Title: Season’s Meetings
Author: Amy Dunne
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books, Inc.
Publication date: December 16th 2014
Page Count: 264 pages
Age Rating: Adult (semi-explicit sexual scenes)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Season’s Meetings
Could the festive road trip from hell actually lead to love?
Catherine Birch is a lonely workaholic who hates Christmas. This year, she is being forced to celebrate with her best friend’s family in the Highlands of Scotland. Having missed her flight, Catherine reluctantly ventures on a road trip with beautiful stranger Holly Daniels.
Although polar opposites, the intense attraction between them is unmistakable. Just as Catherine begins to think spending Christmas with Holly might not be so bad, a raging snowstorm leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere. Huddled together, with little chance of rescue, they forge a pact: if they escape, they’ll make this a Christmas to remember. But will it be remembered for the right reasons?
Catherine Birch works 15 hour days at a thankless job and lives alone in the apartment she used to share with her ex-girlfriend (who left her a year and a half ago). She hates Christmas and plans to spend the holiday alone, until her best friend Katie, who Catherine hasn’t seen in two years, strong-arms her into spending Christmas with her and her family in the Highlands of Scotland. Circumstance beyond her control cause Catherine to miss her flight and she’s forced to catch a ride with Katie’s cousin-by-marriage, Holly, who’s also coming up from London to spend the holidays with them.
Catherine is immediately attracted to Holly’s natural beauty and her warm, friendly personality, although she could do without Holly’s blaring Christmas music or her ugly Christmas sweaters. The two woman attempt to drive through a snowstorm to reach their destination, a dangerous and harrowing journey that leaves them snowed in and trapped in a cute little village straight out of a holiday snow globe, with quaint shops and a cozy little Inn run by a charmingly generous older couple. The women are provided with surprisingly affordable lodging, and also a spirited little cairn terrier named Kimmy to take care of for the duration of their stay. Romance is heavy in the air as Catherine and Holly end up sharing a perfectly magical, classic Christmas with all the trimmings while stuck in the enchanting little village. It’s all very lovely and dreamy – until it’s time to leave and reality intrudes, forcing the two women to see if their romance can last beyond the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree.
I loved straight-laced, overly cautious Catherine falling in love with the free-spirited Holly – they made a great couple and their personalities really complemented each other. A dog lover myself, I found Kimmy to be a cute little addition to the story. She becomes almost like a third main character (as a dog owner I understand how quickly a dog can go from a pet to a family member, and that’s pretty much what happens here, as the little dog quickly scampers her little furry butt into the women’s hearts). Actually, I enjoyed all the characters in this, except maybe for Katie who got on my nerves sometimes with the judgmental way she treated Catherine, her supposedly best friend.
This book felt longer than it’s 264 pages to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a well-written, charming story that’s warm and romantic and full of holiday feels (and a little bit of angst), but it felt like so much happened that the book seemed twice as long to me as it actually was. The romantic scenes weren’t too graphic, more sensuous then anything, and left plenty to the imagination. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s some angst, but it’s very little and mostly serves to give Catherine a kick in her backside towards going all-in with Holly.
All in all, this was a really nice holiday read with a great, slow burn romance and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good holiday romance.
Holly Daniels loves Christmas. In fact, her enthusiasm for the holiday and all its traditions is so great that she somehow manages to wrap former-Grinch Catherine in the joy of the season and get her to participate whole-heartedly. Holly even succeeds in getting Catherine to wear one of her ugly Christmas sweaters (with a giant Rudolph head on it) and take Christmas photos. I love “ugly sweaters” at Christmas (I actually think they’re adorable), so I’m recommending Paramount Coffee Ugly Sweater: Santa’s Gift to You – a medium blend coffee with a smoothly rich and warm flavor that’ll keep you nice and cozy, just like the sweaters after which the coffee is named.