THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING SWAP
by Allyson Charles
GENRE: Small Town Contemporary Romance
SOMETIMES YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED . . .
Allison Stuart has always been the odd-woman-out of her family. She wears her jeans a little too tight, colors her hair a little too blonde, and instead of going into medicine and law like her sisters, she runs a diner. She’s also the only single sibling left. And while she won’t change her style, and her meatloaf is to die for, thank you very much, she wouldn’t mind her share of wedded bliss. So she makes an early New Year’s resolution: No more meaningless flings.
Drop-dead sexy Luke Hamilton is everything Allison has sworn off. His only serious relationship has been with his five-star restaurant, Le Cygne Noir, in Chicago. When he’s threatened by a lawsuit, Luke decides to hide out in Pineville, Michigan, until the statute of limitations runs out. The small town is filled with Christmas charm, but he can’t imagine living there. Heating things up with the hottie who owns the local diner would make his exile bearable—if he can convince her to give up her ridiculous resolution . . .
“This is a small-town diner. Your stock isn’t going to drop if you have a bit of fun with your newest employee.” His eyes raked her body, taking in every curve.
She swallowed and rose to her feet. Staying seated while he stared down at her looking like he wanted to…well, eat her up, wasn’t a strong authority position. Since this man now worked for her, he was off-limits. Her stomach quivered.
No. No, making him the forbidden fruit. He might be sexy, but he was also an arrogant know-it-all. At this stage in her life, she wanted someone she could settle down with, not tear up the sheets. She thrust her shoulders back, realizing too late it could look like she was shoving her D cups in his face. Fighting the heat crawling up her neck, she said, “If you want a tour, my advice would be to visit the tourist bureau. They have information on the sights to see. The holidays are a busy season for me, more so with Sadie’s wedding. I don’t have time for anything else. Got it?”
He nodded slowly, but Allison didn’t believe him. The tilt to his full lips was impish, as if she was a challenge he couldn’t wait to take on. The moment he spoke, she knew she was right. “I get it. You own a restaurant; you’re busy.” Sauntering to the door, he waited until he was just outside before hitting her with his parting shot.
“But a month is a long time. You won’t always be busy. And I’ll be waiting.”
This book. When I wasn’t giggling, I was swooning. Sadie and Luke were some of the funniest, endearing, likable and relatable characters that I have read in a long time. No, seriously. Relatable. Sadie is in her 30’s and dealing with the somewhat disapproval of her life choices by her family. I admit that her family isn’t all that likable at all. I didn’t hate them but for me I could have liked a little less from them. I married when I was 38 and never did I get any kind of disapproval. I waited for the right man and didn’t settle. Neither did Sadie. Of course, it took her the course of the book to FINALLY figure out that Luke is it for her.
Luke is just one of those heroes that you just instantly like. Forget the looks and money. The man can cook and isn’t afraid to admit it. Plus, I really don’t think to wait out for the lawsuit to go away was all that bad. True, he signed the documents but once you read the story, you will see that someone else is at fault and good Lord, that woman. Grrr… I liked how Luke finally took care of her but I really thought going through it, that it wouldn’t work out that way. But I digress. Yes, I’m one of those readers that people to do bad things to get their comeuppance.
I really liked how Sadie and Luke built a friendship first. Sure it was hell on them but in the end, it’s what made them the couple that you really wanted together. Luke had a bit of thinking to do when the bacon hit the frying pan. I know, I made a pun. A food pun. And with this couple, everything was backward. The dialogue between them made me giggle and then swoon. Luke is a romantic whether he wants to admit it or not. Sadie just wanted to finally settle down.
The diner scenes were hilarious. Between the cooking, Delilah and how Luke managed to charm two older ladies. It was like the hub of the town. Speaking of which, the two older ladies are a HOOT!!!
Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. I won’t mention the wedding stuff. You just need to read it to find out how that whole secondary plot is woven into the romance of Sadie and Luke. *major swoon* for both couples…
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Allyson Charles lives in Northern California. She’s the author of the “Pineville Romance” series, small-town, contemporary romances published by Lyrical Press. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Allyson’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it.
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