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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Twelve Nights of Christmas by Sarah Morgan

The Twelve Nights of Christmas by Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (187 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Unexpectedly homeless for the festive season and exhausted from transforming the penthouse of the hotel where she works into a dazzling winter wonderland, chambermaid Evie Anderson secretly sleeps over. Woken by an outrageously sensual kiss, Evie feels her body come alive…until she realizes her seducer is Rio Zaccarelli, her dangerously attractive new boss!

This Christmas, it's imperative that Rio's reputation appear spotless—but innocently enticing Evie is a temptation he can't resist! Their scorching chemistry leads to twelve nights of endless pleasure. But will it last once the decorations come down?

A tortured hero is about to get healed by the surprise in his bed. The Christmas holiday brings nothing but pain for a guy who has everything but what matters – joy and the belief in the goodness of people. So where will he find it?

When a reader first meets Evie she’s not just down on her luck, it’s stomped all over her and left her for dead. A reader right away gets the feeling that things simply cannot be worse for this very sweet and loving lady. Of course that means they do. The book slowly reveals the inner strength that this seemingly simple woman holds inside her. She isn’t completely a Pollyanna. She actually is pretty smart about a lot of things, I just think she is so nice that mean or vindictive people who prey on the weak think she’s easy pickings. I believe that if Evie is supplied a little ammunition and support, she’d knock the socks off of her naysayers. And guess what? She gets her chance and does a really great job of it, and it had me laughing too. She has a joie de vivre that I enjoyed seeing in action. I also liked that she had a few surprises in store for the know-it-all hero.

I think that zest for the good things in life that brings peace and meaning to one’s heart, is what draws and repels Rio to Evie at the same time. He’s a rich guy who has everything and seems to be impervious to the small things in life, like commitment and love. For most of the book I had to take him at face value until Evie slowly chips away at the ice around his heart and he reveals in slow increments a truly sad and horrible experience that scarred him. It’s pretty heavy and it provided a solid and believable reason for his doing and acting the way he does. The author made a good choice as it tugged my heartstrings.

When he finally starts to thaw, a reader sees the marshmallow inside the man and I completely enjoyed his, well, can a man flower? He just opened right up and it was romantic and sigh worthy and just plain adorable.

As for secondary characters there were a few that pushed the conflict forward but there was one, Antonio, who was Rio’s right hand man. The things the author did to this guy were too funny for words. Here’s this big brawny scary security dude and he has to go toy shopping with Evie. I loved it. What a cute touch.

The happily ever after is Christmas-worthy and heartwarming. I think the Twelve Nights of Christmas is a sweet, uplifting and enjoyable read sure to put a smile on a reader’s face. And when I hear the Twelve Days of Christmas sung this holiday season, I’ll have an extra smile waiting to pop out because I’ll be thinking of Evie’s antics. She really is a fun character and is perfect for Rio. Read it and see.