Thanks to a transatlantic house swap, California girl Ashley Turner is finally going to fulfill her lifelong dream of a proper English Christmas. Her holiday plans did not include a sexy stranger climbing into her borrowed bed in the middle of the night. But in the light of day, Ashley can't help but wonder if Santa has delivered early…
Game designer Oliver Stansfeld can't wait to leave dreary London—and all its difficult holiday memories—for sunny San Diego. But a freak ice storm and a grounded plane have forced him back to his already-occupied flat. To make up for the mix-up, the least he can do is show his pretty houseguest where to get the perfect Christmas tree before he leaves.
The more time they spend together, the more their attraction grows, and soon Ashley is tempting Oliver to give in to the spirit of the season and snuggle up for the rest of the winter. As the ice melts and flights start taking off again, he must choose between giving in to the past or risking his heart on a chance at love.
And here is Phyllis' review:
Since I read this in April and wasn’t feeling very Christmassy at the time, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. But I am a total sucker for a good Xmas novella and this is one of those.
The heroine was a bit too sweet and good, but she had fire and a huge streak of loyalty. She started out naive and over-enthusiastic, but it's soon revealed that there are reasons that this is a trip of a lifetime. The hero started out seeming like a jerk, though he keeps sighing and helping our heroine out anyway, all while wishing he could be in San Diego. He has experience with sacrificing himself, as SPOILER (highlight text to read) he took care of his disabled sister for years, only partly because he felt guilty for the accident that caused her disability.
I liked that they were instantly attracted and even started sleeping together quickly, but that they didn't make a permanent decision in the few days they spent together. They even kept flying back and forth to see each other for a while.
My husband and I lived in London for a few years right when we were having babies, so I was nostalgic for London all the way through. Our neighborhood was rather poor, so we didn't exactly have the Christmas Carol spirit on the ground, but the feel was right. And the panto! Rock on!
The accents and word choice mostly rang true for the US vs. UK language. This is big for me.
The amount of ice and snow was improbable for London; though it's spot on that when they have more than three flakes the whole city shuts down.
A couple quibbles that tossed me out of the story: I’m pretty sure the heroine would have to be locked in a cage to not find Indian and Vietnamese food in San Diego; someone who has spent time there could correct me. And how the heck did they plug in her Christmas lights? There’s no mention of the converter plug she would need. Maybe it was the magic of the season.
Definitely A material, only a minus for those minor quibbles.