Turns out it's too good to be true. Seems Hannah has plans that don't include staying in Melbourne. Joe won't stand between her and her dreams, even though letting her go is nearly impossible. The holidays are looking grim, with him and his kids missing Hannah like crazy. But it is the season of surprises, and Hannah may have one for them!
Joe Lawson and his kids move into a new home in Melbourne. He’s moved his family from Sydney so that he could be closer to his mother so that she can help him with the kids. It’s been 2 years since his wife died and he’s still trying to figure things out. The first night in his new home he has an altercation with his next door neighbor, Hannah Napier. She’s working on her motorcycle’s muffler and apparently making way too much noise. When Joe confronts her, as mad as he is, he can’t help being attracted to the beauty that is Hannah.
Despite an incredibly rough beginning Hannah and Joe start to become friends. His 10 year old daughter, Ruby, has become Hannah’s garage assistant every day after work is done and Joe can’t help but admire the way Hannah handles the girl. Hannah also has a hand in “helping” Joe’s son and this brings them a bit closer together.
Things start to heat up between Hannah and Joe but they realize that things aren’t going anywhere. Hannah’s figured out that Joe might not be completely healed from his wife’s death and Joe knows that Hannah is leaving on a motorcycle trip around Australia that will have her gone for months. However, even though they both know that it just wouldn’t work they can’t help but have feelings for the other person. The sexual tension is wonderful in this story and I love that.
I don’t want to delve too much into the details of this book because there are many twists and turns in it that are unexpected – I don’t want to give anything away. I do want to say though that the book is definitely worth reading.
When I first started the book and saw Hannah and Joe arguing I wasn’t sure how things were going to work out and I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue reading. Joe just seemed like such a meany but I kept going; I’m so glad I did. The dialogue, banter, love and friendship that is in the book makes it one of my favorite category reads this year.
Hannah and Joe were just so good together – not only in a romantic relationship, but as friends as well. Hannah was hurting from a previous relationship gone very, very bad but Joe made her see what a worthy person she was. She was able to come to terms with what had happened in the past and move on. For Joe’s part he was able to deal with his attraction for Hannah and the feelings of guilt it brought while thinking of his deceased wife. I also very much enjoyed watching both Joe and Hannah deal with Joe’s children. I can’t imagine it would be easy to step into a relationship with a widower and have to deal with his kids thinking you’re trying to take their mom’s place.
Near the end of the book there was a tragic issue with Hannah. Although I didn’t particularly care for the way that Hannah dealt with it, I believed it was definitely in character for her. (FYI – this part of the book made me cry so just be prepared.)
Just a fun yet emotionally charged holiday read and one I’d definitely recommend.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
This is my last YOTC review for the year. I have probably read more category romances this year than ever before. If Kmont were to run this challenge again I don't know that I'd join, but I'll probably keep up the category reading just for fun. :) Thanks, Kmont, for a great year!