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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods
Publisher: HQN MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Full Length (288 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Azalea

Dating Matthew O'Brien—a playboy and a younger man—cost Laila Riley her career and her parents' respect. A high price, even for love—and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off, despite Matthew's objections.

But the O'Brien family has other ideas, and they conspire to get Laila to join them on a Dublin holiday. It's a great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about the trip. Matthew's bound to be there, and she's far from immune. What if she can't resist temptation?

Meanwhile, the O'Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell's unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?

A torrid love affair with a younger man cost banker Leila Riley her job and her father’s respect. Was it just a fling? In retrospect Leila thinks so...and she breaks it off with Matthew O’Brien.

All her life Leila has felt she never measured up to her father’s expectations. Her affair with the much younger Matthew, regarded as a player by many including her father, cost her the career she wanted so badly. Resenting her loss, she breaks up with Matthew and takes an unfulfilling job as an accountant.

Matthew, however, is deeply in love with Leila and determined to get her to Ireland for the O’Brien family Christmas. Leila is close to Matthew’s family, partly because her best friend Abby is married to Leila’s brother Trace. And apparently the lovable, but at times meddling, O’Brien clan has decided that Leila needs to patch up whatever differences she has with Matthew. A little manipulation from Nell, the O’Brien matriarch, convinces Leila that she should go along.

Matthew had planned to propose in Dublin, now he rethinks his plan, this time determined to let their courtship proceed at a slow pace, something that, at times, is frustrating to both himself and Leila who is desperately trying to convince herself that they’re not suited for each other. Meanwhile Susie and Mack enjoy a honeymoon they never managed to take because of her illness and Nell encounters a former flame. All makes for great adventure amid the background of delightful Dublin.

In this charming Christmas tale Ms. Woods brings out the irrepressible O’Briens and their machinations. I loved every minute of the story with its warmth and the humor as only Sherryl Woods can provide. Strong writing and likable characters is a keynote of the Chesapeake Shores series, and An O'Brien Family Christmas is one of my favorites.

I loved Laila and Matthew. I had a quibble with the validity of a special license wedding since all weddings in Ireland require at least a three-week residency and the petition for such a license must be delivered in person by one of the parties being married. However, the wedding, even though not possible under the current governmental regulations, still made for a magical story.