My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Sometimes all love needs is a second chance.
Morning television show darling Emma Sutton has just been fired. The only way to get her job back is to find a holiday story to warm the coldest heart. So when her hometown of Sugar Creek, Arkansas, needs a Christmas event planner, Emma moves back, sure her story lies in the town’s desire to become a tourist’s holiday wonderland. The plan is perfect—until Emma meets her new boss.
Charming, handsome Noah Kincaid isn’t just Sugar Creek’s newest mayor. He’s also Emma’s ex-fiancé. Ten years ago Emma left Noah her ring and a goodbye note, but it’s haunted her ever since. The last thing Noah wants to do is work with the woman who broke his heart, but Emma’s desperate to prove to him that her bah-humbug ways won’t interfere with her work.
Emma finds it’s more than the mistletoe drawing her back to Noah. Whatever they had is clearly not over, but Noah’s kisses can’t protect Emma from a past that won’t leave her alone. As the snow falls and the trees glisten, love will come to Sugar Creek. But will it come in time to make all of Emma’s Christmas dreams come true?
I really liked the different aspects of this story- the tension between Noah and Emma, Emma's quest to overcome her aversion to Christmas, the geriatric CIA retirees, and the community that brings it all together. The awkwardness of her situation is portrayed realistically- she's not welcomed by everyone with open arms and she feels like she has to prove herself to Noah and the community. Her grandmother has complete faith in her however, and uses her vast array of CIA skills to orchestrate scenarios to guide Noah and Emma back together. They had such great chemistry, especially once Noah warms up to Emma and forgives her. The thing that I didn't understand was why Emma tried to rekindle a romance with Noah when she planned all along to leave him and go back to the city and her journalism career. I didn't like how she led him on and I can understand why he struggled with reconnecting with her. She is so used to being on the fast track and focusing 100% on her job that it's quite a transition to change her priorities and realize what's truly important to her and will bring joy to her life. A great read for the Christmas season!
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)