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Monday, November 22, 2010

Rescued by the Magic of Christmas by Melissa McClone

Rescued by the Magic of Christmas by Melissa McClone
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full (177 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Books
Review by: Poppy

Carly Bishop hasn't celebrated Christmas for six years - not since icy Mount Hood claimed her fi ancé's life and left her a widow before she was a bride.

But this year, handsome Jake Porter is determined she'll enjoy herself. Jake is a mountain rescuer, big-hearted and courageous, but Carly is too scared of loving him in case she loses him. In a whirl of festive fun, sleigh rides and snowball fi ghts, Christmas starts to weave its magic. Though it's Jake who is melting Carly's heart.

I’m always a sucker for friends to lovers books, and had to nab this one when it was offered. Carly lost her fiancĂ© six years ago on Mt. Hood the day before their wedding was supposed to have happened, on Christmas Eve. Her brother, Nick, died that day, too and her world was upended.

She moved out of state, unable to stand even looking at the mountain that destroyed her life and left behind friends and family with barely a glance back. Now, though, Nick’s widow has remarried and is expecting a child. She’s asked Carly to come home to help with her other children, Nick’s kids. How can Carly say no?

This book is all about facing your past and moving on with your future. The conflict is completely internal, and we watch Carly struggle with memories and anxiety and worry. She starts to feel things for old friend, Jake, that are completely unexpected and unwanted because Jake is part of the mountain rescue team and puts his life on the line on a regular basis. She wants no part of that ever again.

Jake has a reputation for being a love ‘em and leave ‘em kinda guy – it’s mentioned by other secondary characters more than once, but I didn’t buy it and it made it hard for me to truly believe the angst he felt about Carly. We see in his head that he’s really had a thing for Carly for years and years, so when he thinks that he’s only after her for momentary pleasure, it doesn’t ring true.

Carly’s reticence is completely believable, though, and drove the story. I wanted her to figure out that she could let go of the past, that accidents happen even to people who aren’t mountain climbers and that it was okay to reach for the gold ring.

Ms. McClone created a wonderful cast of secondary characters including true to life kids and interfering friends and family. It was the best part of the book – aside from yummy Jake who was almost too good to be true.

If you want a holiday story that’s warm and sweet with an ending that will make you sigh, give “Rescued by the Magic of Christmas” a try. I’m betting you won’t be disappointed.