Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

Title: Sleigh Bells in the Snow
Author: Sarah Morgan
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: O'Neill Brothers#1
Main Characters: Kayla and Jackson
Release Date: October 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green's favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year. 

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?

My Review:

This was one of those books I picked up at the bookstore, knowing not a single thing about the author or having heard anything about the book. Anymore, that NEVER happens in my reading world. But I fell in love with the cover and the story line appealed. It was such an amazing impulse buy. This, hands down, has been my favorite Christmas read this year. I loved everything about this book. 

First, there's Kayla. She makes Scrooge look like a Christmas fanatic. Not only does she hate Christmas, but being around it...trees, decorating, the smells, the parties...literally makes her feel sick. It's so much more than simple hate. It becomes quickly apparent that something really awful happened to her to ruin Christmas and as a reader, I started feeling for her character...emotions, this book is full of them!

Then there's Jackson. He's a mega-successful international businessman who's come home to save the family resort. The problem....his 80 yo grandfather who currently runs the business doesn't want him there and is constantly blocking his efforts. But Jackson has no choice. If he doesn't interfere, this business and his family's home for 4 generations will be lost to them all. He's made changes, but he needs Kayla's PR expertise to get the word out about the resort. 

Then there's the resort. This is the character in the story that it could be easy to overlook, but that would be a mistake because the resort is so magical and adds so much ambiance to the story. It's beautiful and the visuals that Sarah Morgan creates within the story are simply amazing...and romantic...and so filled with the magic of Christmas and winter. I loved it and want to visit immediately.

Emotion...there is so much of it in this story. Kayla ricochets between melting down to ice queen as she tries to keep a lid on her emotions as Jackson and his family push all her buttons. Watching her heal was a wonderful experience to read. Jackson (and his brothers, too) have their own emotional issues they have to work through. It's a beautiful transformation and made for a wonderful reading experience.

For me, this book was so much more than just a wonderful Christmas romantic story (although it was definitely that.) It provided me with a plethora of mental magical Christmas images that put me in the spirit of winter and romance and the holiday. The story is full of family, too. And wow, this is a wonderful family. I cannot wait to read the other two brother's stories. This book was SO GOOD!! I highly recommend it.

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