Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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…
Leigh Holloway is back home in New Hampshire for the holidays. She has a couple of big secrets that she is keeping from her family but with her parents packing up and selling her childhood home and her sister and her baby living with them as she’s getting a divorce, Leigh just doesn’t want to pile one more thing on top of it. Of course, it’s kind of selfish as well as she’s sure her family will try to talk her into staying in NH and her life is back in Houston.
The first night she’s back in town she heads over to the new restaurant that is owned by the Dawson family. She’s not sure of her reception as Croy Dawson, the last time they saw each other, was pissed at her. That was nine years earlier but she’s still wouldn’t be surprised if he refused to serve her. She’s pleasantly surprised when he is more than welcoming. They were such good friends growing up but that’s as far as their relationship went back then. Almost immediately they’re each tamping down the attraction they feel for each other. They are soon in bed together but Leigh’s only staying three weeks and then she’s gone. She’s not sure that she can keep her heart out of her relationship with Croy and he’s positive he never wants her to leave.
This was a cute holiday novella. Leigh and Croy were great together and I loved that since they had been friends growing up they kind of just fell into that again – only deeper. The story was charming and the holiday aspect was a nice touch.
My main issue with the story was really Leigh and her “secret.” There were really two but they were related. The fact that Leigh hadn’t told her mother the main one that had happened two months prior was baffling to me. I guess I would have understood if it had just happened but it was a major event and she hadn’t shared it with anyone in her family when it happened? I find that so strange. She had a good relationship with both of her parents and her sisters so why the secrecy? I just didn’t get it and then to have Croy keep the secret and have them sneak around because of it didn’t set well with me. That was my only issue with the story but it was a doozy.
Overall, as I said, it was a cute story. I always like Stacey’s novella’s as she packs a lot of fun and love into each one. This one had a good family feel, a romance, and humor and those things always score well in my book.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5