By L. A. Casey
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: 14th December 2014
Format: Paperback (261 pages)

There’s one must-have toy this Christmas, and Neala Clarke has told her niece Charli she’ll get it for her. Never mind that she’s got less than a week and it looks like everywhere is sold out. She’s promised Charli a Fire Princess doll—and Neala is a woman of her word.

Darcy Hart is a people-pleaser. So when his adorable six-year-old nephew, Dustin, asks for a particular doll at the last minute, he says yes. Luckily for Darcy, there’s one left in stock at the local toy store. Unluckily for Darcy, he’s not the only person who wants it—and his rival is the one woman who’s immune to his charms.

Neala and Darcy have loved to hate each other since they were kids, and they’re both willing to do whatever it takes to get that doll. This can’t possibly end well for both of them…can it? (Goodreads)


While I was intrigued by the premise of this book, I was a bit apprehensive due to the fact that I didn’t really enjoy one of this authors other books. My fears were quickly put to rest, for this was a book that has a relatively simple premise and the author took it in such a novel and enjoying way, that I found it really difficult to put down at times.

Reading this book felt like I was reading romantic comedy take on the movie Jingle All The Way, as the two leads were fighting over that Christmas’s must have toy. However, rather than being relative strangers, the two leads, Neela and Darcy have a complicated past which has culimated in a love/hate relationship between the two.

The fight over the doll is really entertaining at the beginning of the book and watching as Neela and Darcy each take shots against each other in order to take possession of the doll made me laugh. I kept wondering how far each would go in order to be the ultimate winner. The final punch is thrown by Neela during her brother’s engagement party and to say that it is epic is an understating. Tears were streaming down my face as I read the outcome of her brutal blow. This quickly turned to a gasp as it became clear that not everything was going to plan and that Neela’s attempt to steal it back was scuppered by a freak snow storm that trapped Neela and Darcy together in his home.

Forcing the two characters into a confined space gives them no other choice but to get along. To start with this does seem to be very difficult, especially as more and more of their personal history is brought to light. It is clear that they both have feelings for each other and though some of those are purely physical, we as readers see that they do go much deeper.
As old wounds began to heel, their relationship changes and I began to have hope that this was the start of something for them. Casey, the tricky trickster that she is, pulls a few surprises at the end and my heart went out to Neela. Yes, it was rooted in a misunderstanding, but it didn’t matter because by that time I had grown so fond of her.

As I said at the beginning of the review, I wasn’t fond on one of her previous books, mainly due to the fact I just didn’t like the characters. This book has shown me what a great writer she is as I really liked both of them. It was easy to rout for both of them and both were complex characters, with various shades of grey.

I really loved this book because it had so much going for it, with a careful balance of sweet, sexy and sad. It isn’t a conventional Christmas Romance, but that is what I found so enjoyable about it. Taking you from laughing out loud, to sitting with your mouth open at the antics both characters go to is just so much fun.

Thisis the perfect antidote for the dark winter nights, while sitting in a comfy chair and drinking a mug of hot chocolate. Give it a shot and you won’t regret it. I know I don’t and am looking to push the other book I have by this author, Until Harry, nearer to the top of my TBR pile.

5 star





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