THE CHRISTMAS DARE by Lori Wilde

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Twilight Texas, Book 10

From the publisher:

A jilted-at-the-altar bride reunites with her high school sweetheart in Lori Wilde’s sensational new Twilight, Texas Christmas novel.

Kelsey James always played by the rules and look where it got her—dumped and half-drunk in a poofy white dress, her Christmas wedding ruined. Then her best friend talks her into going on her “honeymoon” anyway, daring her to a “Christmas of Yes.”  It’s about time she lets loose a little, so Kelsey agrees to say “yes” to fun, to romance, and to adventure! And adventure leads her right smack into the arms of sexy Noah MacGregor.

Noah’s never one to say no to a risk—from leading his NBA team to victory to making Christmas cookies in Twilight, he’s up to the challenge! But a lot has gone on since they were teenagers, and he knows he has to take his time to make Kelsey dare to believe that what they feel is more than just the holiday magic that’s in the air . . .

 


I enjoy the Twilight, Texas series and this year’s Christmas entry is a good one. Kelsey is basically a psychologically abused daughter. She grew up with a mother that constantly belittles her, “gaslights” her, and in general, keeps her self esteem lower than a hole in the ground. The mom here reminded me a bit of my stepmother, in a slightly more exaggerated way (sorry, Helena, if you’re reading this, but it’s true.) So when Kelsey gets dumped on her wedding day when her fiance runs off with his best man, she is ready for a change.

Luckily, she has a best friend, Tasha, who is there to help her pick up the broken pieces and put them back together in a stronger, more independent way. Phase one of the process involves cashing in the honeymoon plans and taking Kelsey to Twilight, where she is reunited with her high school sweetheart, her first love, the one who got away.

This whole series is based on the first love is your one true love subgenre and Wilde does a good job with it. Personally, though, I had a hard time with Kelsey. She is a real dichotomy of controlled, strong campaign manager and weak, ineffectual woman. She wallows in self-pity, not because she was left at the altar, but because of her mother. Noah, her first love, understands her though. Their history is bumpy, to say the least, but he is on board in helping her gain control of her life. Finally.

These damaged characters make for a good story, and this was a one night read for me. The Christmas magic happens in Twilight, and I bought it.

10/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE CHRISTMAS DARE by Lori Wilde. Avon (October 22, 2019). ISBN 978-0062468314. 400p.

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