A Christmas Homecoming
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A kiss is just a kiss…
Unless it’s under the mistletoe.
Ellie Smith is determined to make up for Christmases past by spreading holiday cheer throughout the Bar V5 dude ranch, but tech “bah, humbug” billionaire, Josiah Whittaker, refuses to bask in the spirit of the season.
Unwilling to let the geek-to-gorgeous Josiah win, Ellie plans to give him a Christmas he’ll never forget. But after a simple kiss under the mistletoe, Ellie and Josiah both start questioning everything. Can Christmas really bring the gift neither one of them were expecting: true love?
The jingle of a Christmas bell always get me excited, and this story uses a bell to help weave the story and romance of Ellie and Josiah. Having gone a decade without seeing each other, Josiah is surprised to see Ellie as a grown woman and no longer the annoying little sister of his childhood friend. Their lives have gone in separate directions, and Ellie is just the woman to show the cynical Josiah that Christmas magic is real and how to not be a Grinch as he heals from a near-death infection. Josiah helps Ellie to see her life can be more, and it's important to follow one's dreams, even if it means stepping out of one's comfort zone. But giving one's heart and love to each other while not sure about each one's future keeps them from fully embracing a relationship. Just when it seems all may be lost, Christmas wishes, the jingle of a bell, and a little help from Santa show these two how to find their happily ever after! I just love a wonderful Christmas romance!
Clean & Charming Holiday Romance
* * Purchased and Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review. * *
Judging a Book by it's Cover:
Cover matches the theme. Happy, warm, inviting and romantic. I was a bit torn by synopsis, since it's tied to a series, I worried I'd feel left behind. But I was assured it could stand on it's own so opted to give it a try. I do like the hopeful holiday reads.
Third person POV. I'd still consider this a novella, albeit on the longer side at just over 200 pages.
Josiah really dislikes Christmas. Forced to take a month-long medical leave from his CEO position in the company he founded, during the holidays - to the festive dude ranch owned and operated by one of his best friends and influential board member at his company - just compounds his immediate dislike. Until she appears bearing cookies.
Ellie grew up invisible, having a dying brother overshadowed much of her young life. But instead of letting it destroy her, she's make it her life goal to make others happy... on the ranch and her non-profit that she founded in her brother's honor. She's got big dreams and is working her hardest to make them happen.
Lead characters are well-written and enjoyable. The secondary characters are mostly from books one and four, but you do not get an overwhelming sense of "What did I miss". Rather, there are points that truly make you want to backtrack to read their story, too. The chemistry and compatibility between Josiah and Ellie is gradual and natural. If you are expecting a hot and steamy book, this will not be the right one for you... it stayed clean throughout. Dialogue and interaction between the cast was enjoyable and fun. Not angsty or overly-dramatized. The plot was full, but not very dynamic - for the most part, it stayed steady. The flow was incredibly smooth. Most of the conflict came from Josiah's internalizations, but he'd quickly realize the errors of his ways. There was hardly any predictability at all. The conclusion was good: closed. I'd liked to have seen an epilogue detailing the outcome of the new project and what became of Pewter.
Overall, it is a sweet, clean, holiday charmer that is filled with more tinsel and mistletoe than Santa's Workshop.
Rating: 1.5 [G / PG] ~ Score: 4.2 ~ Stars: 4
Josiah Whittaker has been forced to spend a month recovering from a life threatening illness at the Bar V5 ranch in Marietta Montana. The problem is its December and Josiah hates Christmas about as much as not being able to work. However once Ellie Smith delivers him a plate of cookies he rethinks his opinions on a certain decoration, mistletoe. Ellie is taking a break from kissing, especially with guests, after an incident with a married man. Both have changed a lot since seeing each other 11 years ago but after agreeing to help one another will mistletoe come into play?