REVIEW: Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey
After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she’ll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.
Leigh’s best friend broke Croy Dawson’s heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh’s fault. They’ve never liked each other, but Croy isn’t cruel: he’d never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn’t expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn’t expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.
Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can’t escape the truth: he can’t walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…
Dear Ms. Stacey,
I requested this story knowing it is a novella which actually more often than not work well for me. I wasn’t sure if it was part of a series or the start of one but again, I’ve dipped my reading fingers into those and done fine with them. This time though, this worked for me.
Okay so novellas have to move fast and the set up here is that Leigh and Croy have known each other since childhood. Sure Croy was Leigh’s BFF’s boyfriend but the three spent enough time together that Leigh and Croy know each other well. The BFF is long gone from both their lives now but Leigh and Croy are adults and thank goodness they act like it. There are no snits or revenge thoughts here at all. After a little awkwardness – given the fact that they haven’t seen each other in years and due to the nature of the break – they soon get past it and begin catching up.
Spending time Christmas shopping and wrapping all those presents gives them more time to get comfortable and move towards something new. It doesn’t take long before a relationship starts to simmer but that’s kind of all we see it doing for a while as the story drifts into Leigh’s sisters’ issues, her parents selling the family home and Leigh working at Croy’s family pub due to his family issues. Suddenly it’s all about those things. I don’t mind more family details if I feel it’s adding to the main romance but instead here it felt like “in place of.”
Then with a jolt, Leigh has to face her future and both of them botch The Discussion before all at once they’re ready to talk about forever. I’m not sure if this is a set up for another series as it felt like I was dropping in on one that is already going but I do know I was a little bored and being bored while reading a novella is not a good thing. C