Release Date: Nov 7, 2017
Heat Level: Sensual/Hot
Publisher: Jaci Burton Inc.
I’ll be honest with you, I have mixed feelings about the trope of a widowed hero or heroine becoming romantically involved with the deceased spouse’s sibling. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. Jaci Burton’s Love Me by Christmas is one of the ones that worked.
Ellie Washington lost her husband five years ago around Christmas. She was pregnant with his baby at the time and had no one—except for her husband’s family, namely his brother Nick. So she moved into Nick’s house, gave birth to her son, Henry, and finds herself living with Nick five years later.
Nick was devastated by the death of his brother and needed Henry and Ellie just as much as they needed him to help deal with his grief. But as the years pass, he finds himself wanting to be more than her brother-in-law and Henry’s uncle. More than the friends they’ve become. He wants her, period. In his arms, in his bed because she’s already in his heart.
Love Me by Christmas is a great Christmas novella. It has the kind of Christmas feel to it that makes a reader all hot and toasty and thinking of making love in front of a roaring fireplace with a decorated, scented pine nearby. Well right up until the scene about the kick in the balls. No permanent damage is done, but what a way to start off the holiday season. However, it’s incidences like this that underscore Ellie’s growing attraction to Nick and deepens her guilt.
I get where she’s coming from. She believes her presence in his home is stopping him from moving on with his life and finding a nice woman, so she decides to play matchmaker. For me, this is where the fun began. Watching her fight her feelings for him and try to set him up with some of her friends, knowing all the time, the only person he wants is her. And I had to laugh at the way he handles the second woman.
Things eventually come to a head, heightening the sexual tension between them to delicious peak levels and then of course, there’s the fallout; the misgivings and the guilt. I love the way this was handled because the emotions were so completely understandable and led the way to a lovely HEA.