Series: Whiskey Creek #7
Published by Mira on October 28, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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Just call her Christmas Eve…
Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn't have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that's what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.
Eve's worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There's no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband, until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve's definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve's happily ever after, just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she's counting on the best Christmas of her life!
The Heart of Christmas was my first experience with the Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak, and I was happy to see that it read as a standalone. I’m intrigued by the stories of some of the other characters in this book, though, so I’m definitely going to look in to the rest of the series! I’m very mixed on my review of this book, so it has been hard to gather my thoughts together in a way that makes sense to me.
I’m a huge fan of small towns where everyone knows everyone, and you feel safe and loved. That’s exactly what the town of Whiskey Creek is like. And that aspect of the book is one of the few things I actually liked, sadly. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the Victorian Christmas at Eve’s B&B. But I did not love Eve. I can relate to her. I’m still single, the last single of my group of friends actually. It’s hard. But I don’t make bad decisions as a result, and I’ve never been excited about romances that bloom from drunken one night stands. I felt like I lost respect for both characters before I even got to know them. Of course, this opinion is obviously based on a personal set of morals and so I tried to not let my feelings taint my thoughts on the book. But… the fact that things escalated from a regretted one night stand to a slight tolerance on both their parts to a lustful friends with benefits, no strings attached thing to MY LIFE IS ALL ABOUT YOU so quickly I just had a hard time believing it. As such, the chemistry was not convincing and I didn’t really care if Eve and Rex ended up together or not.
Rex’s dark, mysterious past seemed too far-fetched. And the semi-mystery/suspense that resulted from it just did not work for me at all. I can see why the author chose to do this, but I felt like it turned the book into a story you would find in an over the top action movie. The ending itself was unsatisfying because the loose ends are not all tied up, and you’re left with a few questions.
Basically, I was disappointed. Perhaps if I were a long-time lover of Whiskey Creek I might have ended up loving this book. While it did read as a standalone, I did not come into it with the love of the series that many people probably did. Maybe this was not the best book to start out the series with, as I’ve heard it’s not as good as some of the earlier titles. I’ve liked Brenda Novak’s historicals, so I’m going to give this series another shot.