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Saturday, December 31, 2011

HOLLY LANE by Toni Blake

Destiny Series
Toni Blake
ISBN 978-0062024602
November 2011
Contemporary Romance

This book falls in place after the first three, and is set around Christmas time. Destiny Falls, Ohio, is your typical small town, where everyone knows everyone and their business. Sue Ann Simpkins has grown up here, fell in love here and had the perfect marriage. However, all that changed when her husband left her for another woman. Still reeling from the aftershock, she's desperate to regroup, so she heads out to a secluded cabin on nearby Bear Lake. That's when she is surprised by her husband's best friend, Adam Becker, who also shows up at the same cabin after a small mix-up at the front desk. Then a snow storm keeps them bound up together in the cabin. She wasn't looking for a relationship, so after things get a little heated and a lot passionate with sexy Adam, she tells him so.

Adam also tries his best to get Sue Ann out of his head, but running into her all over town doesn't help. And then his best friend puts him in an awkward position with Sue Ann. However, the insane, wild attraction they have for one another has them both trying to avoid crossing paths. As Adam falls in love with Sue Ann, she keeps him at arms length, but at a price - she's miserable. How can she trust anyone again after such a betrayal by her high school sweetheart turned husband? Adam isn't like Jeff, she knows, but it doesn't stop her from keeping him at arm's length as insecurities keep her emotionally detached. But this Christmas, the gift of a second chance at love may be just the kind of present both of them need.

Most Christmas "themed" books have little to do with Christmas, or have one scene, but HOLLY LANE starts the day after Thanksgiving and goes straight through to Christmas, with all the shopping, holiday cheer, Christmas traditions that most towns go through. Combine that with an emotional roller coaster for the heroine, and the angst of thwarted love for the hero, and you have yourself a great holiday read. Adam is super sexy, and reading about him in the first books has built him up a little for his own story. Sue Ann is the one who had "everything" and the one women envied, so it was good to see all the stages she had to go through to get to her happy ending. Sexually charged love scenes, in great Toni Blake style, combined with the hope for new beginnings with old friends will enchant readers and makes a great addition to the Destiny Series.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones

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