|Read an excerpt: here|
Being in love with her brother’s best friend isn’t an ideal situation for Mandy Lockeheart, but she can’t help the feelings she has for sexy firefighter Jackson Montgomery (and his glasses). She’s determined to change his ‘fraternal’ opinions about her by showing him just how much of a woman she really is; and what’s more womanly than taking charge and kissing the man senseless?
At her brother’s annual Christmas Party, Mandy decides to take matters into her own hands (quite literally) and go after the perfect Christmas/30th Birthday gift; losing her virginity to the love of her life.
When Mandy pretty much manhandles Jackson into the bathroom of her brother’s house during his Christmas party and tells him what she wants, the floodgates of passion are released; Jackson has tried to suppress his growing attraction to Mandy lately, but the task proves a bit too difficult when she has her legs wrapped around him. However, Jackson has more class than to take the virginity of his best friend’s sister in the bathroom of the guy’s house (during a party, no less!). So now that the attraction is out in the open, Jackson decides to wine and dine Mandy like a true gentleman before giving her some mind-blowing, Tarzan-and-Jane-in-the-jungle sex!
Suffice to say, Mandy’s brother Chris isn’t too happy with Jackson, and the two come to blows once the issue is brought to light. Jackson doesn’t care what objections Chris has about the match and wants to take things past Christmas/Birthday present sex with Mandy. That would be all well and good if she didn’t catch an attack of body insecurity and started pushing Jackson away. Mandy worked really hard to get rid of her extra weight and gain the confidence to start feeling as beautiful as she looked, but the trials of weight loss have left its mark. She and Jackson have gotten pretty hot and heavy a few times, but he’s never seen her completely in the nude; Will his heated gazes turn cold once he sees what’s under the mini skirt and cardigan?
Instead of facing the issue head-on, Mandy all of the sudden turns icy on Jackson and ignores his repeated attempts to reach out to her. Everything seems lost, but when Jackson’s safety is put in jeopardy on the job, Mandy will be forced to learn that trusting the beautiful person she is inside and out and grabbing at the chances life present is the only way to make her fantasies a reality.
Rating: 3 1/2 Red Roses
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Mandy and Jackson are getting intimate and Mandy begins to feel self-conscious about the stretch marks on her stomach. I mean, how many of us DON’T have stretch marks? (*stares daggers at the -3 of you who rose your hands!*). I loved when Jackson senses the change in her, and tries to soothe/comfort her.This novella was really sweet and packed tons of spice. I mean, it was pretty HOT! Even though Mandy had some residual insecurity after her inspiring weight loss, she was a character with strength. It takes guts to push a guy onto a toilet seat and ‘grab’ his attention (among other things). Actually, all of the characters had life to them and I felt like I could bump into a few of them on the street any given day.
Excerpt from the book:
“Amanda,” Jackson whispered in longing. He reached out and touched her stomach with a warm steady hand.
She flinched. That part of her body had the most stretch marks. How could he miss them? “Don’t mind the stretch marks. I know they look disgusting.” She couldn’t stop the tremor in her words and looked away.
His touch, feathered over her skin, so light that it tickled. “Hey there.” Jackson cupped her cheek, turning her face back toward him. “These marks aren’t that bad. Honestly, if you hadn’t pointed them out, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Later on I can show you a few of my scars."
Chris was way too jerky for my tastes, but I found myself wanting to see more from him as well as a few other characters-which was impossible to do in 69 pages. The book could have been longer and there could have been a bit more added to both the main plot and the subplots to make the book even better. It started to get predictable in certain spots, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment by much.
Also, I really liked the hero, Jackson. Truth to tell, anything with abs and skin tight suspenders would be on its back in no time around me, but Jackson was more than just a man with bulges in all the right places. Sure he was a hot firefighter, but he was also adorably geeky and considerate. Something makes me feel like I’d really enjoy having conversations with him.
But don’t let the title fool you; This truly is a story you can read any time of year and always find yourself smiling; in fact, I’ll probably be re-read it one day soon.