by Opal Carew
Published by Swerve on October 25, 2016
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Erotic
Format: ARC, Ebook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
Baby it’s cold outside…but things are about to heat up.
I missed the last bus to my sister’s for Christmas, and now I'm stranded in a bus station—in the middle of a blizzard—with a giant package covered in naughty wrapping paper.
Then he shows up: Kalen Welles, the football star from my high school fantasies—and offers me a ride.
Just when the car is getting cozy, the roads get shut down due to snow.
Luckily there’s a nearby cabin where we can hole up for the night.
A warm fireplace, cozy blankets, pent-up longing we both spent years ignoring… maybe I’ll be able to unwrap Kalen's big package before Christmas morning.
But when the snow clears and the ice melts, will the former football star and the shy nerd finally get a happy ending?
Opal Carew’s books are so over-the-top and that’s what I love about them. When I saw that she had a Christmas book coming out, I was super excited. Big Package is extremely steamy and smutty, but somehow manages to be sweet and emotional, too. I really enjoyed this book.
It’s almost Christmas and Holly is stranded at the bus station on the way to visit her sister and brother-in-law. Holly’s jerk of an ex, Jim, dropped her off in the snow, basically stranding her. He ensured that she wouldn’t be able to bring her luggage on the bus along with a mysterious “big package” that he’s given her.
Kalen has just dropped off his sister at the station when he sees Holly sitting alone with an enormous box, wrapped in naughty elf wrapping paper. When Kalen approaches Holly to offer a ride, he doesn’t recognize her at first. Holly recognizes him and reminds him that they went to high school together, but she doesn’t expect him to remember. After all, he was a popular football player and she was a shy, artistic loner (who just happened to have an enormous but secret crush on him). Surprisingly to Holly, Kalen does remember her.
Now, Kalen is a cyber security expert in Ottawa and Holly is working for a florist in River Rapids. It’s not her dream job, but old memories keep her in the area. Holly’s parents died several years ago and Holly lives in the family house. She has many memories tied up in that place and isn’t ready to move on yet.
There’s a melancholy to Holly that informs how she views the world. It also affects her relationships. With her ex, she craved quality time. However, he was too selfish to give her that. He called her a controlling bitch and made her feel guilty. On top of everything else, Holly was overweight in high school, so her self-esteem with regard to her appearance isn’t the greatest.
As Kalen and Holly attempt to get on the road, they’re caught in the bad snowstorm and the roads get closed. Luckily, Holly’s sister and husband own a cabin nearby that’s currently vacant, so Kalen and Holly head there to hunker down for the night and wait out the storm.
All I can say is, merry Christmas to Holly because this book isn’t called Big Package for nothing! And I thought Opal Carew outdid herself with her book Meat. Nope, this one takes the cake for sure.
As you can expect, sparks fly as Holly and Kalen end up stranded in the snowstorm, alone together in the cabin. While their physical relationship happens fast–and escalates extremely quickly with some mild kink–I was okay with it since they knew each other previously. Also, Kalen makes an effort to get to know who Holly is in a way that her ex never bothered to do. Kalen is caring and considerate, which is just what Holly needs.
I don’t want to spoil this part, but suffice it to say that the big package from Holly’s ex ends up coming in very handy later on in the story.
One of the things I loved the most about this book is how Kalen helps heal Holly’s heart. He sees the lingering sadness in her and wants to do whatever he can to make her happy. He sees her as the beautiful person she truly is and wants to help her see it, too.
As I mentioned, the relationship progresses quite quickly, but overall the book made me smile so often that I didn’t mind too much. When the book isn’t super crazy hot, it’s so darn sweet. Steamy, smutty, swoony, and sweet? Yep, this book manages to be all of the above. I just loved it and look forward to more from Opal Carew.
Rating: 4.5 stars