New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Heartbreaker Bay with a fun and festive holiday novella!
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.
Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.
They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.
Jill Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay series has been full of charm and swoons. I can’t get enough of these loveable characters, which is why even though I strongly dislike novellas, I was eager to pick up One Snowy Night. This short story, while too short in my opinion, was still a lovely book that put a huge smile on my face.
We met Rory and Max in the previous book and there was definitely some underlying tension between them in that one, and I knew that that same tension would be sizzling in their book. As expected, the chemistry between Rory and Max in One Snowy Night was palpable all throughout this novella. These two had some issues to work through. They knew each other as teenagers and they unknowingly caused some heartbreak to each other. So being stuck together in a truck is the perfect opportunity for them to talk it out. Despite the initial anger the two shared, there was obviously some underlying fierce attracting and need to protect each other. I thought they were so sweet together and I couldn’t wait for them to make up. I will admit that things happened a little fast for my liking. I’m being selfish, but I would have loved to have a longer story of these two.
As characters, both Rory and Max shined, though probably not as much as the previous characters in the series. Still though, these are two characters who were very very hard to dislike. They had their stupid moments when I wanted to smack some senses into them, but I liked that they eventually talked through their issues. We get to see them as high school students through memories and again, I would have liked it better if I had gotten to know them more through a longer book.
Overall, if you’re looking for a quick, romantic and charming introduction to Jill Shalvis’ writing, then I think One Snowy Night is the perfect place to start. Or if you just want a Christmassy book, this is the one for you!
She looked at him, clearly waiting for more, her pretty eyes not giving much away. She was so petite a good wind could blow her away, but that analogy implied she was fragile.
Rory was anything but fragile, and in fact her inner strength was even more attractive to him than her beauty.
“It was Willa,” he said, willing to give her that. Besides she was more curious than a cat and he wanted to appease that curiosity and fast, before she figured out the rest.
She looked at him, surprised. “What did she want?”
Shit. On top of curious as a cat, she was like Carl with a damn bone. He twisted around to buckle Carl back in and then put on his own seatbelt. He turned the engine over and cranked up the radio.
Rory turned it off. “She already made you drive me, so what now?”
Rory turned in her seat to fully face him. “Was she checking to see if we’d killed each other?”
He smiled at that, a thought that had been so close to his own, but she narrowed her eyes, not amused. “What did she want, Max?”
He went to put the truck in gear but she leaned into him to turn off the engine and grab his keys. Her breast brushed against his arm, giving him another zap of awareness.
“Come on,” she said. “This is Willa we’re talking about. I love her, but she’s incapable of not sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong, especially when it comes to me. What did she want?”
Shit, it’d been two minutes and he was already regretting his “gentle” promise. He looked her right in the eyes. “Nothing.”
Her eyes went to little slits. “Liar.” She opened her door, revealing that the slush had turned to snow, as she swung his keys from her fingers. “Tell me or say goodbye to your keys.”
“That’ll strand you too,” he pointed out.
She raised her eyebrows and he got the message. She didn’t care.
“Fine,” he said. “She told me to be nice to you. Actually, she said gentle.” While she gaped at that, he snagged the keys from her lax fingers, feeling like an asshole when he leaned into her, reaching past her to slam her door shut.
She didn’t shrink back, which meant that their bodies once again bumped up against each other, and it was like they knew what his brain couldn’t seem to comprehend—he wanted her. He was a little thrown by that, and the now familiar zing of electricity, only slightly mollified to realize by the way her breath hitched that she felt it too.
“If you even try to be gentle,” she said, “I’ll get out and walk.”