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The Heart of Christmas - Kaulah Hadiah Terindah

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Eve Harmon selalu menyukai momen Natal, namun Natal tahun ini mengingatkannya pada semua yang tidak ia miliki. Hampir semua teman Eve sudah menikah, padahal itu juga yang ia inginkan. Cinta. Suami dan anak. Namun kian hari penginapan yang ia kelola—juga Whiskey Creek, kota tempat ia dilahirkan dan tumbuh besar—kian terasa… mengukung. Eve khawatir masa depan hanya akan menj Eve Harmon selalu menyukai momen Natal, namun Natal tahun ini mengingatkannya pada semua yang tidak ia miliki. Hampir semua teman Eve sudah menikah, padahal itu juga yang ia inginkan. Cinta. Suami dan anak. Namun kian hari penginapan yang ia kelola—juga Whiskey Creek, kota tempat ia dilahirkan dan tumbuh besar—kian terasa… mengukung. Eve khawatir masa depan hanya akan menjadi cerminan masa lalunya. Tak seorang pun pria bisa dibayangkannya menjadi suami—hingga seorang asing yang tampan datang ke kota. Eve tertarik padanya, dan rasa itu tidak bertepuk sebelah tangan. Namun masa lalu pria itu mengancam merusak impian Eve akan pernikahan yang bahagia—tepat saat ia akhirnya mampu menjangkaunya.


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Eve Harmon selalu menyukai momen Natal, namun Natal tahun ini mengingatkannya pada semua yang tidak ia miliki. Hampir semua teman Eve sudah menikah, padahal itu juga yang ia inginkan. Cinta. Suami dan anak. Namun kian hari penginapan yang ia kelola—juga Whiskey Creek, kota tempat ia dilahirkan dan tumbuh besar—kian terasa… mengukung. Eve khawatir masa depan hanya akan menj Eve Harmon selalu menyukai momen Natal, namun Natal tahun ini mengingatkannya pada semua yang tidak ia miliki. Hampir semua teman Eve sudah menikah, padahal itu juga yang ia inginkan. Cinta. Suami dan anak. Namun kian hari penginapan yang ia kelola—juga Whiskey Creek, kota tempat ia dilahirkan dan tumbuh besar—kian terasa… mengukung. Eve khawatir masa depan hanya akan menjadi cerminan masa lalunya. Tak seorang pun pria bisa dibayangkannya menjadi suami—hingga seorang asing yang tampan datang ke kota. Eve tertarik padanya, dan rasa itu tidak bertepuk sebelah tangan. Namun masa lalu pria itu mengancam merusak impian Eve akan pernikahan yang bahagia—tepat saat ia akhirnya mampu menjangkaunya.

30 review for The Heart of Christmas - Kaulah Hadiah Terindah

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    ARC Received from NetGalley. For the most part, I have enjoyed the Whiskey Creek series. I like small town contemporaries, and HQN is typically my go-to pub for this genre. The first five books flowed well and featured likable couples and subplots that worked within the community. I mentioned here that Book 6, Come Home to Me, disappointed me mainly because of the Chey/Dylan subplot and the lack of chemistry between the main characters. I usually give a series a second strike before I decide to e ARC Received from NetGalley. For the most part, I have enjoyed the Whiskey Creek series. I like small town contemporaries, and HQN is typically my go-to pub for this genre. The first five books flowed well and featured likable couples and subplots that worked within the community. I mentioned here that Book 6, Come Home to Me, disappointed me mainly because of the Chey/Dylan subplot and the lack of chemistry between the main characters. I usually give a series a second strike before I decide to end, and I'm sorry to say The Heart of Christmas didn't quite do it for me. I have liked reading about Eve in the previous books. When you get to know her, you figure eventually she'll get a story of her own. This particular one, however, struck me almost as a copy of the Callie/Levi story in Book 3. Eve yearns for true love, and a stranger with a mysterious past drifts into town. It read too similar to Callie's story (only there's no life threatening illness involved), and I felt as Eve might have been cheated with a "retread". As for the Chey/Dylan subplot, it continues to play out, but as you read you have a feeling it's going to blow up in a future book. In all honesty I don't want to be around for that. I think the only thing that could entice me to read more Whiskey Creek is if the lone gay character, Baxter, gets a full book. Not scenes as a secondary character, but A. Full. Book. Seeing as this is Harlequin, though, my hopes are not high.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jonetta

    I've not been a fan of Eve Harmon so it was with a fair amount of reluctance I started this story. Those familiar with the series may remember her many missteps in trying to get and keep a man. Quick summary It begins with Eve waking up after a night of excessive birthday celebrating to find a stranger (handsome, though) in her bed. She's upset that she can't seem to find a committed relationship after being dumped several times. All of her friends are happily connected and Eve isn't looking forw I've not been a fan of Eve Harmon so it was with a fair amount of reluctance I started this story. Those familiar with the series may remember her many missteps in trying to get and keep a man. Quick summary It begins with Eve waking up after a night of excessive birthday celebrating to find a stranger (handsome, though) in her bed. She's upset that she can't seem to find a committed relationship after being dumped several times. All of her friends are happily connected and Eve isn't looking forward to a lonely Christmas. Rex (the stranger) might be a possibility but he doesn't seem interested...initially. Things get complicated, though, when the whole town finds out about her "overnight guest." The heart of the story I loved how the story included a crossover character, Rex McCready, from the romantic suspense series, Bulletproof. I read Inside earlier this year and am glad I did as I had a better understanding of Rex's journey prior to ending up in Whiskey Creek. He's got a secret and dangerous past that is always in the background. It adds a suspense element that works. It was great to see Eve grow through this relationship, focusing on what's really important as she tries to trust Rex in the midst of information that tells her to do otherwise. She stood by him, trusting her instincts for a change when it was hard to do so. The bottom line This is a wonderful story though not your traditional Christmas fare. The issues are tough, even life threatening at times. I'm just glad that Eve has finally discovered her true heart and found a reason to put someone else's well being ahead of her own. Well done. 4.5 stars (I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    This was a cute read about Eve, a bed and breakfast owner who's been down on her luck in love, and Rex, an ex-con and ex-gang member who is on the run from his old life and just needs a second chance. There were lots of things to like about this book. Eve and Rex are characters you want to cheer for, that you want that happily ever after to come around to. You can't help but feel sorry for their lives so far andwant to see them succeed this time. I also liked the way the author built up the town This was a cute read about Eve, a bed and breakfast owner who's been down on her luck in love, and Rex, an ex-con and ex-gang member who is on the run from his old life and just needs a second chance. There were lots of things to like about this book. Eve and Rex are characters you want to cheer for, that you want that happily ever after to come around to. You can't help but feel sorry for their lives so far andwant to see them succeed this time. I also liked the way the author built up the town and personalities of all the side characters. It was a richly developed world, particularly with the side stories about (view spoiler)[ Mary theghost and Cheyenne and the father of her baby. (hide spoiler)] . PLease excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Keri

    3.5 Stars. Glad Eve finally found her love interest. Still ticked over how Cheyenne handled the baby issue and the lying only continues in this book. Poor Dylan when he finds out the truth and he will because you can't hide that kind of lie forever. 3.5 Stars. Glad Eve finally found her love interest. Still ticked over how Cheyenne handled the baby issue and the lying only continues in this book. Poor Dylan when he finds out the truth and he will because you can't hide that kind of lie forever.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak is yet another new-to-me author and new-to-me series that I picked up during my holiday reading frenzy. After diving into this enticing holiday read, I definitely want to continue with the Whiskey Creek series. In The Heart of Christmas, we meet Eve Harmon during the winter season as she prepares her B&B for another Christmas. At thirty-five, it’s the holiday season that accentuates what Eve is missing in her life. After several failed relationships, she wan The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak is yet another new-to-me author and new-to-me series that I picked up during my holiday reading frenzy. After diving into this enticing holiday read, I definitely want to continue with the Whiskey Creek series. In The Heart of Christmas, we meet Eve Harmon during the winter season as she prepares her B&B for another Christmas. At thirty-five, it’s the holiday season that accentuates what Eve is missing in her life. After several failed relationships, she wants nothing more than to fall in love, as she sees all of her friends getting married and having children. So, when she indulges in a one-night stand before her birthday, the mysterious man she brings home also comes with tons of secrets and a shady past that has her family and friends leery about this stranger. Rex McCreedy has been on the run for many years. At eighteen he was imprisoned for some mistakes that seem to follow him no matter how much time passes, and now the Crew he joined in prison, which he’s been trying to escape, is after him once again. When he lands in Whiskey Creek, he indulges in what he hopes is a quick reprieve, but Eve eventually becomes a safe haven for him at a time when his life seems so out of control. As they begin to fall in love, he knows the best thing he can do for Eve is to leave Whiskey Creek rather than bring the dangers of his past to this small town and her community. Eve and Rex were a great couple to come to know. I have no experience with Eve’s past, so I didn’t have any preconceptions about her friends and their decisions that seemed to affect her life. These two characters definitely had a ton of chemistry to melt plenty of snow! I enjoyed journeying with Rex and Eve as they fell in love, faced some difficulties, and came together to find a way to make things work. The secondary characters in the novel also grabbed my attention enough to want to pick up the series, so I’m eager to get to know more about Eve’s friends. Lastly, the whole mystery around Little Mary's death and her ghost added a touch of intrigue to the novel, which was a perfect blend to the Christmas romannce, drama and adventure in Whiskey Creek! Overall, I enjoyed this Christmas story that takes place amongst a tight group of friends, a small town and a quaint B&B. I'll be sure to dive further into the Whiskey Creek series to learn more about the rest of the cast.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Wow! What an amazing book! I think this is my new favorite in the Whiskey Creek series. I had a hard time putting it down because I had to see how it would all end. It kept me guessing until the end of the book. I just loved the ending! This is Eve Harmon's story. She runs Little Mary's B&B owned by her retired parents. She is turning 35 and feels like she is a loser. All of her friends are getting married and having babies. She goes to Sadies (hope I got that name right)by herself to celebrate Wow! What an amazing book! I think this is my new favorite in the Whiskey Creek series. I had a hard time putting it down because I had to see how it would all end. It kept me guessing until the end of the book. I just loved the ending! This is Eve Harmon's story. She runs Little Mary's B&B owned by her retired parents. She is turning 35 and feels like she is a loser. All of her friends are getting married and having babies. She goes to Sadies (hope I got that name right)by herself to celebrate her birthday. She ends up getting drunk and comes home with a guy she isn't sure who he is. He keeps giving fake names. His real name is Rex McCreedy and he has a long past of terrible things that have happened to him. Can he get over the past and can Eve help him do it? Read the story today and you will not be sorry. I just love the Whiskey Creek series!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I'm not even sure where to begin with this book. I have a LOT of problems with it. I expected a Christmas romance. Instead, I got a romantic-suspense-wannabe story chock full of so many things it just got ridiculous after awhile: 1. He's on the run from a gang, owns his own security protection agency and despite all their connections, the gang hasn't found him yet. 2. Pregnancy. Is she or isn't she? 3. A friend is pregnant and about to give birth to her brother-in-law's child, unbeknownst to her hus I'm not even sure where to begin with this book. I have a LOT of problems with it. I expected a Christmas romance. Instead, I got a romantic-suspense-wannabe story chock full of so many things it just got ridiculous after awhile: 1. He's on the run from a gang, owns his own security protection agency and despite all their connections, the gang hasn't found him yet. 2. Pregnancy. Is she or isn't she? 3. A friend is pregnant and about to give birth to her brother-in-law's child, unbeknownst to her husband. 4. Gay friend can't find love. 5. He's not just trouble, he's emotionally stunted and estranged from his family. All the things her friends are telling her about him? The ways he's trouble? He is. And she doesn't care. 6. Who killed the little girl who haunts the B&B? 7. It's her birthday and her biological clock is ticking and she wishes she were married. 8. Christmas? Was Christmas thrown in there just for effect? And that's just the story. I realise that this is the 7th book in the series, so a lot of the characters have already had their stories told and they're established. So to read this as a stand-alone probably isn't the wisest thing. On top of that, it's just too long. I nearly DNF'd it several times. And then there's the narration by Carly Robins. Her voice is really suited to YA but not this. The character was 35 and successful; she was ready to get out of town and have some adventure, but she wasn't a shy wallflower. Robins voiced her in such a way that she didn't have much backbone. When she should have sounded strong, she sounded angry/whiny. And what is with the phrasing of questions as statements? I got pulled out of this story innumerable times because of the way things were phrased. This is truly a shame, because it's a case of Robins' efforts being wasted. She'd be completely suited to a YA story by Kasie West. But this book did her no favors and she didn't do it any either. Overall there went 7 hours of my life. I want a refund.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    What could be better than a Holiday romance in a cozy little town where everyone knows and cares about everyone else and that holiday feeling lasts throughout the year? Welcome to Whiskey Creek, welcome to the warm romantic world of Brenda Novak that carries the edge of mystery and spirits from the past??? Eve is one of Whiskey Creek’s own, running a B&B, single, no prospects and her clock is ticking as her birthday rolls around. Why not do something out of character, something no one would belie What could be better than a Holiday romance in a cozy little town where everyone knows and cares about everyone else and that holiday feeling lasts throughout the year? Welcome to Whiskey Creek, welcome to the warm romantic world of Brenda Novak that carries the edge of mystery and spirits from the past??? Eve is one of Whiskey Creek’s own, running a B&B, single, no prospects and her clock is ticking as her birthday rolls around. Why not do something out of character, something no one would believe? All of her friends are either married or have a significant other, but a few too many drinks and waking up next to a gorgeous stranger was a little more than she had planned as a celebration. Nor did she plan on discovering he is staying at her B&B. Can you say “awkward?” Besides being handsome, charming and feeling as awkward as she does, Rex has a dark past he is trying to outrun. Has he brought danger to Whiskey Creek? Who is this amazing man who has become a part of Whiskey Creek? With the help of her friends, Eve is determined to get to the bottom of what is haunting this man with many aliases. After a bleak romantic past, is it possible that the one man Eve wants to share her life and her Christmases with could be too hot to handle? The Heart of Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak blends the joy of the holiday season with the joy of finally finding a chance at love for two lonely souls who expected to be alone forever. There is no sizzling romance or eyeball melting sensual scenes, but there is a quiet, mature feel that comes across as real, warm and easy to believe, as if it could happen for anyone. In the spirit of the holidays, Ms. Novak has presented readers with a delightful read that will help usher in the magic of the season and the beauty of love, while imparting just enough mystery to make this a unique read one can still sigh over! I received an ARC edition from Harlequin in exchange for my honest review. Series: Whiskey Creek - Book 7 Publication Date: October 28, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin MIRA ISBN-13: 9781460341582 Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance Print Length: 384 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Tempted By Books

    SO MANY THINGS I HATED ABOUT THIS BOOK. First, I want Cheyenne to get busted SO BAD. What a terrible person she has turned out to be. Second, TED! You already picked a woman and it wasn't Eve so butt the hell out! What a creep. Third, Eve. WHO tells a man after the first time they have sex that she hope she is pregnant? Then when you casually hook up with another man you inform your parents and also get "worried" about being pregnant!?!?! I thought that was a goal of yours? Ugh. I am DEFINITELY SO MANY THINGS I HATED ABOUT THIS BOOK. First, I want Cheyenne to get busted SO BAD. What a terrible person she has turned out to be. Second, TED! You already picked a woman and it wasn't Eve so butt the hell out! What a creep. Third, Eve. WHO tells a man after the first time they have sex that she hope she is pregnant? Then when you casually hook up with another man you inform your parents and also get "worried" about being pregnant!?!?! I thought that was a goal of yours? Ugh. I am DEFINITELY taking a break from Whiskey Creek. The characters are mean spirited, conniving, hateful jerks. Who apparently believe that no one other than themselves could have changed in the 10-15 years since high school. They seem to think that you are forever trapped in your 16-17 year old mentality. Which I guess explains why everyone allows their parents to dictate their lives to them and don't ever feel the need to stand up for themselves our their love interests. YUCK! Don't waste your time with this series it is not feel good romance. Well, unless you enjoy spinelessness.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I gave up on this book halfway through. The people are so dreadful, even the ones you're supposed to like. Here's one example I just couldn't handle: The main character's best friend gets herself pregnant with her husband's brother's sperm through artificial insemination and doesn't tell him! This is supposed to be to protect his male ego from finding out he's infertile. Let me ask you, which is more emasculating, finding out you can't impregnate your wife or finding out she's carrying your brot I gave up on this book halfway through. The people are so dreadful, even the ones you're supposed to like. Here's one example I just couldn't handle: The main character's best friend gets herself pregnant with her husband's brother's sperm through artificial insemination and doesn't tell him! This is supposed to be to protect his male ego from finding out he's infertile. Let me ask you, which is more emasculating, finding out you can't impregnate your wife or finding out she's carrying your brother's baby and keeping it a secret from you?? No, just no. I can't deal with this level of stupid. The writing is weak but the understanding of human nature is worse. If there are people who act like this outside of the Jerry Springer show, I don't want to spend time with them. No thanks.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jae

    DNF @72% I stopped and decided to take a breather a month ago when the story got too depressing and I hated both H/h. Then I started again today but just couldn't get into it still. Why force myself and waste my time. So, an unpleasant 1 STAR. A pity, because I loved Rex when he first appeared in BN's Bulletproof series. DNF @72% I stopped and decided to take a breather a month ago when the story got too depressing and I hated both H/h. Then I started again today but just couldn't get into it still. Why force myself and waste my time. So, an unpleasant 1 STAR. A pity, because I loved Rex when he first appeared in BN's Bulletproof series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ferne

    It’s the morning after Eve Harmon’s birthday and she wakes up to find a strange man in her bed and so the story begins. WoW! What an opening!! Oh and by the way, skipping ahead for a minute, the reader will also learn that this strange man in Eve’s bed is what some of us imagine as drop-dead handsome! One of the best parts is that Eve wakes up first “the morning after” and Eve will take her leisurely, sweet time to describe this man explicitly to enable each reader to engage all senses in a leis It’s the morning after Eve Harmon’s birthday and she wakes up to find a strange man in her bed and so the story begins. WoW! What an opening!! Oh and by the way, skipping ahead for a minute, the reader will also learn that this strange man in Eve’s bed is what some of us imagine as drop-dead handsome! One of the best parts is that Eve wakes up first “the morning after” and Eve will take her leisurely, sweet time to describe this man explicitly to enable each reader to engage all senses in a leisurely, sweet time of imagining the stranger next to Eve. You’ll never put the book down now! Eve Harmon runs Little Mary’s, a bed-and-breakfast in a converted Victorian home, owned by her retired parents. Thankfully, since their retirement they travel in a RV and aren’t at home on the morning in question since their house is a mere hundred yards in front of Eve’s small bungalow. Also thankfully, the strange man doesn’t even have to be asked to leave so she can get to work. So although she’s still thinking about last night, she tries her very best to put her focus back “on the job” and deliver the breakfast trays to the guests that had previously requested breakfast in their rooms. Imagine Eve’s surprise when she’s ready to make the usual polite greeting of “Good Morning. I hope you enjoy your breakfast.” and is rendered speechless as the man that woke up in her bed this morning is now in one of her guest rooms and demanding to know “How’d you find me?” If you remember anything about Whiskey Creek from reading other titles in the series, you’ll know that there will be many friends alert to Eve’s birthday, Eve’s usual habits, and Eve’s distraction from her usual focus on all things Christmas not only for celebration at the B&B but on behalf of all the town. If this is your first introduction to Whiskey Creek, you’ll begin to meet many of the families and neighbors that live in the small town and be captivated with how they love and care for one another. I mentioned this comment in an earlier Brenda Novak book review but it definitely deserves mention again. One of the special delights of the Whiskey Creek Series is that each novel can be enjoyed as a stand-alone title. There are some novels that are tiring to read as in order to move the current story forward, the author seems to provide a comprehensive review of the attributes and histories of all characters to date which interrupts the flow of the current novel and is more of a frustrating and distracting interruption to the reader – regardless if an independent title reader or series reader. I appreciate being able to remember the characters and their storylines independently and to totally engross myself in each novel without distraction. Whiskey Creek is a small town so I know this series will eventually come to an end but until that time, I will continue to look forward to read each new adventure and excuse to visit with the Whiskey Creek characters. Without a doubt, the families, neighbors and friends of Whiskey Creek are genuine, loving, caring individuals and carry “The Heart of Christmas” in their hearts each day of the year. Reading Eve’s story as with each book in the series reminds me of the song, “If Every Day Was Like Christmas Time” as performed by Elvis Presley and especially the stanza of: “Oh why can't every day be like Christmas? Why can't that feeling go on endlessly, For if every day could be just like Christmas, What a wonderful world this would be.” I hope you’ll visit with Eve, her friends, and all of the wonderful townspeople in Whiskey Creek. Open the pages of “The Heart of Christmas” and your visit begins. You’ll be ready to celebrate Christmas with joy, laughter, and love and to keep those feelings endlessly. I was lucky enough to receive a pre-publication copy of this title from the author to read and review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    L.A. Miller

    I was given an ARC of this book from Netgalley and I am writing this review with mixed emotions. From the beginning I was drawn into the story. Eve Harmon is one of the last among her friends to be single. As Christmas approaches she is reminded of the dream she does not have. A husband and the children she thought she would have by now. When she awakens to find a complete stranger in her bed her world begins to unravel and she begins to question everything she once held as valuable. A great job I was given an ARC of this book from Netgalley and I am writing this review with mixed emotions. From the beginning I was drawn into the story. Eve Harmon is one of the last among her friends to be single. As Christmas approaches she is reminded of the dream she does not have. A husband and the children she thought she would have by now. When she awakens to find a complete stranger in her bed her world begins to unravel and she begins to question everything she once held as valuable. A great job at her parent’s Bed and Breakfast, a close group of friends who will always have her back and the small town she loves. Eve is not the type to just sleep with any man. As she approaches her 35th birthday, she can count her lovers on one hand with fingers to spare. So why would she take a total stranger to her bed? What’s worse, is the memory she has tells her it was one of the most amazing nights of her life. Rex McCready has no time in his life for a relationship, not when he has gone into hiding to protect his life. With his past and the secrets he carries, he cannot risk falling for this beauty that has beguiled him. Yet he cannot stay away either. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two characters and the fact that both try to deny what is really going on between them. I also enjoyed the cast of characters that played dominate roles in previous books. You do not have to read the earlier books to enjoy this, but based on Ms. Novak’s writing skills you might consider adding them to your library. So the real question is, why such a low rating for this book? The ending left you hanging, as if part of the chapter was missing and you are left unsatisfied. Picture yourself enjoying a five star meal, anticipating the climax of dessert and coffee only to be left with a check. Better yet, your date is that hot guy down the hall, the one you have been fantasizing about for months and after he drops you off at your door, you are not only hoping for that much anticipated kiss but maybe some sizzling action between the sheets. Instead he turns without a word and heads for his apartment, leaving you standing there, wondering what just happened. This is the feeling you get at the end and for that reason alone I only gave this book two instead of the four or five stars it might have rated, which is sad because up till then I really enjoyed the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christi Snow

    My Review: Everything about the romance story in this book worked for me. I like that both Eve and Rex were really too drunk to remember what happened when they hooked up. As the story evolves, we find out just how out of character that was for BOTH of them, which made it feel even more like fate. Rex is everything that Whiskey Creek is not. He's an ex-con, ex-gang member, used to using violence if the situation warrants, and on the run for his life. Eve is a 35 yo with the life of a grandmother. My Review: Everything about the romance story in this book worked for me. I like that both Eve and Rex were really too drunk to remember what happened when they hooked up. As the story evolves, we find out just how out of character that was for BOTH of them, which made it feel even more like fate. Rex is everything that Whiskey Creek is not. He's an ex-con, ex-gang member, used to using violence if the situation warrants, and on the run for his life. Eve is a 35 yo with the life of a grandmother...she runs the local B&B and is everyone's friend. But because she's so incredibly sweet and everyone's friend, they all feel very protective of her especially with things with her new guy just don't add up. Something isn't right with him. It served for a great dichotomy in their relationship which I just loved. I also really loved that I could NOT figure out how Brenda Novak was going to write herself out of this conflict. With only 10% left in the book, I just couldn't see how it could possibly end up happy for everyone. But she did it and she did it beautifully with everything that Whiskey Creek and this group of friends symbolize. I loved that it kept me guessing, but ended exactly in the best way for this couple with the help of Eve's friends What didn't work for me in this book were a couple of the side stories. Teddy's attitude toward Eve's new romance felt over the top. If I was the love of his life, Sophia (who he threw Eve over for), I would have been calling him on it big-time. His reactions felt more like the reactions from a jealous lover, not a friend. I hate the whole baby story line with the two brothers. It feels so soap-opera-ish, it almost makes me want to stop reading the books because I know that's going to blow up soon. There aren't very many friends left unattached, but I want to beg for Bax to get his own story. I love him and really, really want him to find his HEA. Come on Harlequin...you can do this, right? I want to see Bax happy. I know that Harlequin doesn't normally do GLBT romance, but with Brenda Novak at the helm, you can't go wrong on this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brandee (un)Conventional Bookworms

    It's always such a pleasure to return to Whiskey Creek. I've become so fond of all the characters, they're like friends. I was happy that Eve got her story and curious to see how it would turn out. Eve Harmon is just a lovely young woman She's one of those women you know you'd shy away from because of her looks but would be drawn to nonetheless because of her genuine affability. She's sweet, loyal, and would do anything to help someone in need. She just happens to be turning 35 and, not being mar It's always such a pleasure to return to Whiskey Creek. I've become so fond of all the characters, they're like friends. I was happy that Eve got her story and curious to see how it would turn out. Eve Harmon is just a lovely young woman She's one of those women you know you'd shy away from because of her looks but would be drawn to nonetheless because of her genuine affability. She's sweet, loyal, and would do anything to help someone in need. She just happens to be turning 35 and, not being married yet despite most of her friends being so, is making her take stock of her life. Brent Taylor/Rex, happens upon Eve on her birthday, when she's feeling a bit sorry for herself. They spend the night together, which is all Brent could promise. But he's finding it hard to leave Eve, even thought it's really in her best interest that he do exactly that. Brent isn't what he seems and his past puts Eve, and everyone in Whiskey Creek, in possible danger. Although this story primarily revolved around Eve and Brent, I like how Novak always incorporates the entire cast, so I catch up with them all. I really liked the element of suspense that Brent/Rex brought to the story. I liked watching as Eve helped him heal from his past. I also enjoyed the mystery of "Little Mary" - the story Ted decided to work on, with Eve's help. I hope that element continues. Although I'm still a little unhappy with Cheyenne about certain decisions she made, it was nice to see her and Dylan so happy. Despite a certain thing that happened between Eve and Brent, which I thought was a bit trite, I enjoyed how their story evolved and where it ended up. And of course, I adored seeing the group rally around Eve when she needed them most. The Heart of Christmas was a satisfying return to Whiskey Creek...kind of like cuddling up under a favorite blanket. It's warm, comfortable, familiar, and makes you feel good. This group of friends continue to endear themselves and I'll be eager to return again. **I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.**

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline J

    I really enjoyed this addition to the Whiskey Creek series. Except for that weird editing blip that I mentioned in the comments. I think the brothers ages were meant to be 40 and 42. So it was fast paced and pretty well plotted. I really enjoyed the hero. It hardly ever happens that a hero is an ex con where he actually did the crime he was sent up for. And it wasn't even to kill his father to save his abused sister as it normally is. No this guy was caught selling drugs. Not a spoiler because yo I really enjoyed this addition to the Whiskey Creek series. Except for that weird editing blip that I mentioned in the comments. I think the brothers ages were meant to be 40 and 42. So it was fast paced and pretty well plotted. I really enjoyed the hero. It hardly ever happens that a hero is an ex con where he actually did the crime he was sent up for. And it wasn't even to kill his father to save his abused sister as it normally is. No this guy was caught selling drugs. Not a spoiler because you know this from the very first. So the author does a very good job of explaining the circumstances and redeeming her hero. Characterization of Eve who we've seen throughout the series as a secondary character is also well done. Here is a woman who has tried and tried to find love and sees all her friends fall in love and get married. She's jealous and sad and sorry for herself. She tries not to be but she is wondering what she can do to help herself and change her situation. And she has a legitimate concern, she is 35 and unmarried. That is a natural situation where you start to wonder if it will ever happen for you and your biological clock starts ticking pretty hard. (I married when I was 37 so I know whereof I speak.) So when she meets the hero, she has a drunken one night stand. Since the hero is still running from some bad guys he met in prison, highjinks ensue. Really enjoyed it and can't wait for Riley and Pheonix's story. I always suspected those two were going to end up together. This Heart of Mine

  17. 4 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak "She'd already made up her mind to surf the wave she was riding all the way into shore--shore being the moment Brent left Whiskey Creek for good. Yes, she'd crash in the foamy surf. But he wouldn't be around to see it, and it wasn't the crash that mattered. It was having the guts to stay on the board." Exuberance? Confidence? Or falling in love? Eve Harmon is a strong, independent woman who decides to celebrate her birthday and is confident and bold enough to go o Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak "She'd already made up her mind to surf the wave she was riding all the way into shore--shore being the moment Brent left Whiskey Creek for good. Yes, she'd crash in the foamy surf. But he wouldn't be around to see it, and it wasn't the crash that mattered. It was having the guts to stay on the board." Exuberance? Confidence? Or falling in love? Eve Harmon is a strong, independent woman who decides to celebrate her birthday and is confident and bold enough to go out by herself. Awesome. Okay maybe not the best choice at the end of the night but I'm sure I'm not the only who has been there and done that! Fortunately Eve's experience is way more sexy and satisfying. And the best part - a great guy and No Regrets for Eve. Way to go! This is the sixth book in the Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak. There are several references to prior stories and relationships in this book but I think it includes enough explanation and background information for a new reader not to get lost and a series reader not to be bored with long background detail that's already known. Minor spoilers follow*******: I'm still concerned about the Cheyene deception from the prior book and there is continuing storyline here with the birth of her baby. I received a copy of this book from the author.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bette Hansen

    Another incredible Whiskey Creek novel from Brenda Novak. This is Eve Harmon's story and what a beautiful one it is. With all the love, weddings and babies going on with her group of friends Eve is feeling a bit lost. She goes out alone to celebrate her 35th birthday and wakes up the next day having done something she thought she would never do. Have a one night stand. All the Whiskey Creek books are incredible and this one is no exception. The writing and story are spectacular and it always feel Another incredible Whiskey Creek novel from Brenda Novak. This is Eve Harmon's story and what a beautiful one it is. With all the love, weddings and babies going on with her group of friends Eve is feeling a bit lost. She goes out alone to celebrate her 35th birthday and wakes up the next day having done something she thought she would never do. Have a one night stand. All the Whiskey Creek books are incredible and this one is no exception. The writing and story are spectacular and it always feels like coming home when you read one of them. While this is part of a series and references are made about other characters from past books, you can read this as standalone without any trouble. I, however, recommend you read the entire series and I definitely recommend this book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    I was intrigued by The Heart of Christmas as soon as I realized that this Whiskey Creek book was going to have Rex, a character from a previous trilogy. I was glad to see that Rex had cleaned his life up and headed in a positive direction, but it was sad to see that he still couldn't outrun his past. I have enjoyed Eve's role in the previous books of the series, and was glad to finally read her book. I thought that Rex and Eve were great characters. I enjoyed the chemistry between them, and like I was intrigued by The Heart of Christmas as soon as I realized that this Whiskey Creek book was going to have Rex, a character from a previous trilogy. I was glad to see that Rex had cleaned his life up and headed in a positive direction, but it was sad to see that he still couldn't outrun his past. I have enjoyed Eve's role in the previous books of the series, and was glad to finally read her book. I thought that Rex and Eve were great characters. I enjoyed the chemistry between them, and liked seeing their relationship develop. I enjoyed the storyline, and thought it played out in a creative and interesting way. This was a great addition to the Whiskey Creek Series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Reading another Whiskey Creek book is like coming home and visiting with old friends. I'm so glad we got to hear Eve's story and she got her HEA ending. The way they initially 'meet' then meet again had me laughing. How they work thru issues to bring out the best in each other was great. I look forward to hearing more from Whiskey Creek. Reading another Whiskey Creek book is like coming home and visiting with old friends. I'm so glad we got to hear Eve's story and she got her HEA ending. The way they initially 'meet' then meet again had me laughing. How they work thru issues to bring out the best in each other was great. I look forward to hearing more from Whiskey Creek.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Sadly, I really didn't care for this installment. I thought Eve was reckless and way out of her experience. Who lets a guy get that close knowing he's lying? Of course, we know the back story (or some of it) and that gives the reader some sympathy for the hero, but I still don't feel that they were a good match. If she were my best friend, I would have done the same things her friends did. Sadly, I really didn't care for this installment. I thought Eve was reckless and way out of her experience. Who lets a guy get that close knowing he's lying? Of course, we know the back story (or some of it) and that gives the reader some sympathy for the hero, but I still don't feel that they were a good match. If she were my best friend, I would have done the same things her friends did.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Working my way through the Whiskey Creek series. I'm looking forward to seeing where a couple of current story lines go from here! Working my way through the Whiskey Creek series. I'm looking forward to seeing where a couple of current story lines go from here!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Kayes

    Loved going back to whiskey creek. Hope to finish them before new one comes out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Burgess

    Christmas hope I totally enjoyed this book. It had me laughing then in other parts I had tears in my eyes. I fell in love with Rex and his story. This will be one I will read again. Great story line it gets you the first page.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Three and a half stars: An interesting romance that must overcome some big hurdles. Eve awakens to find a naked man in her bed and little recollection of how he got there. She remembers going out alone on her thirty fifth birthday to have a drink and drown her feelings of loneliness. She didn't expect to get drunk and have a one night stand, because that is not the kind of girl Eve is. Unfortunately, she now find herself facing a stranger. Rex dives into Eve's bed just trying to forget all the t Three and a half stars: An interesting romance that must overcome some big hurdles. Eve awakens to find a naked man in her bed and little recollection of how he got there. She remembers going out alone on her thirty fifth birthday to have a drink and drown her feelings of loneliness. She didn't expect to get drunk and have a one night stand, because that is not the kind of girl Eve is. Unfortunately, she now find herself facing a stranger. Rex dives into Eve's bed just trying to forget all the turmoil and difficulty in his life. He needed an escape. What neither of them expect is for this one night fling to go further. Will Eve at last find love? What I Liked: *This is my first foray into the Whiskey Creek Series and even though this is book seven, I had no problems plunging into the story. Each book is a companion story that can be read as a stand alone. So I had no issues and was never lost. Of course, going back and reading the other books would enrich the story and provide me more insight into all the characters. Still if you are looking for a pleasant holiday romance, this was a nice read. *The romance is a slow burner. Yes, it starts out as a one night fling due to drunkenness and loneliness, and even though both parties vow they won't see each again, circumstances throw them together and neither can deny the sparks of attraction. I appreciated that it took its time to develop and that it didn't feel like insta love. *I enjoyed the strong cast of characters. Aside from Eve and Rex, there is a whole set of secondary characters. Eve is part of a group of friends who have been together forever. I loved exploring the bonds and getting to know all the friends. I especially liked how they all looked out for one another. I would be interested to go back and read some of the other books so I could get to know the cast a bit better. *Even though this was a romance, I was surprised and intrigued by a secondary story line regarding a ghost that haunted the Bed and Breakfast that Eve runs. I thought this ghost story was interesting and I liked exploring what happened to Mary. *I enjoyed the small town setting. Whiskey Creek is a town where everyone knows one another and that can be a good or bad thing depending on the situation. I liked the warm, cozy vibes and I enjoyed exploring the town and the characters. And The Not So Much: *For a Christmas romance, this wasn't as cheery as I hoped. Christmas isn't a big focus in the story, and while there are some pleasant holiday scenes, I found myself wishing for a bit more holiday cheer. *I struggled with the whole story line regarding Rex and The Crew. It took forever to finally learn the truth about Rex's past, and when I did, I felt it was a bit unrealistic? I don't know it is hard to explain. I also thought the way the gang solved the problem with The Crew was a little far fetched as well, but the book needed a happily ever after. Plus I though the whole story line was a bit dark for a feel good holiday book. *The book ends on a cliffhanger note, and I didn't like that. Just as it seems that Rex might be finally moving forward and making amends with his past, the door slams and the book ends. I wanted more, and I was also curious to see how Rex and Eve had settled everything out six months down the line, but that part isn't discussed, *Even though the romance is slow and steady, it is full of lots of stumbles. It felt like the couple was revisiting the same issues over and over. I also didn't like that the relationship kept falling into that let's have sex with no strings attached because you know that is either going to end in heartbreak or turn into something more. I am not a fan of those types of romance. The Heart of Christmas was a nice introduction to the Whiskey Creek Series. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and exploring the town, and I would certainly like to pick up some additional books in the series. If you are looking for a nice happily ever after type romance and terrific friends in a small cozy town, give this a try. Favorite Quotations: "For me, making love is still about getting close to someone, being vulnerable, sharing concerns and fears and lives, making a commitment. " "Fortunately, people don't have to be related to become a family." I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. [email protected] Day Ramblings.

  26. 4 out of 5

    books are love

    Received from author in exchange for a honest review. I am torn by the characters in this book. The story is wonderful and a perfect Christmas love story about forgiveness and helping out fellow man and trying to change. The two primary characters Eve and Rex are amazing. I love the animal magnetism they have to each other. The raw desire and need to be in each others presence that causes total accepting of each other even when they don't know each other. Even when one is not forthcoming and in t Received from author in exchange for a honest review. I am torn by the characters in this book. The story is wonderful and a perfect Christmas love story about forgiveness and helping out fellow man and trying to change. The two primary characters Eve and Rex are amazing. I love the animal magnetism they have to each other. The raw desire and need to be in each others presence that causes total accepting of each other even when they don't know each other. Even when one is not forthcoming and in trouble. That magnetism draws you in and keeps you reading. Rex's torn guilt and loneliness grabs your heart. He is trying to be a better man but is ladled with misplaced guilt. Guilt that has eaten away at him and has him as a teen make bad choices. Choices that change his path. Choices that now effect his time with Eve. These are also the choices that bring him in the path of Eve as well. He is a good man at heart. Kind caring and gentle but misguided and hurt. He tries so hard to protect Eve he almost loses her. Eve is so open and understanding. accepting of Rex even when she knows he is hiding something. Defends him to friends and cares for him unconditionally. Her kindness knows no bounds and she falls madly in love with this stranger who has her doing uncharacteristically odd things like thinking about her life and her unsettledness. He has her standing up for herself and facing her feelings of restlessness. He also her showing us the adage you love someone set them free if they come back they are truly yours if not they never were. She helps REx gain freedom freedom from the past and does this knowing he must go away to be safe. Rex gives her his trust and heart when he reveals all of himself to her. They love each other but he is in a tough situation one that her friends and her help him out of. Gain his freedom and peace. Again the adage if you love someone set them free comes to mind because Eve does this and is rewarded ten fold. Now where I had the trouble. Past characters I loved really really ticked me off. Ted is one of them. First you are a insensitive ass Ted. I mean you dump Eve who fell for you for Sophia who you always loved so really you were toying with Eve's emotions. You want to stay best friends with her while kind of flaunting your new relationship in her face especially when you have her in your wedding. That truly is insensitive. Than she does something like a one night stand that turns into more and you have the audacity to butt in give opinions and tell her what she should do. You even have the guy looked at. What right do you have dude? Just back off. Your only saving grace that helps you in the end is that you helped Eve and Rex. If it wasn't for that you would totally be on my poop list. And even that was done because you wanted Eve to forgive you for dumping her. So it wasn't done in the goodness of the season like Eve would hope for. Kiley loved him so willing to help and accept rex. I hope he gets his HEA soon. Him and Blake who is wonderful to see in this book deserve them. Dylan does show understanding after hesitation towards Rex. Cheyenne meh. She has a huge secret and than berates Rex to Eve about his secrets. Not happening chick pot calling kettle black. I love also how the mystery of the murder of little mary is in the book and how it is solved as well. Really great to see a side story that links to Eve's inn in there. This is Eve and Rex's story. A story of forgiveness, love, freedom from guilt and the past. A story of kindness and compassion, friendship and faith. A story of good will towards men and really shows the meaning of if you love someone set them free if they come back they are yours if not than they never were. A wonderfully written, beautifully faithful love story that shows all the good qualities of people. A story with action, heat, magnetism that draws you in and keeps you reading.

  27. 5 out of 5

    So, I Read This Book Today

    Sometimes, you really, really want to like a book. A book called The Heart of Christmas seemed so up my alley for this time of year. The holiday season is when I go for the ‘candy’ – the sweet, emotional holiday romances, especially if there is some suspense/action mixed in. As such, I had high hopes for this book when I received it from Netgalley. Sigh. OK, some of you are going to completely disagree with this review, and that is perfectly fine. I write my reviews based on my own feelings about Sometimes, you really, really want to like a book. A book called The Heart of Christmas seemed so up my alley for this time of year. The holiday season is when I go for the ‘candy’ – the sweet, emotional holiday romances, especially if there is some suspense/action mixed in. As such, I had high hopes for this book when I received it from Netgalley. Sigh. OK, some of you are going to completely disagree with this review, and that is perfectly fine. I write my reviews based on my own feelings about a book, not what others think, and apparently a lot of people enjoy them as well, so that makes it more fun, right? Be that as it may, I don’t know if I was more disappointed or irritated by the main character in this book. Both? Probably. So, here goes. Eve wakes up the morning after her birthday to find a man in her bed. Thirty-five, to her, is the end of her life apparently, she will never do or be anyone now that she has hit the big 3-5 and her friends are married off and most expecting kids. So, the guy she falls into bed with, Brent, (or maybe it is another name, he seems to have several) is very upfront that it’s a one-night-stand. And that is what she wanted as well, right? I mean, living in a small town in the mountains you don’t go sleeping with every guy that comes through your B&B if you want to keep your reputation. But, they do the nasty and he intends for them to go their separate ways, everything was upfront from the get-go, and everything should be cool. Right? Right? Well, not so much. Had she crossed the line? Was she acting like a stalker? Uh. Duh. You immediately start hounding your ONS with personal questions, go through his things, try to break into his computer . . . the list goes on and on. I pretty much wanted to bean her over the head with a baseball bat. Needy, whiny stalker? Check. Of course, he is coming back around for the under the covers exercise, so that is most definitely HIS fault. He contributes by coming back for more, so it isn’t all on her. He has good reason for doing what he does as far as not telling her anything – and besides, it’s not meant to be long-term, and he is never anything but upfront about that. He is a very dangerous man, with very dangerous enemies, and he doesn’t hide that from her. Then there is the trite ‘maybe baby’ routine that just, well, hum… And after one night he gives her a crud-ton of money, just in case? Wow. Uh, hmm again….. You bop a woman, she shows up the next day saying she might be preggers and you just fork over the cash? Wow. Do that a few times a year and you never have to work at all. Just sayin’. I suppose when it comes down to it, you may not find her as absolutely and unutterably irritating as I did. Realistically, if you strip out the needy stalker traits I could see myself giving this book a lot better review than I am giving it. The situation Rex (his real name) is in is heartbreaking, and I have a lot of sympathy for him and for his friends who are in the same leaky boat with him. There is suspense and action, and of course the two make that whole Christmas thing happen in the end, which is the whole point of a Christmas romance, right? Part of me can sort of feel for her. She is in this tiny town, surrounded by a tight group of friends who have all married one another, and she is the odd-bird-out. Be that as it may, read it for yourself. Love Eve or hate her, I wasn’t really able to get over not liking her personally, but the book itself is well written and the ‘not-the-personal-relationship’ portions were really good. Maybe you will understand her neediness a lot better than I do. I can be incredibly compassionate, but I also don’t have a lot of patience with women (or men!) who agree to one thing, then . . . I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Good book. I liked seeing Eve finally get her story. Eve runs Little Mary's B&B. She's at the local bar celebrating her birthday and feeling sorry for herself. She wants what her friends have - a family of her own, but so far she hasn't found the right man. She wakes up the next morning with a handsome stranger in her bed, and only vague memories of the night. What she can remember is pretty impressive, but she's horrified by her uncharacteristic behavior. Rex is in town trying to keep his past Good book. I liked seeing Eve finally get her story. Eve runs Little Mary's B&B. She's at the local bar celebrating her birthday and feeling sorry for herself. She wants what her friends have - a family of her own, but so far she hasn't found the right man. She wakes up the next morning with a handsome stranger in her bed, and only vague memories of the night. What she can remember is pretty impressive, but she's horrified by her uncharacteristic behavior. Rex is in town trying to keep his past from catching up with him. His night with Eve was amazing, but he should move on. Unfortunately for his peace of mind, he can't seem to pull himself away. I liked Eve better in this book than I have in previous ones. In those, she frequently seemed judgmental about the decisions her friends were making, or the people they were falling for. In this book, her attitude becomes a little clearer, as she is one to worry about her friends and wants what is best for them. With her sudden attraction to Rex she begins to understand them a little better. There's something about Rex that has her wanting to get closer to him, but at the same time there is a lot of mystery surrounding him. As she gets to know him, she sees a good man who is trying to get past the mistakes he's made. All she has to do is convince him that he's worth loving. I really liked Rex. He had a family tragedy as a teen that he continues to blame himself for. The guilt he felt then led him to make some poor choices, choices that kept building until he ended up in prison. He's been out for eight years and has made a good life for himself, but the past won't leave him be. The gang that he belonged to as a safety precaution in prison doesn't like that he has left them behind. They are determined to find him and kill him. This has added to Rex's determination to keep an emotional distance from everyone. When he found out that they had tracked him down once again, he hit the road for awhile, ending up in Whiskey Creek. His encounter with Eve filled a need in him he hadn't realized he had. He tries to keep her at a distance, but finds himself unable to resist going back to her time and again. He wants to be able to stay with her, but his fears for her safety have him convinced it's not possible. It was great to see the various people from previous books and see how things are going for them. There's a reference in this book to something that happened in an earlier book that I still don't agree with. I'm waiting for that decision to come back and cause problems. However, I loved the support that Eve had from her friends. They are all protective of her, and while some go a bit far in their actions, they all want what is best for her. In the end, it was wonderful to see how they banded together to make it possible for Eve and Rex to be together. The solution was pretty clever. I liked the epilogue and seeing Rex take the first steps into a new future.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Veronica of V's Reads

    I haven't read any of the Whiskey Creek books, and I didn't feel the lack. This story is about Eve, the single gal on the fringes of all the couples in her small California town. She's thirty-five, and a year ago had a brief relationship with a longtime friend, Ted, who later broke it off--at Christmastime--for another woman. They are amicable, but Eve's still hurt. And, she feels like she's sliding into spinsterhood---unwillingly. Seeing her friends' newly-settled lives is really hard. So, she I haven't read any of the Whiskey Creek books, and I didn't feel the lack. This story is about Eve, the single gal on the fringes of all the couples in her small California town. She's thirty-five, and a year ago had a brief relationship with a longtime friend, Ted, who later broke it off--at Christmastime--for another woman. They are amicable, but Eve's still hurt. And, she feels like she's sliding into spinsterhood---unwillingly. Seeing her friends' newly-settled lives is really hard. So, she goes out on her 35th, alone because her friends can't get together on a weeknight, and ends up taking home a stranger. Little does she recognize how strange he really is.... Rex has been a class A screw-up in life. He has some serious emotional baggage, and a criminal history. He was in prison, in a gang and is clean from drug addiction for four years. Eight years ago he went on the run, first in WITSEC, and later on his own when his identity had been compromised. His former gang wants blood; his. Meeting Eve is a blessing at the wrong time--he's hiding in Whiskey Creek after being tipped off that the gang was on his trail...again. Eve, to her horror, realizes her indiscretion about four drinks too late--waking with a blinding hangover and a skittish bed partner is NOT her style. Oh, and they may not have used protection, in one or more of their encounters the night before. Plus, Mr. Right Now, well, he's about as forthcoming as a bankster before Congress; he doesn't even give her his real name. Okay, the stage is set for some real interesting plot twists. Rex and Eve find a connection. He plans to spend a few weeks in Whiskey Creek and would rather not be alone. The town is so welcoming, and Rex--despite his determination for a no-strings life--is so lonely, so starved for connection, he can't stay away--and he's terrified that Eve could be pregnant. How can he be a father and stay on the lamb from his gang? Eve's friends rally to her side--with support, and answers when Rex won't come clean. Eve wants to help Rex, even if it means never seeing him again...and with the tight-knit Whiskey Creek community she's able to keep Rex safe long enough for him to get another clean slate. The whole thing is an HEA, with fairly reasonable plot turns and enough suspense to keep readers interested. I liked the elements of danger, and how candid Eve's friends were, with both her and Rex. Though I didn't know these characters, I got caught up in their world for a bit, and had the good kind of tingles when this story ended. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    This was pretty good. It kept my interest. Several books in this series have a main character keeping a secret from the love interest. This book is the same. Rex was in prison for dealing drugs. After prison he changed his name and started a security business. A prison gang is searching for him and wants him dead. He went to Whiskey Creek to hide for a few weeks. He and Eve fall in love. He tries not to get attached to her and tells her the same thing. But he doesn’t tell her his real name or wha This was pretty good. It kept my interest. Several books in this series have a main character keeping a secret from the love interest. This book is the same. Rex was in prison for dealing drugs. After prison he changed his name and started a security business. A prison gang is searching for him and wants him dead. He went to Whiskey Creek to hide for a few weeks. He and Eve fall in love. He tries not to get attached to her and tells her the same thing. But he doesn’t tell her his real name or what is going on. During the book Eve discovers some of his lies but in her heart she still knows she can trust him. Of course her friends discover lies and tell Eve she’s wrong to stay with him. I did not like some of the secret keeping. It felt contrived to keep the mystery going. For example, after seeing each other a few times and having sex, Eve asks Rex if he’s on the run. He says nothing. I think Rex should have said yes he’s on the run from bad people but not the police or government. That wouldn’t hurt his safety issues. DATA: Narrative mode: 3rd person. Swearing language: strong, but rarely used. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: about 7 but half of them were briefly referred to with no details. Setting: current day mostly small town Whiskey Creek, California. Copyright: 2014. Genre: contemporary romance. ------------------------------------------------ THE SERIES: This is book #7 in the Whiskey Creek series. Each book can be read as a stand alone, but there is a flow of characters through the books which makes it nice if read in order. Here are my ratings for them. My Favorites (4 ½ or more stars): #0.5 When We Touch - 102 page novella #1 When Lightning Strikes #5 Take Me Home For Christmas #8 This Heart of Mine 2nd choice (3 ½ stars): #9 A Winter Wedding #2 When Snow Falls - It was hard to feel hope or anticipation. Chey would not allow herself to act on her feelings. She kept her feelings “secret” for most of the book. 3rd choice: The main plot was one character keeping a “secret” for most of the book. I did not enjoy the lies. In some stories I did not like the reasons for keeping the secret. 2 ½ stars. #3 When Summer Comes 2 stars. #4 Home to Whiskey Creek 2 ½ stars. #6 Come Home to Me - secret baby 3 stars. #7 The Heart of Christmas - Hero is on the run from bad guys. When heroine asked questions he could have answered in generic terms but he was silent. That didn’t feel right to me.

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