The Christmas Tree Wars by Robin Weaver

The Christmas Tree Wars by Robin Weaver
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short Story (105 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Suzette Forrester didn’t want to enter the town’s Christmas Tree Contest, but after her BFF forges her entry, Suzette’s competitive spirit revs up. Beating the town’s high-profile socialite, Katarina Snodgrass becomes priority one. Until Suzette discovers architect Spence James has returned to Merryvale.

Spence can’t reconcile the geeky girl from high school with the hot babe ordering antique ornaments at his father’s store, but there’s no denying the chemistry. He joins Suzette’s decorating team and their sizzle rages into an inferno, threatening to put them on Santa’s naughty list.Too bad Spence’s NYC girlfriend, Darlene, arrives unannounced—and pregnant.

Suzette’s holiday promise goes from tinsel bright to a lump of coal, but she’s determined to ignore her broken heart and beat Katarina. Even if it means collaborating with a man who now seems more like Santa’s nemesis than a Christmas angel.

Suzette Forrester has given up competing with her high school nemesis, Katarina. Every year the pretty, confidant, smug redhead wins the Christmas Tree decorating competition, and every year Suzette has had to swallow defeat with as much grace as she could muster. This year, even with the temptation of a dinner date with tv-soap hunk Tripp Anthony isn’t enough to force her hand and enter the competition. Until she discovers her three best and well meaning friends have rounded up the five grand entry fee and put her name back in the basket on the sly. After a tussle of words, Suzette is determined to do her friends proud and beat Katarina, but her nemesis’ parting shot – a lunch date with Spence James – has her feeling like the clumsy high school outcast once again. Can Suzette re-find her Christmas magic and win both the competition and the guy of her dreams?

This is a fun, lighthearted Christmas novel about the pitfalls and delights of a small town. I liked how Suzette found things both similar and completely different to her high school years. The same crushes, the same high-school bickering, and still managing to put a more mature outlook on it all and laying to rest some of those demons. The author does an amazing job of breezing us through the history – which has such a hold on Suzette and importance to her current actions – without letting it weigh down the plot and the events presently going on. It made the pace feel to me as if it was going along at a good clip, and not being bogged down while still letting me understand exactly why things were how they are for Suzette.

I also could appreciate how both Spence and Suzette had spent time away from their small town, living their own lives and growing up. It wasn’t until they both came home, and found each other again, that they could both relax and really fall in love with the traditions and complexities of their hometown – and each other.

While the shenanigans Suzette and Spence get into – miscommunications, hysterical accidents – were all great, I couldn’t help but feel they lacked a little originality. This is a wonderful, comfortable read, but there was nothing I found unique about it, nothing that really jumped out and sticks out in my mind as amazing. For a Christmas-time read, with a nice hot drink beside a warm fire, it’s perfect. I also greatly appreciated that the language is tasteful (something I’d be willing to share with my grandmother). While there is a single sex scene, I found it carefully written and not overly descriptive – though readers should be warned the bedroom door is not closed.

A warm-hearted, funny and very Christmassy read I’d heartily recommend.

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