Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Home for Christmas by Melissa McClone

Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon...the smells of Christmas. The smells of home.

Rachel Murphy longs for home and family. Since childhood, she's dreamed of owning her own pastry shop, but after being burned by a celebrity chef and losing her lease in Arizona, Rachel's spending the holidays with her brother in Montana. To keep her dream alive, she's creating custom gingerbread houses and selling them around town. All she needs is a bigger kitchen...and to stay away from her brother's handsome boss.

Former venture capitalist Nate Vaughn has embraced his inner cowboy and now runs a successful dude ranch where Rachel's brother works. Nate's commercial kitchen is perfect for Rachel's baking needs, and seeing the cute blonde's business acumen, Nate knows she'd be the perfect partner for a new business. When he makes her an offer she can't refuse, he discovers he's interested in more than her gingerbread.
While Nate could make her dreams come true, Rachel's heart, as well as her head, tells her mixing business with anything else could be a recipe for disaster. Should she return to Arizona, and leave Nate and her new eager-for-more customers behind? Or can Nate convince her that, here with him in the mountains of Montana, she's already home? For Christmas...forever.

Published & Release Date: Tule Publishing Group, October 31, 2013

Time and setting: Present day, Montana

Genre: Contemporary/Christmas

Heat Level: Sweet

Reviewer rating: 3.5 Gold Crown

Reviewed by Vikki

I always enjoy sweet Christmas stories during the holidays and start reading them in early October. This is a sweet love story, but a bit too vanilla for me. The beginning started out exceedingly well and drew me in, but then I grew slightly frustrated with Rachel and Nate. I had a difficult time because both of them had a very hard time making up their minds.

Rachel comes to Montana to visit her brother, Ty and to lick her wounds. Her dreams of owning her own bakery are shattered, because a shady couple took advantage of her trusting nature and swindle her out of the money she had put down on a lease for one in Arizona. By the way, Ty treats her as if she is still a teenager, instead of a twenty-six year old woman, and she lets him get away with it. I understand he has raised her since the death of their parents, but even parents, let their children spread their wings by the time they are twenty-six!

Nate Vaughn finds Rachel in his kitchen and thinks Christmas has come early. He’s been good this year and deserves the hot gingerbread baking and the even hotter woman who is preparing it. He is immediately attracted to the cute, messy-haired blonde. When he discovers Rachel is Ty’s sister, he realizes he should have known it’s too good to be true. His foreman is very protective of his sister, and Nate knows that he needs to keep his hands off the beautiful woman, no matter how attracted he is.   

That starts what I thought would be an interesting story line. The premise for this story is excellent. However, I like a bit more depth to the characters, and I do not feel that I was ever in their heads, so to speak. While I understand it is a sweet contemporary romance, that makes it even more important to have strong sexual tension. The chemistry between Rachel and Nate was not as strong as I would like it to be. When I read, I want to become engaged. I want to feel what the characters are feeling, see what they are seeing. That did not happen in the second half of the book for me.

Nevertheless, the book is well-written, and the pacing is good. I read the story in a few hours. I am also glad Rachel and Nate found their “Happily Ever After”. I read some of the reviews from other readers, and I am in the minority in my opinion of the story. The book has quite a few 4 and 5 star ratings. I can understand why there are so many great reviews. It is a very heart-warming story with a fulfilling HEA at the end. If you are looking for a sweet love story with a happy ending, then this may be a book you will want to read. There is a great scene with mistletoe that I quite enjoyed. Happy reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment