Adult, Books, Coffee, Holiday/Seasonal, m/f, Romance

[Book Review] A Groom For Christmas By Cara Marsi & Starbucks Christmas Blend

A Groom For ChristmasTitle: A Groom For Christmas
Series/Universe: Standalone
Author: Cara Marsi
Publisher: The Painted Lady Press
Publication date: October 23rd 2013
Page Count: 216 pages
Age Rating: Adult (explicit sexual scenes)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: A Groom For Christmas

This sensuous romance is like a Hallmark Christmas movie, with some intense love scenes.

When a young woman hires her hometown’s former bad boy to be her pretend fiancé for the holidays, she finds she can’t wrap up her feelings as easily as a Christmas gift.

New York jewelry designer Graceann Palmer has two days to find a fiancé to bring home to Pennsylvania for the holidays so her matchmaking mama will quit fixing her up with jerks. The Falcon, a motorcycle-riding, leather-clad former high school crush, helped her out once before. Maybe he’ll do it again.

Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of Spirit Lake most likely won’t appreciate. When Graceann presents him with her crazy scheme, it gives him something he’s always wanted—a chance to get to know Graceann. It also gives him the perfect opportunity to add fuel to his project of revenge.

But as Jake and Graceann grow closer, their engagement-of-convenience begins to feel like the real deal—until Jake’s secrets are revealed.

Can a relationship that began with lies and secrets bloom like a rare Christmas rose into happily-ever-after?

My Review

I love Hallmark Christmas movies. They’re feel-good movies at their finest and they get me through the stress of the holiday season. They’re a little too cutesy, and cliché as all get out, but also so heartwarming and romantic – they’re my guilty little pleasure and I just can’t get enough of them.

A Groom For Christmas reads exactly like a Hallmark Christmas movie.

(Well maybe not exactly like a Hallmark Christmas movie, but if Hallmark movies were x-rated, then it would be exactly like a Hallmark Christmas movie – this book has a couple pretty explicit, steamy scenes)

Told from the alternating perspectives of the two romantic leads, Graceann Palmer, an innocently sexy good girl from a good family, and Jake Falco, the hometown bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, A Groom For Christmas is a pretty light read, cute and romantic with just a sprinkling of angst to spice things up a bit.

Graceann is a happily independent, successful jewelry designer in New York and she’s tired of her family (mostly her mother) always trying to set her up with less-than-desirable men whenever she comes home to visit. This holiday she has a plan: introduce her family to a fake fiancé to get them off her back (I didn’t say it was a good plan).

Enter Jake, A.K.A “The Falcon”. He left Spirit Lake right after graduation 14 years ago, but now he’s back for his own mysterious reasons. When Graceann asks for Jake’s help in her little charade, he jumps at the chance figuring he can kill two birds with one stone: get to know Graceann better and see first hand how the other half of Spirit Lake lives.

The attraction between the two is immediate and obvious from the start. It’s not long before the romantic pull of the holiday season works its magic and physical attraction starts to bleed into emotional attachment. The two could be great together, if they can work past their perspective hang-ups (Jake thinks Graceann is too good for him and Graceann can’t see past Jake’s bad boy facade, figuring he just wants to play a game of love’em-and-leave’em with her). And that’s before the secrets that brought Jake back to Spirit Lake ever see the light of day – setting off a whole new set of problems between the perspective couple.

I felt like Jake’s big “secret” was given way more weight then it should have, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal to me, but either way it gets resolved pretty quickly for a sweet happy ending. The two main characters vacillate between wanting to be in a real relationship with each other to just accepting that what they have together is a temporary fling in the midst of a favor (the fake engagement – which even from the beginning doesn’t feel fake to either of them, not really). It actually made me a bit dizzy, so I was kind of happy when Jake’s secret came out, because it made them make a concrete decision if they were doing this thing for keeps or not. Which of course they were, all Hallmark Christmas movies have a happy ending (not like some of those Lifetime Christmas movies which should come with a warning label!)

Overall, I liked A Groom For Christmas. It was a fast read with a great romance and a good way to spend an afternoon. If you like Christmas romances, and especially if you love Hallmark Christmas movies like I do, I recommend giving this one a read.

Hallmark Christmas movies are a holiday staple in my house. Another holiday staple of mine is Starbucks Christmas Blend – a smooth, dark, bold coffee with just the right blend of holiday spice. Christmas romance and Starbucks Christmas Blend – a great combination of two holiday must haves!

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