Stealing Kisses in the Snow
by Jo McNally
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Maybe “perfect” is over-rated…
Between juggling two kids, two jobs, and a fixer-upper house, single mom Piper Montgomery is so busy she can hardly see straight. But when rugged biker Logan Taggert strolls into the B&B where she’s working, she can’t help but stare. He has bad boy written all over him. She’s promised her kids a “perfect Christmas” this year, and bad boys aren’t part of the plan. But how can she resist?
Once his grandmother is back on her feet, Logan can leave her Victorian B&B get back on the road. It’s where he belongs after all, even if his grandmother’s matchmaking book club biddies try to convince him otherwise. But there’s something about beautiful, spitfire Piper that makes him wonder if kids and commitment might be just what he needs after all.
As Christmas draws ever closer, so do Piper and Logan. Could these two opposites find all they want this Christmas is each other?
The woman hesitated, glancing back at her daughter. Momma Bear had saved her cub. She swallowed a couple times, then gestured to the door with the mop. Her voice still shook, but the volume lowered.
“You need to go.”
“I’m sorry I startled you. I’ve had a long-ass…” He glanced at the kid and grimaced.
“It’s been a long trip, and I got caught in a rainstorm just south of here. I haven’t eaten since yesterday’s dinner…”
Her eyes softened a fraction, even as she held the mop out firmly. She nodded toward the door. “The Methodist church three blocks over has a food pantry, and the Catholic church does soup and bread every Wednesday for whoever stops in. Father Joe might be able to help you find a place to sleep. But you can’t stay here.”
Logan couldn’t stop his bark of laughter, even though it made her jump. She thought he was homeless? He couldn’t decide if he was offended or impressed. Clearly scared out of her wits, she was still kind enough to offer him a chance at hot food and a bed. Yeah, definitely impressed. It was no surprise she worked for his grandmother, who was also a tough-as-nails woman who cared about others far more than she ever let on. Her eyes started to narrow again, so he tried to clarify that he wasn’t some random vagrant.
“Actually, I can stay here.”
She lifted the cell phone. Not good. His words tumbled out. “I’m Logan Taggart. This is my grandmother’s place. I know I look like Sasquatch right now, but I’m honestly just here to help my grandmother.”
- Welcome Jo McNally! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks for inviting me! I write contemporary romance for Harlequin–HQN and Special Edition. My husband and I share the house with our 96 lb rescue dog, Tully. Or I should say she shares the house with us! Sometimes it feels like we’re only here to serve her needs and desires. We’re in the process of moving from North Carolina to Upstate New York, so our lives are pretty busy right now.
- Is STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW a single title, or part of a series?
Stealing Kisses in the Snow can be read as a stand-alone, but it is part of my Rendezvous Falls series.
- Please share your setting for (book title). Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Rendezvous Falls is a fictional town set in the Finger Lakes wine country of upstate New York. It’s a beautiful area of rolling hills and long glacial lakes. And lots of vineyards and wineries (New York is the third largest wine producing state in the US). I grew up near there and my brother and his wife live in the Finger Lakes now. We love to do winery tours, especially at the wineries where you can sit and sip your wine while overlooking one of the lakes and take in the changing colors of the seasons.
- When did the writing bug first bite?
My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Williamson, would put photos on the blackboard from magazine ads, and ask us to pick one and write a story about what was happening in the picture. It felt magical to look at an image and create a whole world around it, and I was hooked!
- Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
The answer to this question changes constantly, because I’m always reading. One of my favorite recent authors is Alyssa Cole–I adored A Princess in Theory. I love Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series, Mariah Stewart’s Chesapeake Diaries, and Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Good books. When I want a more intense read, I reach for Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter books–her paranormal books are can’t-put-downable!
- Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I haven’t done it as much lately as I would like, but I enjoy golfing with my husband. Himself is a die-hard golfer, but I’m more of a hobby golfer. But I enjoy the slower pace and the beautiful courses we’ve visited in the US and in Ireland.
- What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
I think it’s really important to remember that what works for one writer may not work for you, even if they’re a best-selling author or if they wrote multiple books on the subject. I was intimidated for years by all the craft books that told me I “needed” to write an outline so detailed I’d need a wall-sized whiteboard to contain it all. I mean, that’s fine if it works for you, but it terrified me. As soon as I gave myself permission to write my own way, I felt free. Do your homework, but pick and choose what works for you.
How did I love this book? Let me count the ways.
- Logan – I know that Ms. McNally was trying to make him a “bad boy” but he really is a good guy with a heart of gold. Yes, a big ole Marshmellow especially when it came to Piper’s kids. Oh, Lily…she broke my heart at one point in the book but her emotions and reaction were completely spot on. And the way that Logan handled the situation was also spot on. His relationship with Ethan was more complex but also spot on. Ms. McNally really incorporated Piper’s kids in the story and it was completely relatable and honest. Logan, himself, was a dream. Meeting Piper was the punch in the gut that he needed in his life and didn’t really know what to do after that. I enjoyed watching him embrace the inn for what it was and then realizing that he could have it all.
- Piper – the single mother that didn’t think she could love another man again. I really liked how McNally wrote her in the book. Fierce, smart and loving but also vulnerable and not sure of herself as a woman. I could understand her feelings of feeling rusty with a man and I love how Logan eased her into a relationship with no strings even if, feelings started getting in the way. She also finally had her say with her mother in law and I loved it. Good gosh that woman was a menace. Look I understand that her mother in law lost her only child but the way that she treated Piper was inexcusable in my book. Near the end when she finally apologized to everyone (separately), did I finally have some compassion for her.
- The romance itself – It was a very slow build that I enjoyed. Piper and Logan became friends first, after a shaky start, but I could tell that they felt an instant connection from the start. I know, neither one of them would admit it but I could see it. While this book some semi-closed smexy scenes in it, you could still feel the heat coming off these two. The attic scene is priceless. Just saying…Plus, the sneaking around the kids. Spot on again with those scenes.
- Piper’s Kids – Oh my. I swear Ethan could be any kid in any school with an attitude and Lily is just a cutie. She never knew her daddy so they way that bonded with Logan is precious. He knew that he was a goner with her. It took more time with Ethan but I could see the seed planted by the end of the book. Ethan and Lily had their own personalities and they are well written. Ms. McNally doesn’t write them as filler but as true characters that are invested in their mom’s relationship with Logan.
- The in-laws – While they are the “villains” in the book, I could at some point understand where Susan was coming from. Unfortunately, she did some things that were unforgivable in my book but it’s relatable. I have an ex-sister in law that behaves like her so I get it. And I don’t like it. Ultimately, she, Piper and Logan finally have it out and it is sad but also heartbreaking in the end.
I remember reading Ms. McNally during her Harlequin days. I loved her books then and I really loved this one. I can’t wait to read Liam and Bridgit’s story next. There is a book before this one but this one stands on its own. You will get an update in regards to that one but you don’t need to read it to fully enjoy Piper and Logan’s story.
If you are looking for a heartwarming, relatable holiday book, pick this one up. Ms. McNally delivers the goods and sets the tone for a “perfect” Christmas.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jo McNally lives in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she’s not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed…), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to great music. If the weather is absolutely perfect, she’ll occasionally join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.
STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW Buy Links
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Jo McNally will be awarding one print copy of SLOW DANCING AT SUNRISE by Jo McNally and 1 print copy of STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW by Jo McNally, shipping limited to North American (US and Canada) only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.