NEVER CHRISTMAS WITHOUT YOU - Nana Malone & Reese Ryan
Harlequin Kimani Romance
REVIEWER: Janet Caldwell | RATING: B+
REVIEW: JUST FOR THE HOLIDAYS (A) Justin Morrison and Alexandra (Alex) Winters have been best friends since college. As the family maverick, Justin decides to build his own boutique hotel rather than join the family hotel dynasty. He is a ladies man with no desire to settle down. Alex is a free-spirit and promising artist focused on her first gallery opening in Los Angeles.
Justin and Alex are products of fractured homes and their formidable bond is a surrogate for the family both lack. They have no secrets and there isn’t anything they wouldn’t do for each other. They share everything, except their mutual hidden desire to become more than just best friends. Their closeted feelings are tested when Justin asks Alex to pretend to be his fiancé during a trip home to Catalina for Christmas. His Grandma Lucy, who is the most influential woman is his life besides Alex, implies her full recovery from a recent illness hinges on her favorite grandson getting married and having children. So, to appease the ailing matriarch they implement a plan. After the holidays they can simply go back to being besties or can they?
HIS HOLIDAY GIFT (B) Mikayla Mitchell and Dashon (Dash) Williams were friends for over ten years, but haven’t spoken in seven. Their long-term friendship dissolved when Dash became involved with Mikayla’s manipulative stepsister. Her jealousy of their friendship forced Dash to choose her over his best friend. Fast forward seven years and they reunite, but face half-truths, mysteries and a love child.
Ryan returns to Pleasure Cove for this novella. Dash is the half-brother of Maya Alvarez, the soccer mom who got her groove back in PLAYING WITH DESIRE. Dash is ecstatic to be reunited with his bestie, but apprehensive about her sudden desire to reunite. Mikayla’s feelings for Dash have always been more than friendly. She must now come to terms with these feelings while protecting the child who is in her care. Will she be able to restrain her emotions and do what is in the best interest of her child?
I enjoyed these stories which both had a Christmas holiday twist. The common theme is one of my favorites, friends-to-lovers. The storyline is predictable, but it is interesting to see how each author delivers the main characters to the HEA despite insurmountable relationship baggage.
2nd December 2017 | firstname.lastname@example.org