Girl Under The Christmas Tree: A Steamy Holiday Romance Novella

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3 Stars

Firstly this was fun. I mean fun fun. I laughed and was involved from beginning to end. Def right up my alley as far as short quick romances go. Unfortunately, there were a few things outside of the awesome that brought this down for me.

The characters well defined. Yuki was just too awesome to not love. And Declan. Tall, dark hard muscles and an Irish accent, where can I get me one of these. I was born ready for this. It was written well and the pacing was perfect for the length of the book.

The first instance of groan was when Yuki mentions something on the first date about being spurned before. The moment was light and fun and when you add to the fact this was supposed to be a spontaneous live for the moment thing, he is leaving after all as he lives in Dublin and she lives in Australia, why are we thinking about previous relationships and also acting like this one is actually going somewhere. Especially when she herself had already admitted it didn’t have much of a future and said she was turning over a new live for now leaf.

Then there was the whole song bit, sigh. The tension there didn’t really pay off and a fun night, leading to a steamy night of passion would’ve kept the heated tension up and drew the reader in with a nice medium-slow burn. Instead, it was just eye-roll-inducing because it didn’t last long enough to be felt and there are a million ways to set up a need to escape from a scene. This one didn’t work that well.

The sneaking into the hotel bit was all sorts of stupid-fun. I may have laughed more than I should’ve Def bonus points for that hot-mess of an entrance.

The steamy scenes were a big let-down. The foreplay was on, I mean really on. But instead of stopping there, it acts like there’s going to be more then… it’s over. All build-up, no payoff. Honestly, if they are going to get that naked and ‘entering’ happens, glossing over the extras is odd. Like they literally, both times start doing the do for less than a paragraph after all the, rather excellent in my opinion, lead up. It would’ve held more umph if they just almost started after the foreplay and the author cleverly skipped over the hardcore parts to the next morning or the afterglow. However, the hardcore stuff happens and finishes quite literally in under a paragraph so the heightened state of yes it’s happening deflates real quick. Again, it def would’ve been more fun to just go there or leave readers with the pretty awesome build up and keep it NR 17 if not rated R.

Also, just like the song moment, there’s a phone call from Declan’s ex that does zero for the plot. Like she’s leaving the firm and calls the owner, especially since they have the worst backstory ever, to tell him? That’s an HR thing. There’s no way, after what she did and after what Declan did to her in return she would even think for a second he’d care. Both of these tension bits, the song for Yuki, and the phone call for Declan seemed forced and, unfortunately, drummed up zero angst or tension. Not even a teeny bit. Both were forgotten/dropped by the author as quickly as they happened.

And, after expressing she will lose her job for fraternising with the guests, when Declan finds her dressed in his shirt he throws a tantrum and gets angry because she’s leaving. Instead of supporting the fact she could be fired, after the whole sneaking in bit the night before, and admiring just how sexy she looks in his shirt that is actually big enough to cover her outfit, Declan chooses to get mad instead of wishing her a successful escape? So he wants her to get fired apparently. No matter how many million ways I think about this I def, the moment she put on the shirt, was like ‘oh I see some steamy flirtatious let me envision her in my shirt forever and kiss her goodbye’ action before Yuki left. I was more than ready for some more heat. This almost ending made zero sense.

All of that to say this was good reading. Light quick romance HFN kinda fun. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a quick enjoyable read. Unfortunately for me the contradiction of being spontaneous and stepping out of the comfort zone while behaving as if looking for a real lifelong partnership seemed odd. Also, a few plot and author choices brought me out of an otherwise amazing read.

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