruit her one-time foster brother, Ryan Masters. He may have a scowl that could curdle eggnog, but under that surly demeanor is a big heart. And amazing muscles. And a gorgeous chest. In fact, X-rated visions of Ryan have been dancing in Holly’s head for years, but she can’t risk complicating the only real family she’s ever known.
But maybe there’s a way for Holly to have her Christmas cake and eat it too. A no-strings affair, just until they’re done with the planning. Ryan is certainly willing. But from the first touch, it’s clear that this isn’t just a festive fling. It might just be a Christmas miracle in the making…
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
As much as I try to avoid novellas, I couldn’t pass up a book from the Copper Ridge series, and while it was just under a hundred pages in length, it almost felt like a full story.
Holly’s rather attached to holidays, and since her former foster parents will be away until Christmas, she wants to be sure they come home to all the decorations, snacks, and guests they’d usually have planned. But she can’t do it on her own, and the one person whose help she needs isn’t exactly known for his holiday cheer. Or any cheer at all for that matter.
Ryan and Holly both came to Dan and Margie Travers as foster kids, and the Travers treated them as if they were their own. Now grown, both Ryan and Holly have their own lives, but they haven’t turned their backs on the only real parents they ever had. But while Holly embraces parties, holidays, and socializing in general, Ryan is a bit of a hermit, usually holed up alone on his fishing boat and certainly never taking part in anything festive. Holly needs his help, though, and he begrudgingly gives in.
It seems an attraction has been brewing between them for years. For Holly, it started as a teenage crush, and while nothing ever came of it, it’s never quite faded away. In fact, it’s grown a bit stronger since they’ve grown up. For Ryan, it was wanting the girl who was too young and sweet for him, and he knew better than to take advantage, much as he may have wanted to.
Holly really surprised me. With zero sexual experience to draw upon, she made the first move. And when Ryan didn’t reject her, she proposed a bit of an arrangement — a fling until Christmas, at which point they could more or less go their separate ways. Her approach and almost flippant perspective was not what I expected at all, though I can’t say it was oddly out of character. In fact, as more of her past and her issues was revealed, it made a lot of sense why she was willing to throw herself at Ryan for a brief fling. What followed was lots of steamy hookups and some very real emotion from an otherwise emotionally vacant Ryan.
I expected A Copper Ridge Christmas would be your typical holiday novella — a rushed romance between characters that readers never really get a chance to know very well. Instead, we get a good look into their pasts, their sad story as foster kids, and the over-compensating adults they’ve become. On the surface, they are very much opposites, but inside they are more alike than even they realize for a while, and they’re perfect for each other, broken as they may be. A Copper Ridge Christmas has more substance that your usual holiday novella, and it’s great, quick read.
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