Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No Holly For Christmas - Julie N. Ford

Publisher:  Whiskey Creek Press
Pages:  390
Source:  Received a copy for review
Genre:  Adult, Romance, Suspense

Here is the excerpt:

Widowed, practically penniless, and banished to an Alabama rural community, ex-socialite- turned social worker Holly Cavanaugh Winter is dreading the approaching holiday season. However, her angst is not due to her husband's untimely death last December 25th, but because of a secret, one she keeps locked deep in her heart, that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid Christmas.

On special assignment for the DA, defense attorney, Brian McAlister has all but given up on relationships when his path unavoidably crosses Holly’s. However, love at first sight quickly turns frigid when Holly is pulled into a manhunt for an accused murderer who now has his sights set on her. With his case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe, while bringing an assassin, and the powerful man who hired him, to justice.

My thoughts:

I don’t like mushy-gushy romance.  This book is anything but that.  I will always read suspense or thrillers with romance thrown in.  This was my first opportunity to read a book by Julie N. Ford.  However, it will definitely not be my last time.  Julie has created a story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.  The characters are very believable.  Reading this book was like sitting and watching a movie where you see the villain sneaking up on the unsuspecting victim and you want to shout at them “watch out”.

Attorney Brian McAlister is filling in for his father, a prominent attorney, while he is in the hospital.  Brian doesn’t care much for his new partner Margo.  However, circumstances and a case bring him together with Holly Cavanaugh Winter, Margo’s sister.  Both Holly and Brian can feel the electricity between them.  Margo tells them both from the beginning why this won’t work out.  Brian has been married multiple times and really doesn’t trust his judgment.  He is still holding a candle for an ex-girlfriend Josie, who just happens to be married to a judge.  Holly no longer trusts men due to the betrayal of her rich husband right before he died.    This is the set up for a great read.  You know they are going to fall in love.  The question is what can the author throw in their path to make this journey seem impossible yet make the slowly building bonds of their love even stronger.  In this case, the author has thrown in a high-powered businessperson who thinks if he threatens what Brian loves most then he will get things to go his way.  To say more would just ruin it.  I believe this is a book most people will enjoy.  I know I kept wondering who would survive and at what cost.

I have to say that Margo, Holly and Brian were not my favorite characters.  They were very likeable.  My favorites were two characters that played a major role in Holly’s life.  When Holly goes from living in the most desirable area and shopping in the most expensive shops to living in a middle class area and shopping at Wal-Mart, you know there has to be culture shock.  Enter Wandean and Deidra-Belle.  These two women are the best example of the lifestyle Holly has always tried to avoid.  Yet, when Holly needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to lift her spirits, these women and their quirky ways are the perfect people to turn to.

I am recommending this book not only to the readers of my blog but also to those I work with that love to read.  Every now and then, you need a book that will put you in the spirit of Christmas, yet give you a taste of romance and suspense.  This book has it all.

1 comment:

  1. Sandra,
    Thank you for participating in this blog tour. I really enjoyed your review and appreciate all the nice things you had to say about my novel. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and fantastic New Year!
    Julie N Ford