Surviving the holidays will take a Christmas miracle . . .
Ex-cop Cat O'Connor is bored working for her sister, Chloe, as a personal assistant on the set of her soap opera. Until Chloe gets an opportunity to audition for the role of a lifetime and asks her identical twin to substitute for her on the soap with no one the wiser. It's a perfect switch-until Cat attracts the attention of the mysterious Mr. Tall, Dark, and Way-too-handsome leading man.
Grayson Alexander never thought being snowbound in the charming town of Christmas, Colorado, for the holiday would get so hot. But between working with sexy, tough Cat on set and keeping his real reason for being there under wraps, he's definitely feeling the heat. And if there's one thing they'll learn as they bring out the mistletoe, it's that in this town, true love is always in season . . .
Mason's heartfelt fifth contemporary set in Christmas, Colo. (after Wedding Bells in Christmas) is a laugh-out-loud treat. Ex-cop Cat O'Connor's life is not going well. The FBI suspect that she was part of her ex-boyfriend's Ponzi scheme, and she's stuck being the personal assistant to her pampered soap-opera starlet sister. After Cat's sister dodges several on-set accidents that might be attempts to kill her, Grayson Alexander joins the cast. He and Cat are intensely attracted to each other but he's an FBI agent, she's his number-one suspect, and a romance would endanger them both. Readers will chortle over the Christmastime antics of the spoiled sister, overprotective mother, meddling grandmother, loyal friends, and jealous castmates.
Exciting Christmas Romance
This Christmas romance has a nice dash of suspense that really made it pop. It still has plenty of Christmas charm and some incredibly sweet scenes. Cat is an odd mix of tough and push-over. She's willing to do anything her bratty sister asks - and she asks a lot. Chloe is a total brat and I really disliked her. I almost understood why someone might want to get rid of her! But with Cat watching out for her, she doesn't need anything else.
But then Grayson arrives on the scene. He throws an even bigger wrench in the whole Cat and Chloe relationship. With Chloe convinced he's going to be her new boyfriend, Cat being the prime suspect in his case, and a general craziness of everyone around them, Cat and Grayson aren't sure they were ever meant to be.
There are a good number of laughs mixed in with the very well written suspenseful moments. The only draw back was at times it got just a little too silly and Chloe was just a little too - too much. I flat out didn't like her one bit. And the fact that Chloe didn't step up to her and tell her how it was, made me like Chloe just a bit less as well.
Overall, this has been one of the best Christmas romances so far this year - it just needed to be reigned in a tad.
*The book was received in exchange for an honest review*
I spent my time reading then listening to this title
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 3 Story: 4
I spent my time reading then listening to this title, curious to see just how the story would come together from written word to narrated performance. The first I have read in this series, I didn’t have any difficulty immersing myself in the world and plot, and often found myself laughing out loud at the character’s actions.
Cat left the police force to play assistant / bodyguard for her actress / twin sister Chloe. She’s bored to tears, although with Chloe’s flair for the dramatic, I wonder just how. But, Chloe is wanting to explore other options, even though her contract with the soap opera is iron clad. She’s not going to let that stop her: looking at Cat is just like looking in a mirror. Of course, Cat will step up and ‘play’ her for a few days while she heads off to audition for this plum role.
Grayson is on assignment with the FBI, and he’s undercover posing as an actor. A bit over-the-top for a backstory, but his keen insight and observations, particularly of Cat, are delicious. When threats to Chloe’s life start appearing in the form of notes and small accidents soon have Cat trying to discover who would harm Chloe and why, and keeping the whole mess a secret from her because, well, the term Drama Queen should contain Chloe’s likeness.
When the cast and crew move filming to the girls’ hometown of Christmas, Colorado, the whole plot jumps up a notch, and the moments of steam between Grayson and Cat fairly leap off the page. Not a quick dive into consummation, these two circle one another and we see the build of emotions and connection that is not to be dismissed. Among the many friends and family members of Christmas who fill out the secondary characters and add more depth to the story, the dynamics between Chloe and Cat often takes center stage. Chloe is insecure to the nth level, and everything is a production, not necessarily taking advantage of consciously, but her behavior and reliance on Cat to ALWAYS be there wears thin, she’s difficult to like for long periods of time. Comic relief is presented with Ty, Chloe’s stylist, who is hysterically funny and is never without a comment.
A slow build for a solid romance between Cat and Grayson gives a solidity to this story that is, in many ways, up for chance. Twists in the mystery lurk around every corner, and the reveal was a satisfying surprise. Sweet, homey and comfortable with enough action to not allow drifting off, this was a wonderful dip into the holiday season.
Narration for this story is provided by Becket Royce. This was a solid narrative performance, best when delivering longer passages with interior monologues or explaining action. While I would have preferred more distinction between character voices throughout, the care with which moments are given time to develop or action is pressed forward worked well and kept me engaged. What missed most for me was the emotional component in the narration, it just didn’t add the little nudge or poke that had me ‘feeling’ more than I was just hearing. A solid, if workmanlike performance that would have benefitted from a touch more of Chloe’s dramatic flair.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley and an AudioBook copy of the title via Hachette Audio, for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.