Cover Design: Designs By Sloan
Bryan Graham is shocked to find he’s inherited a hunting cabin in north-central Pennsylvania. From his grandfather of all people; a stubborn man who went out of his way to make Bryan’s childhood miserable. He’d vowed never to go back to the small, rural community of Kutter’s Summit, not that he didn’t have fond memories of the place. It’s just that he’d rather be celebrating a quiet Christmas back in Nashville with his cat and his contracts.
A couple of weeks of hunting, cleaning, and handyman work, and he can hopefully put the place up for sale and move on with his life. He never expected to find his childhood friend Parson Greer living in the cabin. Parson is no longer a boy, but a handsome, wary man consumed by the demons of a faraway desert war. When a rekindled friendship shifts into something deeper, Bryan finds himself lost in emotions that a workaholic like him has never made time to experience before.
When I first started reading this story, I was none too enamored with Bryan. I wasn’t a fan of his flippant, flighty attitude which made it hard for me to warm up to him. When he first encountered Parson, I sort of felt the same way about him as well but because of the curt, dismissive way he had about him.
As the story progressed, I found it much easier to understand and empathize with Parson, and I liked the effect he had on Bryan. Overall feels though? While I did like them together, I didn’t quite feel that spark, and I’m attributing that to Bryan’s personality—even with the softening effect Parson had on him.
The issues brought up in the story regarding Bryan’s past relationship with his now-deceased grandfather, as well as the effects of Parson’s military service are all dealt with in due time. I completely agreed with Bryan when it came to his grandfather; even though others might have given reasons to forgive his grandfather’s behavior, Bryan had a right to his feelings since that had a strong effect on him personally.
The Christmas Oaks was a 3.5-star read for me, and does fit well with the season. It does touch on some serious topics such as Parson’s PTSD and Bryan’s main client’s addiction problems, so that along with the adult language and sexual content means this story is meant for readers 18+.
About the Author
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.
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