Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 29th 2013
by Harlequin HQN
Jackson O'Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family's resort—it's in his blood, and he can't let it fail. Now that he's got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.
Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she's out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it's terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn't believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?
Le sigh. The perfect holiday romance I think. I've read a few novels by Sarah Morgan and find her stories are always well done. This setting really appealed to me. And the cover just drew me in--winter setting, a great title, it has something of a magical feel about it, and romance always need a bit of magic in my opinion.
Kayla Green is an uptight, false, corporate cutout of a woman. She moves through life, finding her thrills in landing the biggest PR jobs and her work shines like tinsel. She's excellent at what she does, but her life is all work. No play. And she likes it that way. It's sad. Kayla is sad. It's lonely. And Kayla is very lonely. So when Christmas rolls around and the shiny tinsel of real life begins to close in around her, Kayla is miserable. Naturally she doesn't mind working through the holidays. The woman is unnatural that way. But she wasn't expecting Snow Crystal. Or Jackson O'Neil.
Because Jackson unwraps Kayla like a Christmas present--layer by layer, he brings out the real Kayla, and she's deep and human. Not at all a cutout. That's what she's made her life into, because it's safer than facing real relationships, but Jackson refuses to let her continue to be that woman. He shows her the glory of Snow Crystal--and I'd holiday there in a heartbeat so it's easy to see why Kayla fell in love with the place. Snow Crystal is magical, returning you to simpler times and yet maintaining an edge of sheen modernity and that's because Jackson is working so hard to save the family business, a business that he loves. And works every bit as hard to stop Kayla from running away from life, from him. He romances her, teaches her to live and Kayla glories even in it--even though she doesn't want to. Doesn't want to enjoy the snow or skiing, and most especially does not want to enjoy Christmas.
Sarah Morgan spun a romance tale in a romantic setting that is totally beautiful, magical and yet one hundred believable. I was delighted to find out there is more to come of the O'Neil brothers and am eager for book two.
4 glittering stars