Jada and Marsh are an absolutely gorgeous couple. One that I look forward to reading more about in their full-length novel, Loaded. They have such a wonderfully comfortable way of being together. The glances and non-verbal communication that great indication of a healthy, understanding relationship. It’s made me want to dive right back into the Gilded Love series and get to this story…
I love that although Jada and Marsh have a clearly happy and healthy relationship, there are still a lot of secrets between them. Throughout this short story, there is a slow unveiling of these secrets. Mostly on the behalf of Marsh, and the way that they deal with this conflict works well. Particularly how Jada puts up with all of the nonsense that is thrown her way during the course of meeting Marsh’s family.
All family is kind of batty and insane, but Marsh’s definitely takes the cake. Every moment in this story unveils a moment of just pure insanity. I spent most of the time reading this shaking my head in bemused horror. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to walk unprepared into such a ridiculous situation.
Ultimately, I loved this whole story, particularly the ending. Especially the way in which there was poetic justice and a whole lot of happy comeuppance to the painful characters throughout this story. It had that nice feeling of poetic justice at the end and a happily ever after journey into the sunset.
I’m not normally a fan of romances that don’t contain their happily ever after in the one book. I mean, I read them as a sense of escapism so the whole happily ever after bit is kind of important to that. However, there is something about Snapdragon that made me appreciate the time and place for such a split narrative. That, and I didn’t actually realise until about halfway through that Michael and Darby’s relationship is told in two books.
I love how this story starts with Darby being frustrated with the assumptions her old friends were making. Not every woman wants children, a family, and a husband. But, as Darby does recognise throughout, everyone wants companionship (but that’s another story). It’s fantastic how as this story unfolds, it’s emphasised that Darby’s choices still focus on work. She is incredibly and admirably driven; at moments I was actually so deeply hooked into this story because I wanted to know what happened next in her professional life.
Michael is a very yummy male lead. The sex scenes are just a little (alright a lot) bit toe curling. But I get the feeling that there is so much more to him than hasten revealed. I can’t wait to find out more in Chrysalis. After all, so many things about Michael’s personality and life are only revealed to Darby right towards the end. But it definitely feels like he is enough to go up against the Big Bad that is Darby’s father in the next part of their story.
Honestly, this romance kind of has it all. It has the steaminess of a really good, late night read. Then there’s two great characters, one of which is a woman who is phenomenally career driven in a field that is not only fascinating, but so damn important. Finally, there’s all sorts of mysteries thrown up. Not just by Michael’s inability to share with Darby, but her past with her father. And now there’s all so much political, romantic and social potential ready to unfurl in Chrysalis.
This was one of the best holiday collections that I’ve read in a while. It included a whole lot of humour and romance, shenanigans, and high jinks. What I loved most about it though is that it really helped to capture the whole holiday feeling. The way that the holiday season is always chaotic and goes a little bit awry. But there’s always a silver lining if you look hard enough.
I only knew one author in this collection when I added it to my ereader – Kilby Blades. Now I have an absolutely stacked TBR in my ereader from all of the fantastic new authors I got to discover throughout this collection. I always love a good collection of stories that starts with an author that I know and love, and then just… expands my horizons. I don’t think I’ll ever get through all of the lovely books on my shelves. But there is so much wonderous potential…
Every story in this collection is chaotic and kind of humorous, poking fun at the challenges of the holiday season. But they all have very different themes. Everyone does highlight that the worst of the holiday season comes from the chaos of family. For some the love also comes from there, for others, it comes from elsewhere… the range within this collection is brilliant and made me love it just that much more.
This was a fantastic collection of short stories set around the chaos of family in the holiday season. Definitely a collection I’ll read again and again at that time of year. If only to remind myself that maybe my own family isn’t so bad after all…
I loved that this is a contemporary romance that deals, realistically, with inequality issues. I mean, at the centre it’s just another beautiful and heart-warming romance. But the other aspects of the plot that deal so directly with an issue that many people face? That was glorious. And, it’s not just dealing with a woman working in STEM (I actually wanted to work in the exact same area and eventually just gave up). But it is also about being a POC and how this can further become a restriction on what is available to a person.
I’ve got to admit, that I think Forrest’s quiet and steady pursual of Sierra is kind of adorable. I’m not normally a fan of that whole, steadily and quietly pursuing somebody. It can give off too strong a stalker vibes at times. But, it didn’t in this. Instead, Forrest’s court (even when Sierra was unaware of it) is very respectful and sweet. He takes the time to learn more about her and create a relationship that can be used as the basis of something more. Rather than just making a decision about their potential future.
On that note, I actually really loved the relationship building in this story. Sierra and Forrest slowly build up their knowledge of one another. It starts out antagonist, becomes closer and closer, and then eventually makes its way to something more serious. I love tales which build a relationship around truly getting to one another. I mean, I also love when there is all of that sexual sizzle, but sometimes it’s just nice when a couple takes that damn time to build something.
Alongside the discussions of inequality and the romance, there is also the secondary story line which is a bit of a whodunnit. I spent the whole time trying to figure out just how the fires were getting lit. What the motive was. Who had actually done it. And why there seemed to be a bit of a dodgy cover up throughout. Of course, it was all tied up quite nicely, and I definitely loved the comeuppance at the end when everything was revealed.