In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .
For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .
I’d read another book in the Portland Heat series and was intrigued to see what this one would be like. Now that I see where the push line is, I think I’ll go back and reread that book.
What do I mean push line? It’s the spot in the story for me where I start rooting for the characters. For me, that didn’t happen until 50% of the way through. Up until that point, I wasn’t sure about Sawyer. The story is told completely from Hollis’s point of view so we see everything from his very narrow view point. The issue with that is he doesn’t explain his narrow view point until 50%. Once he does, I understood who he was and why he saw people the way he did. And only then did I start rooting for the two men to get together.
So why 4 stars? Because the story left me with an “Ahhhh” at the ending. It’s a basic romance – and by that I mean nothing really goes on except the romance itself: it’s the whole drama/emphasis of the book. But by the end I was rooting for Hollis and Sawyer. And when the ending came, I even got a little teary.
After all, if Hollis can find his HEA, maybe there’s a chance for all of us who wonder where Mr. Right is 🙂