Joy’s Holiday by Destiny Wallace

JOY

Joy’s Holiday by Destiny Wallace
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (33 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Instead of playing nice with her family, Joy lost her temper and landed herself in a seedy motel on Christmas Eve. Just when she’s sure things couldn’t get any worse, she’s relocated to a different room, by the police.

Will Joy’s holiday be a complete disaster or will the handsome stranger in the room make things better?

In a foul mood after travelling back to her parent’s place for the Christmas holidays, Joy Grady fell into a bitter argument with her mother and siblings and ended up leaving before she’d even had the chance to unpack her suitcase. Not having thought her abrupt departure through, there were the proverbial no rooms to let, and Joy ends up in one of the seedier motels she’s had the displeasure of finding. But beggers can’t be choosers. When an emergency occurs, she and another patron of the motel – Eli – are put indefinitely in the same room. Sparks fly and suddenly what seemed to be a waste of a plane ticket and the worst Christmas ever seems could turn out to be not so bad after all.

While a part of me totally sympathizes with the heroine in her rotten Christmas mood, I couldn’t help but feel in part she came across as selfish and childish. Jealous of her sister’s fast, rich, model lifestyle and her baby brother being spoiled silly by their mum, she takes her angst out on her family, fighting with her siblings and mother. Despite her mum calling twice to make amends and request they spend some time together over the Christmas season, Joy initially ignores these olive branches and I found much of my sympathy for her soured. I also felt the plot device used to get Joy and Eli together was a bit over the top. I certainly can give the author kudos for imagination, but coming after a huge argument with family and quite a bit of highly emotional shouting the circumstances in the motel felt a bit unrealistic.

The chemistry between Joy and Eli, however, was fast paced and hot. I thought some of the interactions with the secondary characters were highly emotional and a lot happens in this short space of time portrayed. I understand that this is a short story, but still feel a bit of a better balance would have made this book even better than it is. The sex is well written and steamy. I would have loved a bit more detail to slow the pace of the story at this final point, particularly once Eli and Joy get together in the hotel room. There is a lovely amount of build up in the first half of the story – explaining how Joy came to be there with Eli – and once things get moving the sexy action is quick and the chemistry between them intense. I enjoyed the happy ending and feel there is definitely a rosy future for Eli and Joy.

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