A Highland Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear

CHRISTMAS
A Highland Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casblanca
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday
Length: Full Length (299 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Financial advisor Guthrie MacNeill isn’t a complete Scrooge—he just hates the enormous cost associated with the Christmas holiday season. Needless to say, when his pack hires a party planner to decorate the castle, he’s at his wit’s end. Until Calla Stewart arrives on the scene with her mistletoe in hand.

Calla has never had a client as difficult as Guthrie, but she’s determined to give the pack a Christmas season they will never forget—no matter how much it costs. But when her ex-fiancé begins stalking her and threatening her safety, Guthrie decides to loosen his grip on the purse strings and let out his inner Highland warrior wolf to protect her.

This was a one day read. It was fun, engaging and very much a holiday story, rich in tradition and filled with awesome descriptions of what the perfect gathering would look and feel like. Throw in a romance fraught with, and plagued by, external conflicts, and it makes this tale more substantial and worth spending some time with.

A Highland Wolf Christmas finally tackles Guthrie. In past books, he came across as a bit prissy in my estimation. Everything relates to money and he has an eagle eyed focus on the pack’s finances. Any expenses for frivolity seem to send him into fits. So, when a party planner whose job is to spend other people’s money gets taken under the protection of the pack, it seemed the hero shouldn’t give the party planner the time of day, right? Probably, except this person isn’t just anyone, it’s Calla. She was introduced in the last book as a secondary character with a slight problem. It’s not slight any longer and she made for a surprisingly perfect partner for tightwad, Guthrie. As for the hero, he shows the reader and Calla just how much of a highland warrior he is, sword and all. Guthrie is actually quite a delicious male specimen.

Calla is a successful self-made entrepreneur with a very busy business. One of my favorite scenes between her and Guthrie is when she factually states just how much money she makes, what she’s done with it and how she keeps track of it. I got the impression the hero was practically humming with appreciation – beauty and brains are a big turn on for him it seems and it’s at that moment I believe his fate was sealed. His wolf wants her, his human brain with all its reasoning tries to resist being attracted to Calla, but by being true to herself, is too much for even the man to resist. The journey from fight to fall is entertaining.

The darkness in the novel comes from her ex fiancé, Baird. I knew from the past book that he was a trouble maker and a bit of a brat. That was the tip of the iceberg. Also, I should reassure readers that even though I refer to the previous book regarding Calla and Baird, this is a standalone read. I was introduced to them earlier, was provided hints earlier, but it is in this book that the tale gets told and secrets are revealed 100%. This story is about Guthrie and Calla and the thorn in their side, Baird. And what a thorn he is. Just when I think he’s going to have a chance at redemption, just when he’s given a chance to change or at least go a different direction, the villain earns his Bad Guy star at every turn. The author finally convinced me he was bad to the bone. Those parts were well written and quite gripping.

For readers who like spice with their romance, Guthrie is no slouch. He woos and seduces Calla to my satisfaction. The scenes worked well and were well written.

On a personal note, reading A Highland Wolf Christmas at the time I read it was a breath of fresh air. I had tried to read another book, had gotten to page 95 and nothing happened. No plot movement, no excitement, and filled with shallow characters. Ugh. It was a slow dull hamster wheel of a read and I was bored out of my skull. I tossed that one aside and picked up Ms. Spear’s book and by page 79 I was totally, completely engaged in the story, loved the characters and was already treated to a possible abduction, a car crash, a sword fight and the stirrings of some serious hot feelings between the hero and heroine, and a shattered glass of milk. Ms. Spear is a master at making me CARE for her characters and makes me WANT to read about them. I truly am grateful for the skill and art she brings to each and every one of her stories and after trying to read that other book, this current novel refreshed my appreciation of Ms. Spear’s writing. I’m a very happy reader.

That being said, when I mentioned in the first paragraph about descriptions, I wasn’t kidding. Ms. Spear wants her readers WITH her characters as they shop at the mall, as they decorate the tree, the castle, and she describes the celebrations and traditions in great detail so readers get the full effect of the holiday season among a pack of werewolves. I think she was a bit too enthusiastic for my tastes but for readers who adore and revel in intricate details of a book’s character’s lives, then those parts should make them ecstatic. As for me, I was over-holidayed. It’s like a candy cane – I will eat a piece of it but I can’t eat the whole thing in one sitting. Like that.

All in all, A Highland Wolf Christmas is a story not to miss. Not just because it is a romance about two people in my favorite werewolf pack, but because it made me happy, made me feel good and spending time finally getting to know Guthrie and Calla was an enjoyable experience. The wrap up chapter was filled with so much positive, cheery and optimistic feelings that I couldn’t help but be pleased that I’d read it. I definitely recommend this book to all paranormal romance fans, fans of Ms. Spear or anyone looking for a holiday-themed adventure. Ms. Spear delivers romance satisfaction.

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