Formats available: ebook, paperback (included in On the Naughty List)
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Perfect Fit, #1.5
Length: 111 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Date Released: October 1, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
On the first day of Christmas, former wild child Dina Gregory returns home to New York on a mission: To find the father of her young son. Making him take responsibility for the child he helped create is the only thing on Dina’s wish list. Instead, she finds herself in an awkward run-in with his stuffy older brother, Ben.
Ben has never liked Dina. But he can’t help but admire her tenacity—and her bold beauty. Being trapped together during a holiday blizzard offers him a glimpse into what it would be like to have a family, and to fall truly in love. Could it be that Dina has reignited his Christmas spirit? The only thing Ben knows for sure is that her heart is a gift to behold…and he will never let go.
It may be slightly early to start reviewing Christmas books, but this novella is such a treat that I couldn’t resist.
This is a combination of second chance at love with the old (but often good) trope about two people being snowbound together and finding out that they love each other after all.
Throw in a little of Dickens’ Christmas Carol and you’ve probably got the picture. And it’s a lovely one.
Ben Rowe has given up on Christmas, and pretty much given up on everything other than work, for the nine years since his wife died. Yes, he loved her, but there is a heck of a lot of guilt mixed into that love, and it seems like he’s punishing himself by becoming kind of a hermit.
A very hot and sexy hermit, but a hermit just the same. At least until Dina Gregory and her little boy Dash break into his isolation.
Because Dina’s little boy is also Ben’s nephew, one that he didn’t know existed. Not that his late brother Virgil didn’t get around enough to leave a whole string of children, but Virgil never mentioned Dash before he died, living fast as usual, in an accident.
He knew Virgil left behind a half million dollars in debts, but not a child. Ben’s picking up Virgil’s pieces just as he always has, but this is one piece that he didn’t know was there. But it’s one he really wants to pick up.
Dash looks just like Ben. Suddenly he feels as if he has a son. Or that he could. But the Dash package comes with Dina, a woman who thinks he never liked her. In fact, he liked her just a bit too much.
She blows into his life with her son, and the more they become involved, the more he realizes that he can’t go back to the empty existence that he used to have.
What he doesn’t count on is falling in love with this woman who is brash and outspoken and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. Dina might be willing to marry him to give Dash a father and a future, but only if her heart is not engaged.
Once it is, she realizes that she can’t settle for less than love. But Ben can’t seem to let go of his first wife, or his guilt.
Escape Rating B+: Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas is short and sweet, and full of hilarious banter between Dina and Ben. It’s not just that she knows what she wants, but she knows who she is and isn’t planning to change.
There is a lot of heartwarming in the story. We’ve met Dina before, in the first book in the series, Dangerous Curves Ahead (reviewed here) and she is much more the selfish villainess than a potential heroine. Having Dash changes Dina for the better, makes her much (MUCH) less selfish and self-absorbed.
But the events in Dangerous Curves Ahead have left her estranged from her family. Ben does something really terrific to mend that rift, but Dina has already made herself worthy of the mending.
Ben is the character who has a lot to get past in the story. The stick that seems to be stuck up his ass in the beginning has a lot of grief and a lot of guilt wrapped around it. Dash and Dina bring him back to life in a way that was sweet and sassy and kick starts him back to living again.
The series continues in Thrown for a Curve (reviewed at The Book Pushers) and today’s review book over at The Book Pushers, Gentlemen Prefer Curves. While Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas does not feature the absolutely marvelous Perfect Fit clothing store, it was fun to see Dina reform and get her own happy ending.