Monday, February 22, 2016

3.5 Stars - A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak

Publisher: MIRA
Contemporary Romance
Buy: AMZ

About the Book

One Christmas can change your life...

Kyle Houseman believes he'll never find anyone he could love as much as Olivia Arnold, who's now married to his stepbrother. Not only did he lose her, he's been through one divorce and has no desire to go through another. He's determined to be extra careful about the next woman he gets involved with—which is why he fights his attraction to the beautiful stranger who rents his farmhouse for the Christmas holiday.

Lourdes Bennett is a country music artist. She's only planning to stay in Whiskey Creek long enough to write the songs for her next album—the album that's going to put her back on top. Her dreams don't include settling in a town even smaller than the one she escaped. But as she comes to know Kyle, she begins to wonder if she'd be making a terrible mistake to leave him behind.


I'm giving this 3.5 stars, as it falls in between the better installments of the Whiskey Creek series I have enjoyed and the ones I didn't like.

We got Kyle's backstory in When We Touch, and throughout the series we've been reminded of the indiscretion that largely labeled him the most lovelorn man in town. It's taken nine books, but we're finally back with him. We learn all this time he's played reluctant hero (read: checkbook) to his ex-wife Noelle, who clearly hasn't matured since the first story. Something's always broken, rent is always due, she is always short on cash and convinced Kyle will realize he made a big mistake in leaving her. This cycle of whining and appeasement has worn on Kyle, and he's ready to sever it.

Since Whiskey Creek is short on single, eligible women (save for Noelle), country singer Lourdes Bennett moves in temporarily to regroup after a few career setbacks. Landlord Kyle comes through when the home she rents loses heat, and gradually they come to generate their own at his place. Their romance, of course, doesn't sit well with this ex, but I'll leave that drama for you to discover.

A few spoilerish side notes: the situation from the earlier books I didn't enjoy isn't mentioned in this book. I expect it will be addressed eventually - it's not something you can just drop. Also, much is made of Baxter's return to Whiskey Creek, something I hope parlays into a future book with him as the focus. Even if Novak self-publishes it.

Overall, though, I've enjoyed the holiday WC books and I'd rate A Winter Wedding among the WC stories I liked.

ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

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