by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2.5
Published by Avon Impulse on November 8, 2016
Format: ARC, Ebook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
Add to Goodreads
I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss.
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Heartbreaker Bay with a fun and festive holiday novella!
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.
Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history…and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.
They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past…and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.
One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis is book #2.5 in the Heartbreaker Bay series. Although part of the series, it’s a novella that can be read as a standalone. It’s a short and sweet story about second chances.
Rory Andrews has been living in San Francisco and hasn’t seen her family in years. She hasn’t had the best relationship with them, but wants to change that. She plans on coming home to Lake Tahoe for the holidays. However, Rory’s ride home is none other than Max Stranton–someone Rory has a complicated history with.
Rory and Max went to high school together, but hardly ran in the same crowd. He was a jock and she was an unpopular outcast. Rory always had a major crush on Max, but in secret. After a high school scandal that occurred before graduation, Rory took off and left for the city.
In the present, Rory and Max work in the same building, which is how they’ve entered each other’s lives again. Rory works at the South Bark Mutt Shop and is also a student, while Max works for a security firm. Before the story begins, there’s a pre-existing sexual tension between them that only intensifies during the road trip back to Tahoe.
That trip is derailed when a snowstorm forces them to take shelter for the night. On this snowy night, Rory and Max confront the secrets from the past that ultimately drew them apart. Now together, they acknowledge their mutual attraction and the chemistry they can no longer deny.
There’s a lot packed into this short story. In particular, Rory has many unresolved issues with her family that she needs to confront, chief of which is her absence for so many years. There’s also some mystery revolving around a falling out, of sorts, between Rory and Max.
This story reminded me a lot of Shalvis’s Animal Magnetism series, mainly because of Max’s lovable dog, Carl. Carl is a dopey, sweet dog who’s very much a supporting character and brings lots of comic relief to an otherwise heavy story.
I liked both main characters, especially once the central conflict is resolved and the romance moves into the forefront. Since this is a novella, there’s quite a bit packed into an abbreviated space, but there’s also a lot of emotion present here.
Overall, I enjoyed One Snowy Night and recommend it if you’re looking for a short but sweet holiday read that isn’t afraid to delve into deep emotional territory.
Rating: 3.5 stars