By Jill Shalvis
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Reviewed by Janga
Reviewed by Janga
Two weeks before Christmas the Heartbreaker Bay tribe is packed into a fourteen-passenger van, headed for a “bachelor/bachelorette party weekend extravaganza” for Pru Harris and Finn O’Riley (Sweet Little Lies) at a Napa Valley bed & breakfast to be followed by their wedding the next week at a nearby winery. Sean O’Riley is stressed. As the younger, once irresponsible, brother, he is unaccustomed to being the man in charge. But he is the one responsible for seeing that all the details are just what will make the bride happy. Sean, fully aware of how much he owes his big brother, is determined not to let Finn down. He thinks he is prepared for anything, but he is surprised when the innkeeper in the Santa hat turns out to be Lotti Hartford whom he last saw ten years ago when the two of them, sixteen-year-old high school students at the time, lost their virginity together.
Charlotte Hartford is not happy to see Sean. He was her first love as well as her first lover—and the first to break her heart. Lotti remembers all too well the look on Sean’s face when she said, “I love you,” and she remembers the phone calls and letters to which he never responded. Sean has been the feature attraction in her fantasies and the reason she maintains an emotional distance from the men she dates ever since. She can’t deny that the grown-up Sean is even hotter than the teenage boy who has haunted her memories. She may allow this Sean into her bed, but she won’t allow him into her heart. But what if this time Sean is ready for forever?
Jill Shalvis has already given her readers one of the best contemporary romances of this holiday season in Chasing Christmas Eve. In Holiday Wishes, she adds the bonus gift of a novella in the same series. Pru and Finn’s wedding week turns into the start of Sean’s HEA with his first girl, the one who was there for him in those months after his parents’ deaths. Their story is brief, but it is filled with the humor, the sweetness and the steam that Shalvis’s fans expect from her.
The focus is clearly on Sean and Lotti, so Holiday Wishes can be read as a standalone. But for readers who have not followed the series, the novella may seem as packed as that van Sean rents. On the other hand, fans of the series will enjoy celebrating Pru and Finn’s wedding with all the gang. They are all part of the party—Willa and Keane (The Trouble with Mistletoe), Ella and Archer (Accidentally on Purpose), Colbie and Spence (Chasing Christmas Eve), Kylie, Tina, and Joe Malone (whose book, About That Kiss, will be released January 23). Fans will feel like guests joining some of their favorite people, but new readers may be overwhelmed. If you have loved the other Heartbreaker Bay books, especially the first one, grab a copy ASAP. At $.99, it is an inexpensive and delicious Christmas treat. But if you have not read the earlier books, I recommend you at least read Sweet Little Lies first.