A Wedding for Christmas by Lori Wilde

A Wedding for Christmas by Lori Wilde
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (351 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The whole town is ready for the holidays: The Cookie Club is baking, Main Street glitters with lights, the carolers sing . . .There’s even a Christmas wedding.

When bodyguard Ryder Southerland sees his best friend’s sister Katie at an L.A. Christmas party, he mistakes the slinky blonde for a celebrity stalker and tackles her. Then they tackle each other . . . at his place. The next morning, Katie’s gone, and Ryder tells himself it’s for the best. It isn’t. Now, one Christmas later, Ryder’s falling for the woman he’s been missing in the town he hasn’t missed at all . . .

Katie Cheek’s outgrown the romantic fantasies she had about Ryder when she was fifteen. Katie’s packed their hot night away in a box labeled “fling”—or tried to. But Twilight’s bad boy is the best man in her brother’s wedding. And up-close and personal, Ryder’s impossible to ignore. So Katie can either go into hiding—or surrender to Christmas magic.

A Wedding for Christmas gives readers both giggles and glow. It’s a feel good novel with a message of love and optimism amongst family and friends and the community in which Katie lives, and to which Ryder returns. There’s also a delightful bit of humor and lighthearted banter between the hero and heroine and the sparks between them are explosive.

Ryder is the quintessential bad-boy turned good who warily comes back to a town that judged him as a youth. The chip on his shoulder is pretty large and it’s actually validated by revealed secrets as the story unfolds. Ms. Wilde has imbued her hero with an emotional depth and maturity that appealed to me. I wanted him to have his own, personal happy-ever-after because his hurt and pain became very real to me. Ryder is a well written hero.

Katie was more like bubbles and sunshine. She has a serious side to her, absolutely, but it’s balanced with her fascination with all things Ryder. I liked how her past came to a perfect circle with the hero. I enjoyed watching the progression of her puppy love turning into a solid, mature, adult love. Yet, that unsure girl of the past has turned into a woman who combines sexy with charming enthusiasm and confidence, and she knows who she wants. The days of pillow kissing are past, and knocking Ryder’s socks off is her future – if she can get past her own internal conflicts.

I think the strongest asset of this novel is the dialogue between Katie and Ryder. It brought them to life. Then the miracles that take place with the backdrop of the Christmas season are emotionally magical. I don’t mean magic, magic. I mean, when things seem insurmountable, and the emotional conflict is at its most serious, something happens; people change, there are second chances, hope springs eternal and readers are treated to a warm, fuzzy glow when happiness is realized. Being the well written characters that they are, theirs isn’t a perfect happiness. There’s a bit of grumpiness too, but even that was charming.

A Wedding for Christmas embodies what holiday romances are all about and should not be missed. This novel made me smile and made me feel happy. It’s rich, vibrant and filled with all the best things romance has to offer. Don’t miss it!

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