Catarina Merrill has had quite a year—with the shotgun marriage and the baby on the way—but she certainly never expected to desire her husband as much as she does. Dreaming up naughty, sensual things she’d like to try with him is easy, but actually telling him about her fantasies is hard. So Catarina comes up with a plan to act out her deepest desires—only not as herself…
Jace Merrill knows his wife is itching for something. Trouble is, he can’t figure out what that is. But when just before Christmas he finds a stranger in his bedroom—one wearing his wife’s face—he’s eager to play a game of seduction with her, just so long as they play so that they both win…
But Jace and Catarina will discover that desire—and love—can’t flourish behind disguises. And that Christmas is a time for giving, not games—no matter how sinful…
Dear Ms. Turner,
After reading Rose’s review of the first book in this series, “Summer Chaparral,” I decided to try this novella which takes the characters forward a little bit into their marriage.
This is a spicy mix of sexy times crossed with a first pregnancy “an alien has taken over my body” topped with Jace’s uncertainty about what’s bothering Catarina. It’s kind of fun to read something in Romance Land that shows a pregnancy that doesn’t immediately lead to a HEA complete with happy, singing woodland animals.
Her wildly swinging emotions take them both by surprise and scare Jace because he desperately wants to help but has no idea how. His silent prayer while he waits for her to try and tell him what’s wrong sounds so “guy.” Please just let him actually be able to “do” something for her and have her problem be something he can fix.
Cat is bewildered by what’s happening to her. She expected the change in her silhouette but not any of the rest of it. I did wonder why she doesn’t speak with her mother. I get that pregnancy isn’t something to be talked about in front of the men but surely a mother/daughter heart to heart was okay. Cat is also embarrassed by her “wanton” sex drive though Jace likes that part.
But the novella isn’t just “all sexy, all the time.” Their relationship is still deepening and evolving which is nice to see. What I really enjoyed is the bonding, intimacy and sharing as they get used to the pregnancy changes. Just marriage and pregnancy alone haven’t gotten them to the bliss of everlasting joy and HEA. Instead this shows the reality of marriage as continuous growth and adjustment. B