Series: Heartbreaker Bay #6
Published by Avon Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
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Also in this series: One Snowy Night, Chasing Chrismas Eve, Holiday Wishes, About That Kiss, Playing for Keeps
Also by this author: One Snowy Night, Chasing Chrismas Eve, Holiday Wishes, About That Kiss, Lost and Found Sisters, The Good Luck Sister, Playing for Keeps, Almost Just Friends
Who needs mistletoe?
Most people wouldn’t think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn’t most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she’s been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that—but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once ...
Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don’t mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he’s shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly’s brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can’t believe he’s drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who’s the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he’s ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
I haven’t been in the mood for a lot of contemporary romance recently, so I almost didn’t request Hot Winter Nights. I’m glad I did, though, because I really enjoyed it. Both the main characters are appealing, and the plot had just enough mystery for my current mood.
I admire Molly’s determination to become an investigator, her independence, the way she stands up to all the alpha males in her life, and her refusal to let her disability limit or define her. She has some trust issues, and the way she tried to keep Lucas at an emotional distance was also a flaw, but they were traits I knew either she or Lucas would overcome in the end. I wasn’t happy with her decision to let Lucas think they had been intimate, but I’ll admit that as a plot device, it worked.
Lucas is practically perfect, particularly once he admits to himself that his feelings for Molly go deeper than friendship and lust. I love how he tries to balance his secret assignment to keep Molly safe vs. his recognition of and admiration for her competence, strength, and determination — not to mention his attraction to her. He’s a strong guy who, rather than feeling threatened by a smart, sassy, and very capable woman, finds that competence appealing and even sexy… which made me want to cheer. And the scene where he finally convinces Molly that her scars aren’t ugly? Swoon-worthy.
Hot Winter Nights plays to Shalvis’s strengths. The plot is fun and lightly suspenseful, the pacing is good, the banter is sharp and humorous, and the chemistry sizzles without overwhelming the story. Despite the winter timeframe and the Santa-village setting, it doesn’t quite have the same holiday-romance feel that last year’s Chasing Christmas Eve did, but that’s OK; it’s still heartwarming to see Molly and Lucas find their happy-ever-after.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Winter 2018-2019