Friday, December 27, 2013

Holy Night: An Aloha Reef Christmas Novella by Colleen Coble

November 2013, 93 pages. My Rating: ****--4 stars.

Blurb: One sinister phone call has derailed their wedding. Will they let it tear them apart forever? A Christmas wedding on the beach—what could be more perfect? Poinsettias and fragrant pikake blossoms, soft sand and mistletoe, the gentle sound of the surf and the wedding march played on a ukulele. This wedding has been a long time coming, with Bane's trust issues and Leia's worries about her childlike sister, Eva. Now they can hardly wait for the day to arrive. Thrilled to be a bridesmaid, Eva keeps trying on her ruffled dress. The tent is reserved, the caterers paid. Everything is going as planned—until Leia's phone rings and her world skids out of control. A muffled voice informs Leia that Eva's been kidnapped and will be killed unless Leia calls off the wedding without explanation—and no police! If she disobeys instructions and tells Bane, she'll risk her beloved sister's life. But how can she ever handle this without his help? And how can he ever trust her if she lies to him now? Irresistible romance meets thrilling suspense in this holiday update to USA Today best-selling author COLLEEN COBLE’s best-selling Aloha Reef series. 

My Review: I've read the first book in the Aloha Reef series and really enjoyed it. I loved seeing the characters reunite for a wedding and thought that it could stand alone as well. I really need to get busy and read the others in the series. I love the setting and the fun characters.

Leia seems like such a good sister and although she had doubts about herself, she tried so hard to be the kind of woman she wants to be. I thought that Bane was a little tough on her, but he has issues of fear that he's dealing with, so it all made sense. It made me stop and think: How would I handle myself in this same situation? Kidnappers always say not to go to the police; would I? Would I trust anyone else or do exactly as it's been demanded? My experience is that it's easy for me to say what I would do or say but until I'm actually in that situation, it's hard to know exactly how I would react. I liked that Mano was able to convey that message to Bane and things turned around at that point.

I liked the mysterious element to the story. Who did it? Since it is a shorter book, we don't get a lot of back story and aren't introduced to a lot of characters. They may have been introduced in another book in the series, so maybe it would be better to read all of them first, so you know who to think about suspecting. Even though this is a novella, I thought it was developed well and it was just right, especially for a busy holiday day.

Content: kidnapping; kissing; some mild violence; clean.

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