*I received a free copy of Holiday Wishes from Avon via Edelweiss. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #4.5
Published by Avon on 7 November 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
When Sean O’Riley shows up at the Hartford Bed & Breakfast for his older brother’s bachelor weekend, he’s just hoping to make it through the weekend. What he’s not expecting is to come face to face with the woman he lost his virginity to a decade ago—a woman he’s never really forgotten.
The last time Lotti Hartford saw Sean, she told him she loved him while he said nothing. Now, ten years later, she’s just looking for a good time. For once, she wants to be the wild and free one, and Sean – the good time guy – is the perfect candidate.
But as the weekend continues, Sean realizes that after a lifetime of being the hook-up king, he’s ready to find happily-ever-after, and he wants it with Lotti. But will she open her heart to him again? As Christmas sweeps through the little B&B, he can only hope love and magic are in the air.
Holiday Wishes was a sweet, tender novella in one of my favorite Shalvis series, and I loved to see this more mature side of Sean.
While Holiday Wishes is a quite short story, the feel of the Heartbreaker Bay gang is very much present. The group of friends and family are away for a weekend of bachelor and bachelorette party for Pru and Finn. All organized by Sean, to the amazement of everyone. He has planned everything down to the smallest detail. Apart from the fact that his very first girlfriend, the one he let get away, is the innkeeper.
The easy banter between the characters, as well as their strong ties always makes Heartbreaker Bay the place to be. The story was romantic on more than one level, too, as there was an impromptu wedding Sean had to arrange.
Sean was so responsible and mature in Holiday Wishes, and I loved seeing him like this. He also showed more of his emotional side, which made me like him much more than usual.
Lotti was all alone, just waiting for her last guests to leave so she could go on a much needed vacation. Only, when Sean showed up as one of the guests, she got a huge blast from the past.
The other Heartbreaker Bay characters were present in Holiday Wishes, too, but they were on the sidelines for what became a beautiful second chance at love story.
Writing style :
Holiday Wishes is written in third person point of view, past tense. The story follows both Sean and Lotti closely, and I got to know them both on an intimate level. The pace is rather slow, and this worked well for the kind of story it was.
I have such a huge love for second chance at love stories, so my feels were fully invested from the start. I felt the hope as soon as Sean did, and I also felt Lotti’s hesitation. And I also felt their off-the-charts attraction and chemistry, as well as all the unresolved feelings they both had for each other.
After that, he’d turned to fighting, and not the good kind either. Finn, physically older by seven years, mentally older by about a hundred, had single-handedly saved Sean from just about every situation he’d ever landed himself in.
“Hold on.” Pru gave him a long look. “if you’re trying to say you don’t want to do this after talking me into it, then let me be clear and say that I will run you through with my umbrella while you sleep.” Finn blinked. “That was oddly specific and violent.”
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: