By: Robyn Neeley
Releasing December 8th, 2014
Going home for Christmas this winter just might turn Drew Cannon into a real Grinch. When his college sweetheart, Lauren Kincaid, broke off their engagement a year ago, Drew retreated to Tokyo to run the Asia-Pacific division of the family’s toy company and lick his wounds. If that weren’t enough, his attempt at a high-profile holiday doll for the company was a bust. Now he’s headed back to New York City to spend the holidays with his lovestruck dad, his pissed-off twin brother, and the ex who broke his heart.
Lauren isn’t exactly keen to spend Christmas with her former flame, either. But as JDL Toys’s marketing director, she’s forced to deal with their doll problem, holiday or not. Things take a turn for the worse when she and Drew are tasked with planning surprise nuptials for his brother.
With all their focus on happily ever after, Lauren and Drew soon discover things might not be so settled between them after all. Can a holiday wedding offer them a second chance at forever?
Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can't live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a cookie she didn't like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know. Visit her at www.robynneeley.com.
Drew leaned back in the steamy Jacuzzi, letting the hot water jets do their magic. There was something to be said about relaxing in a hot tub in the brisk outdoors.
He breathed in the fresh mountain air. Today had started out a little weird, but touching Lauren’s sugary lips, even if it was only with one finger, had been a highlight. If the bakeshop owner hadn’t appeared, would they have kissed? He was all but sure of it. If only the whole day had been about flirting with Lauren. But no, his brother had turned them into elves. Why had Luke sent them to Santa’s Workshop to make toys?
Didn’t he want them to plan his wedding? Losing three hours this morning to paint train sets didn’t seem like the best way to hit the ground running.
Today should have been devoted to the task at hand as they would spend the weekend pushing the Happily Ever After dolls at the festival.
Drew had beelined it to his laptop when they got back to the cabin. Only two more boy dolls were registered for the site to meet their matches. Two. Freakin’. Dolls.
His head dropped to the left in frustration and his gaze lifted up to Lauren’s bedroom window. She had disappeared when they returned, saying she needed to get the rest of the frosting out of her hair. That was a couple of hours ago.
Selecting the cakes—and then wearing them—had been the best part of this day. She had been absolutely right about their not choosing their own wedding cake. He let out a heavy sigh. Maybe if they had been more involved in all the different pieces of planning their wedding, things would be different. He should have given into his feelings and pressed his mouth to her frosted lips. But what if she’d pushed him away? Would he then have his answer to the question he didn’t have the balls to ask? Did she no longer love him?
He sank down into the tub, letting the hot water massage his shoulders. Then there was Olivia. She’d sent three text messages earlier saying how much she missed him before going radio silent this evening. He wasn’t quite sure when he’d do it, but they wouldn’t be a couple for much longer. It was not only the right thing to do; it was the honest thing to do.
“Hey, is there room in there for another?”
His head flew up and his heart raced as he watched Lauren glide over in a white cotton bathrobe. She held her iPad in one hand and large ruby red towel in the other. “Depends.”
“Oh, really.” She lifted an eyebrow. “On what?”
He pointed to the iPad. “As long as you promise we’re not Skyping with Miles.” He drew an imaginary circle around the hot tub. “This is an annoying wedding-planner-free zone.”
She giggled. “I can’t make any promises, but I’m pretty sure he has no desire to see us exposing so much skin.”
His groin tightened as he waited for her robe to hit the ground. Was Lauren wearing his favorite lavender bikini? Three seconds later he had his answer as she removed her robe and slid into the Jacuzzi. Hello, string bikini. I’ve missed you.
Magical. This is the first word that would come to mind if I had to pick one word to describe this book. The second one would be Romantic. And the third one, well, Christmassy.
I LOVED this book! Truly enjoyed every single page and it did get me in the right mood for Christmas. It made me laugh, swoon and in some parts I even got a little emotional. I’m a sucker for Christmas stories—I’m sort of a Christmas-holic—and this is definitely THE Christmas romance I’ll read every year.
It is the perfect read on a cold, snowy afternoon, sitting in a mountain cottage by a crackling fire, with a warm blanket pulled up to your chin and maybe even a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Unfortunately, I had nothing of the above, apart from maybe the blanket pulled up to my chin, but I still felt as if I did. The book pulls you into the Christmassy atmosphere of the lovely Vermont setting, and even though there was no snow or crackling fire while I was reading it, I was right there in Snow Frost Mountain.
I was warned that Holiday Wedding works well as a standalone, but since there was a previous book that I’d already purchased as part of the Modern Love boxed set, I decided to read that one first (check out my review here). I’ll admit that in Destination Wedding I didn’t think much of Drew. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t exactly his story, although planning his wedding is the reason why Kate and his twin brother Luke meet. I was really curious to read his story and get to know him better, though.
This book proved me wrong and completely changed my opinion, making me like Drew and Lauren's story even more than I liked Kate and Luke's.
In the previous book, Drew and Lauren were just about to tie the knot but Lauren realized Drew wasn’t ready and his attitude wasn’t only due to prenuptial cold feet. So at the end of the book they broke up and go their separate ways.
The book starts a year later, with Drew getting ready to go home to New York after living in Tokyo, managing the Asia-Pacific division of his family’s toy company. Besides being a bit of a Christmas Grinch, because of what happened to his mother when he and Luke were children—something he still blames himself for—he’s not looking forward to going home, as he knows he’ll have to face his twin brother’s wrath for the disaster caused by Drew when he came up with the idea of a new toy, the Happily Ever After dolls (which, I thought, was a fantastic idea and very romantic too!).
Lauren is now working as the marketing director at Luke and Drew’s company, and she knows she’ll have to act professionally when Drew comes back—the only problem being she hasn’t been able to get over him, especially not with his identical twin brother walking in and out of her office every day. She hopes that, after being apart for over a year, Drew will come back and say he still loves her but when he walks in followed by his new girlfriend, who had once upon a time been Luke’s girlfriend too, she is completely devastated. Who could blame her, poor girl?
That’s when fate, helped by Luke, steps in and takes matters in its own hands. Luke’s supposed to be getting married on Christmas and since he doesn’t want his fiancée to stress out organizing it all, he sends Lauren and Drew to Vermont, so that they can plan his wedding down to the very last detail and he can surprise is bride the day before the wedding. While they’re in Snow Frost Mountain, they will also have to work on a new business strategy to sell the dolls and fix the terrible mess Drew created.
This is the point when the story becomes magical, because Snow Frost Mountain isn’t your ordinary Vermont town. Christmas is everywhere Drew and Lauren look, and as they work on the tasks Luke assigned them, from cake tasting to wedding night lingerie shopping, they start to realize that maybe they are just meant to be together.
I absolutely adored Snow Frost Mountain. It is what makes the story so magical and romantic, because Christmas and love really are in the air there.
I loved Drew. Truly, deeply loved him. Like I said, I didn’t really like him in the previous book but as I got the chance to get to know him, I got attached to him. There was an awful lot of character development in this book: the Drew in the last chapter is light years away from the Drew in the previous book and I really liked how he changed and showed his true feelings. He was funny, at times a little stubborn and others a little cocky, but all in all he was a sweetie.
I liked Lauren a lot, so much more than in the previous book. I felt for her, especially when she had to do all the bride things even though she knew she’d never be the bride, not to the love of her life anyway. She was strong, even when she was just about to break, and her faith in Drew was adorable.
I loved that in the last year Drew has been away she has become Myles best friend; he was a super funny character in the previous book, and I was glad he played a part in this book, too.
I didn’t particularly like Olivia, either in the previous book or in this one, but toward the end I sort of felt a little sorry for her.
There are lots of funny moments, as well as beautiful, romantic ones, and there isn’t one single dull scene throughout the whole book. There is obviously strong chemistry between the two, since they had been together for nine years before they broke up, but the intense pull and attraction is never explicit. I love clean romance that can make you feel the heat and attraction between the two characters without being descriptive or using colorful language, and this book is exactly that. There is no need for steamy bedroom scenes to grab the reader’s attention and interest in Drew and Lauren’s story; you’ll just fall for them, and for the cozy Christmas atmosphere a few pages into the book.
This is my third novel by Robyn Neeley, and I will buy every book she writes because I know she’ll never disappoint my expectations. Her books are sweet, romantic and magical too—just the perfect mix to create a story that will help you escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and make you smile and dream for a few hours.
This is a must read for lovers of Christmas stories and clean romance at its best.