Series: Bad Boys of Crystal Lake bk 2
Author: Julianna Stone
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday Romance
All he wants this Christmas is her.
In the small town of Crystal Lake, Christmas is a time for sledding, hot chocolate, and cozying up to the fire with those you love. For Jake Edwards, it’s also time to come home and face his past. He thought there would never be anything harder than losing his brother. Turns out there is: falling in love with his brother’s widow, Raine.
Ever since they were little, Jesse was the Edwards brother who was always there for her, and Jake was the one who knew just how to push her buttons. Raine can’t imagine a life without them, which is why it was doubly decimating when Jake left town after his brother’s sudden death. Now he’s back and she doesn’t know whether to be mad or thrilled. Maybe both. Maybe it will be the perfect chance for both of them to finally find happiness again.
Thoughts: I’ve never read a Juliana Stone book before so I wan’t sure what to expect from her. Or this story. I was pleasantly surprised by the book.
As the parent of twins I’m really picky about how twins are represented in books and have only run across a few who get it right. Juliana is one of them. She was able to capture how close twins are and how one would feel watching his twin die.
For me this book was more about Jake than Raine, in fact it wasn’t until almost the end of the book that I finally connected with her. And it wasn’t until the revelation about why she was so depressed. I really wish we the readers could have known the reason behind this sooner, with Jake still finding out when he did.
Jake is a great character who is coming back from a very dark place and is hanging on to his sanity by his fingertips. One of the things he struggles with is his feelings for his dead twin’s widow. Add in the soldier from his unit who is dying, and the fact for the first time in his adult life he is at loose ends and you have a hero that makes you want to wrap your arms around him and never let go.
This is one of those romances where I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue reading, and yet I was compelled to keep reading. And I’m glad I did. Because this book really speaks to the heart of what the Christmas season is all about. So while I wasn’t in love with the book I did enjoy it.