Saturday, November 29, 2014

Champagne for Christmas by Jean Joachim

Can a craving for mint chip ice cream and a passion for the theater keep a summer romance hot through the freezing cold of winter? Clint is a high school English teacher and a budding playwright. Nina, a former actress, is now a beautiful and wealthy widow...and more than a little lonely, especially during a glorious Christmas in New York City. 

A chance meeting brings them together. Their passion for the stage joins their minds while love blossoms, despite their age gap. The theater, that once united them, may be the one hurdle they can’t clear. An unexpected roadblock tests Clint’s love. Will he make the ultimate compromise to see his name in lights on Broadway?

Published & Release Date: Moonlight Books, November 16, 2014

Time and setting: Present Day, New York City

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Christmas

Heat Level: 1.5

Reviewer rating: 3.75 Gold Crowns

Reviewed by Vikki

I just love this time of year and all the wonderful heartfelt Christmas romances that come out each year. Whether they are sweet contemporaries, historical Regencies, or something more sensual, I love them all. Jean Joachim’s Champagne for Christmas fits perfectly in the contemporary sensual category. This delightful tale even has a cougar!

Nina Wells has been a widow for three years. While spending the summer in the Catskill Mountains, she literally runs into a tall, good-looking man holding a double scoop of ice cream. As Nina grabs the melting ball of Mint chip, she meets the light brown eyes of the gorgeous man. She realizes that he is none other than her next door neighbor, who is renting the house next to hers. After introducing themselves, Clint Hayworth offers to replace her ruined shirt, and the story begins.

Clint is enslaved from the first moment, but Nina has quite a few reservations, since she has to be almost a decade older than he. However, not one to give up easily, the high school English teacher and budding playwright, persuades Nina to give them a chance. When Nina finds out Clint has written his first play, she asks to read it. After all, she is a former Broadway actress and knows what makes a good play.

Nina offers to help him fine tune it and then get her agent to look it over. When they return the city, they continue to work on the play together. When opportunity comes knocking for Clint, will he grab the brass ring, even if it means leaving Nina behind, or will he pass up a chance of a lifetime for the woman he has grown to love?

I enjoyed this emotionally-charged love story. Nina’s character quickly drew me into the story with her vulnerability and sweet nature. She is a strong female with plenty of backbone and does not let her tender heart rule her life. When he husband died, she moved on with her life, setting her aim on reviving her acting career.

Clint is a great romantic hero with a bucketful of integrity to go along with his startling good-looks and endearing charm. Even though temptation is thrown in his path when his producer insists he go to California, he remains steadfast in his devotion to Nina, once he pulls his head out of the ether.
I particularly really enjoyed the scenes with Cory, Clint’s thirteen year old son, especially the one at FAO Schwarz. I loved his enthusiasm when he saw all the trains while Nina did her holiday shopping. My heart melted when he sent Nina the beautiful pendant necklace as a present for Christmas.

My only complaint is that I would have liked a deeper plot. At times, the story felt a bit rushed, especially toward the end. Nonetheless, it is an enchanting Christmas read, and Ms. Joachim works her magic again, bringing her readers another delightful “Happily Ever After” love story with engaging characters. If you love a good Christmas tale, then this little story will be sure to warm your heart. Happy reading!

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