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REVIEW: Priceless by Lena Matthews

All she wants for Christmas is him. All he wants is everything…for her.

Urban Fairytales, Book 3

As Christmas bears down on Eric Athers’s empty wallet, one question plagues him: What to get the love of his life when he has less than nothing?

It doesn’t help that his wife, Nia, who works extra shifts to support him through his medical residency, practically glows with holiday spirit. Her determination to put the “Merry” in Merry Christmas only serves as a painful reminder of everything he’s unable to provide for her.

Nia loves her husband to distraction, and she can’t for the life of her figure out how someone so smart can be so dumb when it comes to something as simple as a little holiday. Christmas is so much more than presents and shopping malls.

All she has to do is show her own personal Scrooge that the best gifts come from the heart.

Priceless	Lena MatthewsDear Ms. Matthews,

The reason I chose to read your Christmas novella is that it seemed cute, about characters who aren’t billionaires and might just be about the real Christmas spirit instead of the “how much money did you spend on me?” mentality. Well, parts of it are sweet and sexy hot while one aspect seems firmly rooted in fantasy land.

I love Nia, almost as much as Eric seems to and I can fully understand why he went all out to win her love as soon as he met her. She’s smart, lovely, hawt, filled with joy and gets genuine happiness from her pitiful little Christmas tree. Eric seems like a downer at times compared to her. There were times I wanted to shake him and say, “Lighten up, man. If the puny tree makes her happy, why harsh on it?” Though he does put the left over ribbon and decorations to good use in a smoking love scene.

Showing how broke the Athers are as they struggle to pay off student loans is a slice of ‘young doctor reality’ that I perversely enjoyed seeing. Eric and his best bud Dominic Choy appear to be dedicated doctors although if they have enough time to take an hour lunch break and actually leave the hospital they have far too much free time on their hands to be residents. They also discuss Eric’s relationship woes a whole lot for men but this does allow for Eric’s breakthrough with his past and why he needs to let some of it go.

The nod to O’Henry’s famous short story, “The Gift of the Magi” is wonderful though thank heavens that things work out better for the Athers than the well known twist ending to that story. Where I think this story takes flight into fantasy is in the amount of time Eric and Nia have to make love. This is an instance where RL knowledge interferes with my enjoyment of your smexy efforts. Too many of my friends are doctors and, one and all, told me that during the intern and early residency years, they would have sold their souls for more sleep much less the energy and time for sex.

I enjoyed watching Nia and Eric work out what’s really important in life and appreciate how realistic parts of this are. Bonus points for Nia being willing to get their fight resolved because we all know that marriage in real life is a lot of work along with the joy. I just wish that beginning doctors had this much time to devote to hot orgasms. B-


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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. RBrose
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 05:06:54

    Ugh. Why cover designers think Shiny Waxed Effeminate Male Torso makes for a sexy cover, I do not know.

  2. Jayne
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 06:46:05

    @RBrose: As an intern, Eric definitely doesn’t have time to be waxing!

  3. joanne
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 08:31:52

    You have to be awake to have sex? I didn’t know that.

    Oh, just kidding….
    I love any good Gift of the Magi storyline so I’ll probably add this to my “Christmas Is Over, Thank God” reading list.

    Thanks for the review Jayne.

  4. DS
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 08:33:18

    Ah ha, someone forgot to do student loan research in an effort at making the situation more desperate. That’s where my RL knowledge makes me shake my head.

    The block quote book description has huge drop cap first initials at the start of each paragraph.

  5. Nikki
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 09:50:13

    As someone who experienced the intern/resident lifestyle… sleep trumps all else. I am not saying some people didn’t have other priorities but you have very little time.

    Due to the massive fantasy I think I will need to avoid this book. I would get annoyed as I remembered all the holidays I worked.

  6. Carin
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 10:45:01

    I have a friend whose husband is a doctor and I remember the residency years. I didn’t even know what he looked like back then!

    On the other hand, a story about two people and neither one has gobs of money? Now that sounds interesting! It’s not something you read very often. I might be able to suspend my residency disbelief to read that!

  7. Tina
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 11:55:33

    Glad to see a review of the talented Ms. Matthews on this blog. I have this book in my tbr just because the guy isn’t a billionaire. Or even a thousandaire apparently.

    The intern-having-sex thing doesn’t bother me one whit because A) Gray’s Anatomy has taught me this is possible and B) if I can accept there are tons of young, hot billionaires in the world macking on their virgin secretaries (really, have you seen the Forbes list of Billionaires?) then I can easily accept an overworked intern finding time to have sex.

  8. Laura Florand
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 14:04:45

    @Tina: Suspension of disbelief is an amazing thing. I haven’t read this book, but your comment made me think about how much easier it can be to except something like a multibillion-year-old dragon shapeshifter falling in love with a fairly mild-mannered mortal than a resident having time for sex. We’ve met one of those, and the reality intrudes. Another reason historicals work so much better than contemporaries for some people, depending on how their own ability to suspend disbelief works. (Of course, conversely, some readers could much more easily buy into a resident with time for hot sex than a dragon shapeshifter or even a Regency duke, even if they personally know many exhausted residents.)

  9. Tabs
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 15:44:16

    Count me in as also really glad to see a review for Lena Mathews. I started reading her work a month or two ago with a free read and then gorged on most of her backlist. Lots of good stuff there.

  10. Jayne
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 17:47:16

    @Carin: Reading about a couple who don’t have oodles of money was one of the main reasons I decided to try this one.

  11. Jayne
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 17:52:12

    @Tina: @Laura Florand: LOL! That’s so true about the Billionaires and dragon shapeshifters.

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