Author: Julie N. Ford
Author's Website: JulieNFord.com
Genre: Romantic Suspense
About the book:
As Brian McAlister struggles to move past being jilted not once, but twice by the only woman he's ever loved, he's all but given up on relationships. Then, on special assignment for the DA's office, he crosses paths with ex-socialite turned social worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter-and romance blossoms. Widowed, practically penniless, and reduced to shopping at WalMart, Holly is dreading the approaching Holiday Season. However, her angst isn't due to her husband's untimely death the previous December 25th, but because of a secret that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid the coming Christmas. Love at first sight quickly turns frigid for Brian and Holly when Holly gets pulled into a manhunt for an accused murderer who now has his sights set on her. His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice. A heart-warming story of suspense, healing, giving and receiving, No Holly for Christmas is the perfect addition to everyone's holiday reading list.
No Holly for Christmas is not your traditional feel good Christmas story, but it's definitely an engaging read. In my opinion, characterization is the strongest element of the story. The two main characters each had unique personality quirks that made them authentic and appealing. I enjoyed seeing their growth throughout the book. The supporting characters were also well-portrayed and a valuable addition. The romantic elements were well-developed, including obstacles to be overcome, and some heart-racing sexual tension between the characters.
I thought the pacing of the story could have been somewhat improved. I was over 100 pages into the story before I felt like I couldn't put it down and wanted to read more. But, overall, I would definitely recommend the book, and look forward to reading more by Julie N. Ford.