Running out on your wedding shouldn’t be this much fun!
A remote Scottish castle on a snowy Christmas Eve. A handsome husband-to-be. A dress to die for. It should have been the happiest day of Leah Harvey’s life – but the fairytale wedding turns sour when she finds her fiancé halfway up the bridesmaid’s skirt just hours before the ceremony!
Fleeing the scene in a blizzard, Leah ends up stranded at the nearest cottage, where she collapses into the arms of its inhabitant – a man so handsome she thinks she must have died and gone to heaven!
And when Rob Cavelli suddenly finds himself with an armful of soaking wet, freezing cold, and absolutely gorgeous bride on the run, he’s more than happy to welcome her into his snowbound cottage this Christmas…
*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
Those that know me or read my reviews probably know I rarely review books I didn’t enjoy much these days. It’s not because I’m scared of the author’s reaction or if their fans would find my negative review harsh, it’s because sometimes I dislike a book so much it would take me ages to point out all the places that felt flat for me. But the other day I had an interesting conversation with a reader, and it’s only then that it dawn to me that maybe I should try more and review even the books I didn’t enjoy that much because a bookblogger owes their readers that much.
When I was contacted by Debbie Johnson to review her chick lit debut I was thrilled. I love Christmas reads and can read them through out the year without a problem, but reading Christmas books at this time of the year feels even more right. And the cover is gorgeous and promised a nice festive story. So, I started reading and despite the rating I read it quite fast, maybe because it’s not that long of a novel. But anyway, before telling you the main reasons for my rating, here’s a bit about the story. Leah, the MC in this book, runs away from her own wedding and ends ups on the doorstep of Rob, a handsome, rich but very reserved businessman. He’s at his cottage for his own reasons, escaping the Christmas madness which reminds him of some unfortunate events in his own life. So here they are, two people disappointed with some things in their past, in a same house and as many would guess, a romance develops, hot erotic scenes following. Rob even calls Leah to join him back home, to Chicago and she accepts. Loads of drama follows, some even childish arguments because Rob can’t accept the fact he’s starting to develop feelings for Leah.
Now, despite the festive cover I must say I didn’t really find this book festive. Sure, some things happen over Christmas, but that’s about it. The book didn’t get me into the Christmas mood, but at the same time that certainly is not a bad thing or the reason behind my rating. I had problems with the story and how things developed between Leah and Rob. I don’t mind insta chemistry and have read quite a few books with characters falling in love immediately after laying eyes on each other. I certainly don’t find this very real, but everything is allowed in fiction, right? But put yourself in Leah’s shoes, you just ran away from your wedding and left your fiance for a reason, you end up on a stranger’s doorstep. You’re too cold, you come in, you see he’s gorgeous. It would be totally normal to like his appearances, but to get physical without even thinking about what you’re doing, that just couple of hours ago you were supposed to marry someone else, who supposedly you loved and was supposed to be the one. Now even if this man who you were to marry disappointed you big time and even if you wanted to get even with him for ruining your dreams, wouldn’t you at least feel guilty about jumping into bed with a stranger? I don’t mean to judge anyone, but it somehow doesn’t feel right too me. But it’s not just about right or wrong, it’s that it doesn’t feel…human. I mean really, she forgets about her fiance in such a short time, not feeling any grief, anger, guilt, love, hate…nothing. I couldn’t help but feel that this fact, that she ran away from her own wedding, was just added to the story as an intro, like it doesn’t have anything to do with the story at all. Moving on, in a very short time, after (of course) sleeping with Rob, he invites her to Chicago and she agrees. Her explanation, she doesn’t have anywhere to go, so why not Chicago. I mean, really? Having a fling is one thing, but going to another state with someone you barely know is sure something else, right? Ok, next…their arguments felt so childish. First, I don’t see why would any woman expect that someone will fall in love with her in an instance, not to mention a grown man who has some burden. If you truly love someone (supposedly you CAN fall in love with him in just a couple of days) you let things happen the natural way. If you know he’s got a nasty history in relationships (or even had some tragedies happen) you either back off or you give him some space and time. Leah does neither of this but expects him to reciprocate, as if that’s so normal after such a short time they know each other.
As you see, I had major issues with this novel, thus the rating. But I wouldn’t go that far in saying it’s a bad book. Sure, the book deserves some better character development and I could feel the book more if the romance was gradually built. BUT since I rated it 4/10 there must be something OK-ish about it, and that would be the scenes when I learn more about Leah’s and Rob’s past, especially about the reasons why Rob is so reserved. I honestly wish the author could write more about their past, instead of including so many sex scenes. If you present me characters which are damaged (in a way) I want to know the reasons why they are like that, and I want to know more about their history, as an individuals not just as a couple. Sure, there was some history, but not as much that would help me connect to the characters or even make me like them.
As I read at the back of the book (last page on the kindle file, actually), the author also writes fantasy and crime. If I get the opportunity, of course I would like to check them out, and maybe see if the author manages these different genres better than chick lit (or romance). I will let you know, anyway.
My rating: 4/10