Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Christmas at Gate 18 by Amy Matayo

Heidi Reads... Christmas at Gate 18 by Amy Matayo

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Supermodel Rory Gray just wants to go home. After wrapping up a three-day high-fashion photo shoot overseas, she’s exhausted and ready for the holiday. A holiday that involves Hollywood parties, air-kissing the industry elite, and a whole lot of fakeness… but whatever. Once she gets through that torture, she’ll head to her beloved Seattle and the life of anonymity she misses so much. In less than twenty-four hours, she’ll be there.

Colt Ross has spent the past six months detaching himself from the Hollywood world he grew up in, and home is the last place he wants to be. But he’s been called back by his overbearing father for reasons he can only imagine. Likely reasons that involve taking over the family corporation or fund raising among Hollywood elite—something Colt has no interest in being part of. Not that he has a choice; when you’re the son of an industry executive, rubbing elbows comes with the territory. In less than twenty-four hours he’ll be home. After all this time away, home no longer appeals to him. Especially not at Christmas. Leave it to his father to ruin a holiday.

But when a late-season hurricane grounds both of their flights in the Dominican Republic, Rory and Colt find themselves stuck at the airport far longer than anticipated. As weather conditions worsen, they both begin to realize that this Christmas will be spent with strangers packed inside a single airport terminal—specifically at gate 18.

Rory and Colt are faced with a choice: band together in their misery or make this Christmas one they will never forget. For two people who aren’t real fond of the holiday, this Christmas might turn out to be the best they’ve ever had.

My Review

I love reading Christmas-themed novellas, and this one had a great twist! I can't imagine being stranded over Christmas away from my family, but for these two lonely characters they found something better than what awaited them at home. Rory is a survivor, making it on her own with only memories of a happier time. While at the airport we see the misconceptions people have of her as a supermodel of explicit photos, lobbing inappropriate remarks and suggestive offers at her. Colt is one of the perpetrators, which made me confused as to why Rory befriended him. Maybe because he's handsome it made it less offensive than the middle-aged man or the cranky honeymooners. In any case, Rory is in need of a friend, and Colt happily takes on the role of protector and entertainer. They share funny banter and sweet moments through the hurricane-level storm that's keeping their travel stalled. Since the point of view alternated between Rory and Colt, there is plenty of innuendo and borderline content in Colt's thoughts as a sexually active adult male. While I'm sure that is realistic to many men, it made me not respect him or like him very much. Charm only goes so far. Their relationship deepens as Rory shares bits of her past with him and he connects with her on a level he never has before with any other woman. (Probably because he treats them as objects). Can you tell I'm not a fan of the bad-boy persona? ;) He helps her to not feel shame about her career and be proud of the way she's taken care of herself without any supporting family. A surprise comes to light at the end of their "adventure" and it was nice to see that they were able to have a future together. While there is a bit of an inspirational thread, I wouldn't classify this as Christian fiction.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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