I really enjoyed the first book in this series by Kelly Jamieson and reviewed it, MAJOR MISCONDUCT, recently (here). So when I saw this was available I scarfed it up. While I liked the idea for the story of a hockey player returning to Connecticut to spend Christmas with the family who gave him a home after his parents died. Also returning is the lone sister in the family and a girl he has adored forever. She’s adored him forever too. There’s early mention of interest and reference to a “weekend” back in college, so I am not really blowing any big secrets.
Well, in the first book Jamieson used the Best Friend’s Sister trope. In this one she throws in a twist on that trope as she continues to explore the family/friendship bonds in relationships. It’s struck me as a little weird that she went into the same theme, but the twist was pretty cool. Instead of one brother, the male love interest, Andrew, has the father (his coach) and three brothers of the girl he’s into. Plus, he was a foster son from his teens until he went to college. But he considers Jenna’s family, and their home his. SO there’s quite a few more constrictions on Andrew than just one best friend. It’s really about respect for the family that took him in, and coming to grips with being both an autonomous adult and accepting that he is really a member of the family. Before he can pursue a relationship with Jenna he’ll have to figure all that out.
There’s some real chemistry between the characters but only true love can overcome the conditions the two of them both realize. Another interesting thing about Jamieson’s male characters is their honor. It is brought forward int the context of their life situations but it makes them very attractive.
Did I mention Jenna brings home this milquetoast boyfriend she has a while for Christmas? She had never brought a guy home. The comparison between her guy and the men in her family is stark. His fate is sealed.
It was a little weird that this Christmas story was released in March, but the story is good and the theme isn’t like a decoration that has to be put away on January first. Stories often go through an entire year so I can look at a holiday story and think of it in the contest of the characters’ full life story.
If you don’t mind a holiday story out of context and like hockey then you might enjoy this one.