Saving Holiday by Lisa A Adams

HOLIDAY
Saving Holiday by Lisa A Adams
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (84 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Through a tortured past, Officer Jackson Duggan has learned a thing or two about saving lives. But can he overcome the tragedies of his past to save his very own “Holiday” present?

Holiday “Holly” Thomas has never lived down her name or the mistakes she’s made in her past. Desperate to run, she moves to Barbeque Creek to open up a new quilt shop and begin a new life.

When Officer Jackson Duggan entered Sew Amazing looking for the perfect present for his mother, he never thought he would find a gift waiting just for him. But, Jackson’s not ready to move on from a love he shared in the past.

With Holly sprinting toward her future and Jackson clinging to the past, will the pair stop long enough to enjoy the present? Or will a threat neither of them saw coming ruin the opportunity before they even get a chance?

Jackson is out on Black Friday, looking for the perfect Christmas gift for his mother. Struck by inspiration, he enters Sew Amazing, a new craft store that he hadn’t been to yet. There, he meets the owner, Holiday (Holly). Holly brings out all kinds of emotions Jackson thought was long dead. The pain of losing his wife is still raw, despite the three years that’s passed. When Holly’s store is broken into, Jackson’s work as the local sheriff bring them back together again. And soon he’s certain these aren’t fleeting feelings that will pass quickly.

This is a warm hearted story about a man trying to move on past the loss of his wife, but uncertain about how to do so. Holly is a caring and gentle woman, and the reader is left in no doubt how well they’d work together. I think the slow, uncertain progression of their romance is sure to suit many tastes. I was a little disappointed by how Jackson was initially unwilling to act on his feelings for Holly. While I understand the passing of his wife was devastating, it certainly seemed time for him to move on, and quashing his feelings for Holly didn’t seem sensible when Jackson was otherwise a level-headed, logical man. I also wasn’t a fan of how Jackson ran hot then cold, wanting to date Holly and be with her one minute then talking himself out of it the next. While I understand his misgivings I didn’t enjoy the uncertainty (and lack of self-awareness) this showed in Jackson, who was a solid, reliable, logical man in all other respects.

This indecision in Jackson also made me feel a little as if the plotline of Holly being threatened by her ex-lover, Derrick, was forced, or a tool to make Jackson protective and get closer to Holly. Personally, I’d have enjoyed Derrick’s plot a lot more if Jackson and Holly were simply taking the progress of their relationship slowly (and not denying their attraction) and Derrick sped things along for them. Seeing Derrick as a reason to force Jackson into taking action made the whole plot feel a bit clichéd for me, and that was sad because there was a lot of other really good points I enjoyed in this book.

The characters are wonderfully vibrant and I enjoyed Holly and her determination to make her new life and shop work. I also enjoyed Jackson, and found his attachment to his friends and mother quite endearing. Readers interested in a slower-moving romance, and one filled with a small town filled with interesting characters should really enjoy this story. There is one sexy scene toward the end of the book. While it is descriptive, I didn’t find it overly explicit. The bedroom door is partially open though. I’d recommend this book to close friends – but not necessarily my mother or granny. I enjoyed the extra bit of spice between Holly and Jackson, but readers wanting a sweeter romance might want to keep this in mind when selecting this book.

A fun and warm-hearted romance, this is book has a small-town feel. There were characters I could enjoy and a straight forward plot one always appreciates in a comfort read.

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