Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: November 21st, 2016
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge | Ho Ho Ho Read-A-Thon
Buying Links: Amazon* | ARe* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.
Blurb from goodreads:
After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she'll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.
Leigh's best friend broke Croy Dawson's heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh's fault. They've never liked each other, but Croy isn't cruel: he'd never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn't expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn't expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.
Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can't escape the truth: he can't walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist.
"Holiday with a Twist" is a novella, not a full-length story, and it suffers from the problem inherent in the form, that is, it's too short to properly develop the story and the characters. It's a sweet story but a little lacking.
Leigh is back home with her parents to celebrate Christmas and to help her parents get their house ready to sell. Additionally, her siblings each have big stressors in their lives so she decides to spare everyone and make their holiday more pleasant by lying to them and not telling them about her own stressors, that she broke up with her fiance and she's unemployed. Frankly, I had trouble with that. I understand not wanting to worry her parents but the reason she gave was weak at best, and it gets weaker as the story goes along.
Leigh and Croy were childhood friends who had a falling out during college. Happily, Stacey doesn't drag that out but has them work it out like rational adults. With their history, Stacey is able to shortcut the getting to know you process, which mostly worked on the novella form but even so, parts of their relationship just moved way too fast. The speed at which things progressed and how their issues were addressed was absurd and hard for me to believe. Leigh and Croy were sweet together and I wanted things to work out for them but I wanted more meat to the story and I wanted her to be honest with her family or at least have a better reason for not telling them her news. Also, at times I was bored; despite the speed of the relationship, the story itself was sometimes slow. Still, it was a sweet and pleasant story with a happy ending and some Christmas cheer.