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Buy the Book Wendy the Super Librarian‘s review of Playboy on Her Christmas List by Carol Marinelli
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Medical 01 Dec 16

I don’t know a single person who isn’t overwhelmed this time of year, whether they love the holidays or not!  Add to this that I happen to love Christmas-themed romances.  So it would make sense that this is the time of year I fall hard and fast into my full-blown Harlequin addiction.  Between the Christmas theme, the short category page count, and my desire to get more familiar with the Medical line, picking up Carol Marinelli’s latest was a no-brainer.

Holly Jacobs is a nurse in London’s Primary Hospital Emergency room and the resident Christmas junkie.  She’s the one who helps decorate the floor, rally the troops to attend the holiday party, and organizes the Secret Santa.  She’s really looking forward to the holiday this year, because last Christmas was a bit of a downer, thanks to her mother’s cancer diagnosis.  But Mum is better and the whole family is hoping for a proper jolly holiday.  Unfortunately, things get complicated at work, thanks to various emergencies among the staff and the continued appearance of Dr. Daniel Chandler.

Daniel is the only son of a prominent surgeon and a disappointment to his father – 1) because he’s not following in his footsteps and 2) because instead of taking a steady job at a prestigious hospital he’s basically working as a temp at The Primary.  After his stint there, which is ending any day now, he plans to take a sabbatical and travel.  Between the temp work and his “love ‘em and leave ‘em” relationship status, Daniel’s got a bit of a playboy reputation.  So why is he still around The Primary for Christmas, a holiday he has no fond memories of?  He keeps making excuses and picking up shifts to stick around – which, of course, he won’t admit is because of his attraction to Holly.

I love category romance, but let’s be honest – sometimes the tropes can feed into the “over the top” reputation that dogs them.  What I enjoyed about this story is the cozy feel and the conflict that felt fairly true to life.  Holly and Daniel do succumb to a one-night stand, but Daniel’s playboy reputation isn’t so easy to discard and Holly can’t help that she doesn’t have a one-night-stand kind of personality.  This, of course, leads to the two trying to avoid each other after the fact and failing miserably.  What do you do when you’re attracted to a person who seems so different from you?

Where the book stumbles a little bit for me is in the writing – which can be attributed to this being the first book in a series.  Naturally there is some set-up and several secondary characters are introduced, some playing more prominent roles than others.  Given the short Medical word count, it took some time for me to sort out who was who, especially given that several are introduced in the first couple of chapters.  Also, Daniel’s less-than-forthcoming nature led to some misunderstandings that could have become tedious in a longer book, but ended up just being minor quibbles here.

This was a near-perfect holiday read for me.  It didn’t change my life, but it kept me engaged, I got invested in the world-building, and I liked that the conflict felt a bit more true-to-life.  I’m definitely interested in keeping up with the series.

Wendy TSLGrade: B


Making her Christmas dream come true…

Paramedic Holly Jacobs knows that her night of scorching passion with Dr. Daniel Chandler meant more than just lust. And she’ll fix the hospital staff’s Secret Santa to prove it!

Playboy doc Daniel has sworn off love—but he can’t resist Holly! And by the time they get snowed in at a B and B on Christmas Eve, Daniel finds himself wondering if the connection he’s feeling for Holly is for life, not just for Christmas!

No excerpt available.