21942804Sometimes, you really, really want to like a book. A book called The Heart of Christmas seemed so up my alley for this time of year. The holiday season is when I go for the ‘candy’ – the sweet, emotional holiday romances, especially if there is some suspense/action mixed in. As such, I had high hopes for this book when I received it from Netgalley. Sigh.

OK, some of you are going to completely disagree with this review, and that is perfectly fine. I write my reviews based on my own feelings about a book, not what others think, and apparently a lot of people enjoy them as well, so that makes it more fun, right? Be that as it may, I don’t know if I was more disappointed or irritated by the main character in this book. Both? Probably. So, here goes. Eve wakes up the morning after her birthday to find a man in her bed. Thirty-five, to her, is the end of her life apparently, she will never do or be anyone now that she has hit the big 3-5 and her friends are married off and most expecting kids. So, the guy she falls into bed with, Brent, (or maybe it is another name, he seems to have several) is very upfront that it’s a one-night-stand. And that is what she wanted as well, right? I mean, living in a small town in the mountains you don’t go sleeping with every guy that comes through your B&B if you want to keep your reputation. But, they do the nasty and he intends for them to go their separate ways, everything was upfront from the get-go, and everything should be cool. Right? Right? Well, not so much.

Had she crossed the line? Was she acting like a stalker?

Uh. Duh. You immediately start hounding your ONS with personal questions, go through his things, try to break into his computer . . . the list goes on and on. I pretty much wanted to bean her over the head with a baseball bat. Needy, whiny stalker? Check. Of course, he is coming back around for the under the covers exercise, so that is most definitely HIS fault. He contributes by coming back for more, so it isn’t all on her. He has good reason for doing what he does as far as not telling her anything – and besides, it’s not meant to be long-term, and he is never anything but upfront about that. He is a very dangerous man, with very dangerous enemies, and he doesn’t hide that from her. Then there is the trite ‘maybe baby’ routine that just, well, hum… And after one night he gives her a crud-ton of money, just in case? Wow. Uh, hmm again….. You bop a woman, she shows up the next day saying she might be preggers and you just fork over the cash? Wow. Do that a few times a year and you never have to work at all. Just sayin’.

I suppose when it comes down to it, you may not find her as absolutely and unutterably irritating as I did. Realistically, if you strip out the needy stalker traits I could see myself giving this book a lot better review than I am giving it. The situation Rex (his real name) is in is heartbreaking, and I have a lot of sympathy for him and for his friends who are in the same leaky boat with him. There is suspense and action, and of course the two make that whole Christmas thing happen in the end, which is the whole point of a Christmas romance, right? Part of me can sort of feel for her. She is in this tiny town, surrounded by a tight group of friends who have all married one another, and she is the odd-bird-out. Be that as it may, read it for yourself. Love Eve or hate her, I wasn’t really able to get over not liking her personally, but the book itself is well written and the ‘not-the-personal-relationship’ portions were really good. Maybe you will understand her neediness a lot better than I do. I can be incredibly compassionate, but I also don’t have a lot of patience with women (or men!) who agree to one thing, then . . .

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.